I wasn’t always a runner. In fact, I didn’t start running until my 30’s after I’d had two kids. I remember the first days of my running, I could barely make it around the block without wheezing. But I was determined and I needed to lose weight (and I lost 30 lbs!). I found a routine that worked for me and I’ve been using my strategy ever since. To date, I’ve run thousands of miles and now regularly run about 5 miles per day and usually 4-5 times per week.
Running is one of the best ways to lose weight, improve/maintain your health and a natural stress reliever. Make your goal (eventually) to get 3 miles or 30 minutes of running daily, on average.
Wake Up Determined, and Prepared
Wake up on your running days determined that your run is going to happen. To be successful, you need to do a little bit of prep work: Pack your workout bag in advance, determine a back-up plan if things don’t go your way (I’ll run in anything except the pouring rain or under 20 degrees – then I run inside). If you’re running in the morning, set your alarm. If you’re running during the day, schedule time – just like you would any other important appointment.
Set Small, Attainable Goals
Don’t focus on how much weight you’d like to lose or your marathon-training program. Think about what you can accomplish today. Is it a walk around the block? Fine. Is it running a mile or two? Great. When you think of your overall goals in small, attainable pieces they seem more realistic and you’re more likely to accomplish your goals. Figure out what works for you and focus on that – remember, small and achievable goals are what works.
Make Running Fun
Get a great playlist (here are my favorite seven), watch an action movie or the YouTube Music Video channel (my new favorite) or run with a friend. Whatever it takes to get you out the door will improve your success with your new running goal.
Exercise On A Schedule
Successful runners have a routine. They run during their best times of day and mentally prepare to run. They also put it in their calendar. It will be easiest for you to start a running routine if you figure out when you can make time for this exercise. I usually run before my kids and husband wake up. I’m a morning person and love running as the sun is coming up.
Figure out what works for you and plan out one week, one month of making this happen. I mark the calendar on days I know I’ll be able to run and log my miles on the calendar after I’ve completed a run. I like knowing my plan and seeing my progress. I also use a FitBit to track my exercise – love it. To get started, I’d recommend a $5 pedometer at a big box store – anything to track your distance will work.
Drink More Water
I drink about 20 oz. before my 5 mile run. If I’m running inside or it’s hot (above 70 degrees), I’ll often stop and drink another 20 oz about 75% of the way through my run. (Why stop you ask? You don’t need to get waterlogged while running and drinking – take this minute and stop to drink) and then when I finish my run, I’ll drink another 20 oz.
This is in addition to the 90 oz of water I drink daily. Make drinking enough water your goal, you’ll be less hungry and you’ll feel and look better.
Running can be an enjoyable, easy exercise to begin and maintain. You can run almost anywhere and it takes limited equipment to begin. Work today to discover your goals and develop a plan that you can achieve this month.