“The Running Bug” + tips on starting and sticking to it

After a “major” running weekend when runners united to run various running distance races; have you got the “running bug“? Whether it is a 5km, 10 mile, half marathon, 30Km or full marathon- running a race is quite the accomplishment! Congrats to all who ran over the weekend and a special congrats to our very own staff and members who ran Around the Bay in Hamilton on Sunday AM! Great job to all! I hope that you are all resting today, icing and of course contemplating/planning your next running destination/distance/goal!? What will it be? How do you stay motivated after a race?

Do you sign-up for another race right away? I’ll leave you with that thought and please share your running stories with us in our comment section; today’s post will be for all of our readers that have always wanted to start a running program but never knew how to? or needed motivation for sticking to it. I used to be one of these people and I now L.O.V.E . running and racing– so YES there is hope!

Step 1: Pick a race and create yourself a running plan. Make SMART Goals & ensure to give yourself the length of time and proper training required for your goal in mind. Even if it is just running your 1st 5K- make sure your training plan is appropriate for you.  There are various online ressources available to create your running programs; here are a few that I can suggest: Couch to 5Km , Run your 1st 5 Km in 8 weeks, RW’s 8 week running program, etc… Of course there are many more but these are just a few suggestions.

Step 2: Tell your family about your goal; they will be your biggest supporters and once you tell others about your goal, it makes you accountable to it also 🙂 If possible, find a running buddy. A friend or group will be another great helper along your running journey; they will help you stick to your goal.

Step 3: Make a list of a few obstacles that you think you “might” encounter along your training plan. Beside each obstacle, think of a solution that you can implement to ensure that this obstacle does not take you away from your goal; this will help you in anticipating any problems along the way. For example: lack of time  (obstacle), solution= head out early mornings for my run this way when I get home from work I don’t have to motivate myself to go out again OR make a schedule and ensure that I stick to my scheduled workouts.

Step 4: Allow room in your plan for error  missed workouts. Often, when we start something, we go from 0-100% overnight which is very hard to maintain especially if you want running to be a lifestyle change and of course you want it to be FUN! If you have to skip a workout- do NOT feel guilty about it; it happens to all of us. Instead of thinking negative thoughts when you have to miss a scheduled workout, reward yourself for every successful workout that you are able to complete– I guarantee that this positive approach will be helpful:)

Step 5: Motivate yourself. Watch inspirational movies like ” Steve Prefontaine”, “Terry Fox”, etc… movies that will remind you of the exciting aspects of  being a “runner”. Read articles or newspaper clippings about “running” to help motivate you, RSS feed to the YWCA Hamilton blog for some weekly motivating tips (I know shameless plug:P) and my favorite: post some notes and quotes around the house to keep you motivated. For example: on your alarm clock  ” You can do it this morning, just think of how great you’ll feel when your run is over” or on the mirror “you are strong, look at everything you have accomplished, you can do this“–> again, another easy way to motivate yourself.

I hope that you find these tips helpful. If you have any helpful tips on how you became “hooked” on running, please share them with us. For me, laying out my clothes the night before is a MUST, this way I know I’ll get up and get’er done instead of hitting snooze when the alarm rings. Whatever you do, remind yourself of why you like running because if it is not fun, then why are we doing it?!

Until next time, keep moving…





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