You’ve tried to start running before. You know it’s a great way to lose weight, stay healthy, relieve stress, and feel accomplished. But every time you try, you give up after a few weeks. Running regularly requires a lot of willpower. Fortunately, following these tips will greatly improve the odds that the next time you start running, you’ll stick with it.
Set a goal for yourself. You’ll be much more likely to stick with your exercise routine if you’re actively working toward a goal. Planning to run a 5K is a popular one—it’s short enough to be doable but long enough to get you in shape and feeling great. Sign up for one several months in advance to give yourself a deadline.
Focus on achieving smaller, daily goals. It’s great to have a large goal, but thinking about that 5K several months from now when you haven’t even run a mile yet can be daunting. Instead, create a schedule of training runs that steadily increase in mileage. Then focus on what you need to do today. If you measure yourself against where you want to be several months from now, you’ll feel like a failure. If you focus on achieving your daily goals, you’ll feel accomplished, notice how you’re improving, and be motivated to keep running.
Reward Yourself. When you meet your goals, go out to eat or go to a movie. The enjoyment of a reward and the sense of having earned it are strong motivators.
Don’t overdo it. Take it easy at first. Stop running before you feel pain or start huffing and puffing. Alternate running and walking (a good beginner strategy is to run a minute, walk a minute). Going too hard when you’re starting out can discourage you from running in the future or cause injury. You can improve and get tons of health benefits from running without overdoing it.
Run with other people. Join a running club or entice a friend to sign up for a 5K with you. You’ll be more likely not to skip workouts if other people are depending on you. Plus, making running a group activity will make it more enjoyable and further motivate you to stick with it.
Remember to drink plenty of water. Dehydration will make your runs miserable. If your goal is a 5K, you might not need to drink during your runs, but make sure to hydrate a few hours beforehand.
If you do suffer an injury while working out, come by Neighbors Emergency Center. We provide 24 hour emergency care in Houston and Austin, so you can get back to your running routine as quickly as possible.