Our reasons to start exercising, or more specifically running, vary from person to person. Do you want to lose weight? Are you preparing for your first 5km fun run or half marathon? Or is it just your new years resolution? What ever your reason, in this article I will show you how to stick to it by adopting some good habits.
Become a good runner by making these 7 habits your own
1. Find a partner
Having a partner to run with helps you to stay motivated. You are less likely to skip that morning session when it is just a little too cold outside if you know your mate is waiting for you. Choose your running partner wisely; someone who shares common interests and even better trying to achieve the same goal.
2. Keep a training journal
Successful people have a good habit of writting often. In your daily journal or even better in a seperate training journal, keep records of what you did in your session and record distance, speed and how you felt. A useful tip is to write down your rate of perceived exertion, this will help you to maintain a gradual increase in training load without over doing it early on.
3. Eat and drink well
Breakfast - the most important meal of the day for everyone, but especially for a runner. Eating breakfast everyday will give you the energy you need to exercise and will also help maintain your weight. Focus on getting in the correct foods and increase your protein intake to help your recovery.
Be sure to drink enough water. This is a non negotiable - at least 2 litres per day.
4. Rest well
Lack of sleep will affect your mood, energy levels and your bodies ability to recover sufficiently to train again the next day. I recommend seven to nine hours per night for anyone on a running program.
5. Set your goals
Effective goal setting is important. Make sure that they are realistic and stick to a timeline. Enter your first 5km or trail running race and put the steps in place to get there. Tell your friends and family your goals; it will help you to be accountable and more liekly to achieve them.
6. Get a program
Accountability is important. You and your training partner or running group will need a printed program from a running coach to get you to the start of your first event. Put it on the fridge or somewhere that you and your family can see it regularly.
7. Show gratitude
This is a good habit that will make you happy and keep you motivated. Trust me, when you start running, what ever distance you run or walk, there is always something to be grateful for. Write down three things in your training journal that you appreciated during your run. For example; I am grateful for my training partner being committed, the beautiful weather today and my good health.
The time is now.