Staying on Track

Stemming from my onslaught of Runner’s Guilt on Sunday/Monday, I’ve been spending some time this week pondering how to ensure that I stay in check with my running schedule. Coincidentally, there is a girl in my office who recently took up running as well. She sent an e-mail to me yesterday saying that she just didn’t feel like running today  – I can relate. This is what I sent her back:

True words. But sometimes keeping on schedule goes beyond a mental thing – It can be a time thing as well. Here are my ideas to best stay on track (get it?) with running, or any exercise for that matter:

  1. Set Goals – If you have something to work towards you are far more apt to put in the effort. I’m not a fan of wasting the Benjamins, so after registering for the half-marathon and buying new shoes & assorted gear, I’ll be damned if I don’t get my money’s worth. That, and I really don’t want to come in dead last.
  2. Set a Schedule – I have three delightful calenders set up – one on my fridge, one tacked to a wall in my office, and one that I carry around in my planner – that outline my specific training each day. This serves two purposes for me. One is that I can’t have any excuse to “forget” about what I need to do and the other is the feeling of accomplishment I get when I put a big ‘X’ through a day after its done. Its cathartic.
  3. Give it a Rest – Rest days are the They also give your body a chance to heal after longer runs. You and your body sure aren’t going to want to go for a run if you are too sore or tired from the day before. However, these don’t have to be absolute rest days – try some cross or strength training on for size if you’re feeling antsy- Just don’t overexert yourself.
  4. Just Go –  Lace your shoes up and get out the door. If you have to run 5 miles and you don’t want to go, tell yourself you’ll’ run 2 or 3 and just start. Chances are by the time you hit 2 or 3 you’ll keep going – If not, you still got off your ass and ran.
  5. Ear Buds – This is probably my best kept secret. I love to read, long difficult novels, or silly chick-lit – I don’t discriminate. Rarely, however, do I find the time to curl up with a book unless I’m sick – sad but true. So I divulged a plan to utilize those things we like to call books on tape (books on CD doesn’t have the same ring to it) while I run. Yes, I actually run to someone reading a book to me. Its so brilliant. I get cultured during my cardio. Even more brilliant? I decided on a book series, so now I’m hooked (18 books – hundreds of glorious training-filled hours). I now look forward to my runs so I can listen to my book. Now if these are not your thing, the same goes for music. Download some awesome music every week or so (that way you don’t get bored with it) and you will have something to look forward to when you lace up.

*Sidenote – Have no fear, when I run in a race, I don’t listen to my books. That wold be kind of lame and they aren’t that great for “Pumping” one up. You can usually find me listening to some assorted Lady Gaga-esque nonsense to get me going.

Say what you will about her but she rocks my socks off.

Many people say partners are there go to running motivation. Me? I’m not much into that. I’m a pretty introverted runner – I like running with my dog and that’s about it. I don’t care to converse (I’m trying to ‘read’ here people) and I don’t like to feel obligated to slow down or speed up depending on my running buddy. That’s not to say that couldn’t be your thing. If you enjoy running with people than by all means, have at it. Having someone there to help motivate you is great, its just not my thing.

So there you have it – my tips to stay on track (Haha) with your running.


5 thoughts on “Staying on Track

  1. Thank you for keeping me motivated yesterday! I definitely did not regret going. Last night at the movie theatre I decided to run, rather than walk, to my car after the movie. I had to park a million miles (ok only 1/10 of a mile) away from the theatre. Anyway, so I decided to run to my car to get warm and get there faster. I think prior to this C25K training I would have died. I was barely breathing fast when I got there. Now that is a difference that is tangible! So what if I haven’t lost weight….I can now run away from someone if they are chasing me and not die! 🙂

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