Running is habitual for many and any break in your usual routine can wreak havoc on your training. It is very easy to fall off the running wagon but it can be very hard to get back on track, even after a short hiatus.
By Pamela Mazzuca HBSc. Kin, Athletic Therapist
Maybe you were sick, maybe your kids were sick, maybe you had a deadline at work, or maybe you went on vacation. Life happens and sometimes you just can’t get out for a run. So instead of giving up or beating yourself up here are a list of five simple ways to stay active and get your running back on track.
ONE: Do it first thing in the morning
Running before you start your day is ideal. It reduces the risk of something getting in your way, like a meeting running late or traffic on a snowy day. It can also be a time saver because you don’t have to hit the showers twice in a day as well as it reduces the risk of procrastination because you have to be at work by a certain time. And, chances are your phone hasn’t started ringing and text messages haven’t started streaming through so distractions are also at a minimum. And don’t worry if you aren’t a morning person, running will make you one plus what better way to start a day than to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving. Schedule it into your morning like you would any other important meeting and you will find yourself staying on track easier.
TWO: Lay it out
Before you hit the sheets at night, collect and layout all of your running gear – tops, bottoms, socks, shoes, ear buds, hat, mitts, water; whatever you might need. This makes getting up and moving out the door a lot easier and faster. You don’t have to think about a thing in the morning, just lace up and head out.
THREE: Set a goal
The easiest way to stay motivated is to sign up for a race. It gives you a goal with a definitive deadline. There are no excuses, no extensions – just a date you must be ready for. It’s that simple for a competitive personality.
FOUR: Compile a playlist or download an e-book or podcast
Even when it’s cold and miserable outside or you got to bed too late the night before, if you have an upbeat, motivating playlist or perhaps an e-book or podcast you are dying to listen to, it can really help get your going. It might be simple but the effect can be significant.
FIVE: Mix it up
Sometimes all it takes is a change of pace, so to speak. Consider adding in hills, intervals or speed work to spice things up and keep you motivated. Another great option, to help avoid boredom as well as injuries, is integrating a little cross-training into your routine. Add one or two days a week of something different, you could try yoga, resistance training, or perhaps swimming. Or you can take a whole week off of running and only doing cross training. You will be amazed at how a little variety will keep you focus, motivated and injury free.