5 Ways to Create a Running Habit – And Stick to It

© Dreamstime

© Dreamstime

1) Create a routine

Whether it is getting up to run early or packing a change of clothes for running after work, make the time you set aside for running a habit. Be flexible to a certain degree, but treat your running time as an appointment. Use rest days to stretch, cross-train, or enjoy a mental break from the hubbub of life.

2) Start small

Make it easy to accomplish a run by limiting how far and how fast you go in the beginning. It’s far too easy to burnout or get injured if you bite off more than you can chew. As you build endurance, you can add mileage and speed.

3) Adjust, adjust, adjust

Be prepared for really bad days and really good days. Even the best runners have plenty of ups and downs and it is normal to be on both ends of the spectrum. The key is to reduce mileage or take an extra rest day if you have multiple bad runs, but don’t throw in the towel.

4) Make a date

Find a running group or a friend that you can commit to at least once a week for a run. It’s far more difficult to bail if others are expecting you and the camaraderie will serve as positive motivation.

5) Find an incentive that works for you

Everyone has their reasons for wanting to start running. But what motivates you to keep going? Are you the kind of person who wants to be rewarded with new running gear or will signing up for a race really light a fire in your training.

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