We all have that one friend we secretly believe must not sleep because how else could they possibly work full-time, volunteer, stay in amazing shape through daily runs and do it all with style? Sure, they may have super powers, but it's much more likely they're getting a full night of sleep because they know it's crucial to helping them perform their best at everything they do.
So if you also want to become a superhero who manages to run every day, here are five more ways to make sure your workouts happen:
1. Dedicate time and make a daily commitment.
Maybe you love the idea of running a marathon, but your current work and family obligations already have you feeling frenzied. Instead of overbooking yourself and insisting you register for a race, plan a training schedule and juggle other responsibilities, be honest with yourself and only commit to things you can truly give 100% to. If you don't, it's a surefire way to find yourself skipping out on runs.
If you aren't ready to commit to the training schedule, don’t beat yourself up — just readjust your current plan. Maybe you can squeeze in enough workouts to train for a 5 or 10K. Even though these are shorter races, having a more attainable goal will keep you committed to daily runs, and you can use these to build up to a marathon when you do have the time.
2. Plan to win.
There’s a reason the quote, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" is so popular ... because it's true. Similarly to the first thing on this list, if you don't take the time to plan and commit to a daily run, chances are you won't do it. This goes beyond having a training plan; make sure to take additional steps to head off any obstacles:
- Keep a gym bag in your car or at your desk with running clothes so you're always ready.
- Know your travel/weekend schedule and shift workouts to accommodate other plans if something comes up.
- Schedule time with friends when it won’t impede getting your run done (but do schedule it!).
3. Savor your rest days.
If you’re one of the dedicated runners who feels a rest day is simply a waste of good energy, remember you can actually use this day to do other things and think of it as a reset for the following week. It’s time for your body to heal, to plan your training and meals, and treat yourself to some well-earned relaxation.
If you just can't sit still, why not try a non-running way to get your body moving? Maybe spend some time hiking, paddle boarding or going on a bike ride. Days when you aren't training give you more time to enjoy free time with other people whose support ultimately makes you a stronger runner.
4. Have an accountability partner.
Being part of a running group can make your runs more interesting, encourage you to push your pace and get you more involved in the entire running community. But having a single running partner can be even more beneficial. Imagining them standing on a corner as the sun rises, waiting for you to appear is the ultimate way to make sure you don’t hit snooze a second time.
5. Embrace morning runs.
I know half of you groaned just reading this tip, but it’s true. The busier your life, the easier it is to skip a run later in the day. There are the rare few who will always run, even if the only time they have to spare is late at night, but if you tell yourself you'll run after work and then don't, it's time to embrace the morning.
Studies show that morning runners are more productive and make healthier choices throughout the rest of the day. I think it’s the endorphins, but maybe it’s just because they’ve started their day by enjoying the world before everyone has woken up and the noise of life has truly begun.
If after all of this you still can’t seem to make yourself run, I’d say it’s time to consider you’ve hit burn out. Explore some new activities and once the urge to run sneaks up on you again, grab it by the laces and go.
Amanda Brooks is an eight-time marathon finisher, running coach and ultra passionate runner. She believes in pre-hab, enjoying each run and exploring new places is best done on foot. On her site RunToTheFinish, she shares tips for every part of the running journey through group challenges, detailed training tips and of course delicious recovery meals!