#3: 10 ways to make running a habit
Was one of your New Year's resolutions to run? Get healthy? Lose weight? Feel slim? Meet amazing new people? Be consistent? Try new beers? Well my friends, you are in luck! Running can give you access to ALL of those things (and more).
But first thing is first, without consistency, you will not be able to reap all of the benefits of running (or any cardio for that matter to the fullest).
Why I love running:
If you are already a runner, do you see yourself in any of these? Have any extra to add? If you are not yet a runner are you interested in giving it a whirl? Well I hope so, because each and every person has a unique experience. A runner's high is the real deal plus it's legal, free (ish), health and self esteem improving. Warning: Highly addictive non-consumable substance.
So how can you develop your running habit? Here are some tips and tricks:
- Sign-up for a race. Whether it be a 1 mile fun run, 5k and beyond, sign-up for a race. Nothing is more motivating to get your ass out of bed than having it (and your wallet) on the line.
- Get a plan. If you go about your running without a weekly plan, you are likely to not feel as bad when you miss it. I suggest planning at least 2 weeks (or more) ahead of time. First, decide how many days a week you are going to run and designate your rest day(s). These can be flexible, but you should always aim to hit that number of days/week. If you complete #1 and sign-up for a race, you should have a training plan that goes week by week for 12-16 weeks. *If you have a race and need help with a custom plan, shoot me an email or leave a comment and I would be glad to provide some assistance and guidance :)
- Join a club/team/find a partner. One word. Accountability. When a person or group of people are counting on you to be there or just expect you week after week, it is harder to say, "meh, I don't really feel like it". If you find a good group or person, you will also want (yes, WANT) to spend time with them! Oh yeah, and after many run clubs there is beer.. Of course you can have that, gotta replenish those carbs (yeah, yeah, in moderation).
- Have a go-to run. This is when you forgot to plan that day's run fails but fear not you have your trusty go-to route/distance. It could be any distance, just a little something you do on a route that you know well that you don't even have to think about. Kind of like autopilot.
- Pack your bag or leave your clothes out the night before. I am sure we all know how much it sucks unpacking a gym bag that was never opened... Enough said.
- Buy yourself some sweet swag. While I am all about "it's just me and the road", I am REALLY all about great running gear. There are so many great brands out there (I list my favorite brands for favorite shoes, bras, shorts, etc. at the bottom) that make you feel good while you're running. I also wear a lot of my running gear out and about for a comfortable, sporty look.
- Get a playlist or podcast that you excited about. Being able to shamelessly listen to your favorite newest jam on repeat definitely helps me get my laces tied up and out the door.
- Get the right shoes. This cannot be taken too lightly. Without the right pair of shoes and the best way to tie laces, you can run the risk of injury and then there goes your running habit... Not impossible to get back, but we all know that momentum is powerful and you want to avoid stopping it. So just buy the $100 pair of shoes (check out the bottom of the page for $100 shoes at less than $100 dollar prices). It will be yet another $$ motivator for you.
- Set your alarms for the whole week. I am generally a morning runner, because I like to have my afternoons free for impromptu plans or any unscheduled later evenings at work. But with my current job, I am running a good deal in the evenings and that is working out also. Whatever jives with you. But if you are a social butterfly and often get serious FOMO (fear of missing out) when happy hours, get-togethers, or dinners are discussed, I recommend developing a morning habit.
- Have a plan B if the weather sucks. Sometimes I wake up and it's raining cats and dogs or it is WAY TOO COLD (yes, it gets cold in Texas, I swear). I have a handful of ab/arm exercises and YouTubes that I will do instead so I that I can still get the gratification of something physical (included below).
Well, there you have it folks, some of my tips that have allowed me to maintain a running habit for 9 years now. Here are some of my favorite running brands, motivational books/podcasts, and strengthening exercises.
- Favorite sports bra: The Energy Bra from Lululemon. $48
- Yes, it is a little pricey, but if you really make a habit out of running you will use it FOREVER. Their stuff is quality and they are cool about taking returns even if you tried it once (within 30 days I believe).
- Favorite shoe (currently): Saucony Ride 7.0 from runningwarehouse.com $70
- Looks like running warehouse doesn't carry the 7 anymore, but I generally just go for the next one that is the cheapest. You can almost always get an older model shoe for <$100. They also have all types of other gear (headbands, gloves, shirts, shorts, you name it).
- Favorite shorts: Speed Short 4 way stretch from Lululemon. $68
- Again, a little pricey, but god DAMN do they make your legs and butt look good. They also have endless pockets and are supremely comfortable. They also last for a long while.
- Favorite leggings: Pair of Nike capris from... forever ago. Don't even remember the price. But clearly they have lasted. I believe I have had them for >4 years.
- Looking at Nike's website, looks like they have a lot of great capris that range from $70-$105.
- For long leggings I like Underarmor. Again, the specific ones I have they no longer carry because I have had these for about 7 years and still going strong. These look really nice though... Must not online shop...
- Book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.
- Classic. Almost a must because every runner has to talk about it. This is the book that started the barefoot running craze.
- Book Finding Ultra by Rich Roll.
- Favorite podcaster also. This guy overcame alcoholism, a suffocating career, and fast food addiction to become one of the pioneers of health and the vegan movement. If you are looking for some motivation, this is where you find it.
- Podcast Cut and Run by Radiolab
- Fantastic podcast about why Kenyans, specifically one particular group, have and continue to dominate long distance running. This podcast delves into their anatomy, lifestyle, and traditions which may explain their outstanding success.
- Podcast 50 Ironmans. 50 States. 50 Days Before and After
- 2 podcasts here, but holy moly. James Lawrence, or Iron Cowboy, sets off on a mission to complete 50 Ironman distance triathlons, in 50 states, in 50 days. Impossible? I think not. All to raise awareness for childhood obesity and Quietway.org.
- Favorite Yoga YouTubes [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries?list=PLxmEksxNR8mMSN4vTAtRrOaIvRwnD52nC&w=560&h=315]
- Abs/Arms (roughly 10 minutes)
- 300 Rep Abs (roughly 15 minutes)