Keep Your Training on Track

Five Strategies

No matter how much you love running, there are inevitably going to be days when it's just incredibly difficult to get yourself out the door. Often, in fact, the physical act of running is much easier than actually getting yourself into your running shoes. There is never any shortage of other things to do; family and work commitments can easily crowd a workout right out of the day. And it's very easy to blow through your running time, just scrolling through social media.

Here are five full-proof strategies to get yourself on the road, and get that run done.

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1. Do It First Thing

It's likely you don't have any other pressing commitments at 6 a.m. If you workout first thing, there's no danger of other meetings, family emergencies, or plain old fatigue getting in the way. If you wait until evening to workout, you may spend the entire day worried and anxious about whether you can make it happen or not. On the other hand, if you get your workout done early in the day, then you get that boost of confidence and pride to enjoy all day long. On the other hand, if you don't workout until later,

2. Do It For 10 Minutes

Some days, the idea of a run just feels too difficult to bear. If you feel tired, bored, too busy, or just unmotivated to run, give yourself the 10 minute rule. That is, go out with a goal of running for 10 minutes.If you want to quit after that, then you can do so knowing that your mission has been accomplished. But chances are, 10 minutes will be just enough time to raise your heart rate, and remember how much you enjoy the exhilaration of moving your body and being outside, and you'll want to keep going.

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3. Keep Track

Take good notes on your workouts, and count the number of miles or minutes on the road you accumulate. You'll draw confidence from seeing how much you accomplished, and that will help get you out the door when it's tempting to stay in. Seeing, for instance, that you have run 200 miles in the last five weeks will make that planned five miler seem a lot less daunting.

4. Incentivize Yourself

Give yourself a reward for staying on track each week or each month. Make the reward something that will complement your running life, like a new audio book, pair of shoes or running apparel, or a new tech gadget. It's best to stay away from using food as a reward; that can derail your goals to get faster and fitter!

5. Get A Buddy

You'll be much less likely to blow off a workout if you know that someone is waiting for you. Make a running date at least once a week, and that will help you get out on the road when you would rather stay in. Don't know any other runners? Enlist a friend as an accountability to call you to get you out on the road, and ask about you runs on a daily basis.

About Jen Van Allen

Jen has spent the past six years working as Special Projects Editor for Runner's World magazine, and writing stories for the magazine. Her books, The Runner's World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training, (Rodale Books, June 2012) The Runner's World Big Book of Running for Beginners and The Runner's World Training Journal for Beginners, (Rodale Books, April 2014) are available wherever books are sold. She is currently at work on her next book, The Runner's World Guide to Weight Loss, which will be available in stores in January 2016. She also contributes stories to The Washington Post, and The Portland Press Herald.

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