Based in Lexington, KY, Johnna Wilford is a writer, running coach, POP Pilates teacher, and fertility instructor. She helps women design health and wellness routines that fit into their lives.

Stick with running - 5 tips and tricks

Stick with running - 5 tips and tricks

So you’ve decided to take the next step with your health and work with me to run! I’m sure you’re excited. But also feeling nervous that you won't stick with running. Trust me, I’ve been there. ;)

Cast those worries and anxieties aside, girl! Here are my best tips and tricks to help you stick with your training plan.

HAVE FAITH

My best friend and co-creator of Catholic Women Run, Charlotte, said what all of us have admitted to at one point: “For a long time I’ve been trying to make my exercise habits more consistent.”

That got me thinking. In no way would I say that I’m consistent in running. I’ve only run twice since I finished a 200-mile relay race a month ago. I know I need to lace up my shoes if I want to feel better. But, I’m letting other things take over.

But there’s always time to get back to it. Without judgement. Without beating myself up about missing a few days or weeks. I need to just forgive myself when I miss my runs. Be joyful in the fact that it’s never too late to stick with running again if you slip up.

MAKE IT A ROUTINE

I need routine to do good things. Whenever I can, I run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. It is my routine, which means I utilize less mental capacity when deciding on my workout on those days.

If you need to change the day of some of the runs in your training plan, that’s fine! But it’s harder to make running a routine if you’re changing those training runs every week. Figure out which days of the week are the best for you. Then stick with running on those days consistently.

PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR

This is closely related to the tip above. But this gets at another layer to creating a running routine – time of day. Will you run in the morning? At night? On your lunch break? Write your run down into your paper calendar or input it digitally on Google or Outlook. BONUS: If other people in your family are looking at the calendar, ask them to hold you accountable to doing it!

It might take you a few times to figure out what time works best for running. But eventually you might be able to stick with running at the same time each day.

By the end of your training plan, your calendar will be less critical. Your body and mind will know exactly what day it needs to be out running!

SIGN UP FOR A RACE

My confession in the first tip makes this one pretty important. Maybe it’s my Type A personality, but I need a goal to strive after in order to run consistently. That’s not the case with some runners. Some start it, love it, and go run 7 miles every day just for fun. Since I haven’t run since my last race a month ago…that’s obviously not me.

If you need that extra motivation to stick with running, sign up for a race! Look for races for five different regions on the weekend that you want to run a race. I usually find races from my favorite race directory website.

If you don't want to travel, you can also search "[your race distance]" + "[your city]" and find some races closer to home. Just make sure you keep running to stay prepared!

FIND FRIENDS

It's so important to have someone as your accountability partner. It makes sense that success depends on other people when it comes to your physical health.

This post was originally published on Catholic Women Run, a community that encourages women to become healthy, holy, and happy.

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