A question that has been asked around often is, “how do I get my running motivation to stay so consistent?”
As a beginner runner, after a few weeks of running, you’ll be experiencing a thing called
‘runner’s high’, it is a feel-good brain chemical like dopamine and endocannabinoids being
released while you’re out running.
However, until that happens it may be difficult to force yourself out the door to go for a run. Relying on willpower will not work long term, as it puts a lot of strain on your willpower resources leading to failure quickly.
We understand that forming an exercise habit isn’t the easiest thing for many people, so
here are 4 tips on how to make running into a habit and make it stick. As the exercise becomes a habit, it will feel much easier to complete.
1. Make a plan
Firstly, to break into a habit it is to create a plan. Every habit is made up of a group of cues
such as a certain time, distance, route, music, or a routine.
Pick some cues that suit you best. For instance, the most convenient time to run, favorite
playlist, and giving yourself rewards that will incentivize you to run. Then write down a plan
with the cues and reward and post it at a place where you can see it every day. Your plan
will look like, when it’s evening and you’ve got your running playlist on, you will run, because you’ll be rewarded with a long, hot shower.
Try it for a week, if it’s not effective, try switching up the cues or reward till it best fits you.
2. Keep it regular
The next step is to keep your routine on repeat. Create a pre-run routine to cue your body
and mind that it’s time to run and repeat every time you go until it becomes consistent in
Run at the same time of the day, prepare your workout clothes next to your bed, play your
favorite running playlists before you head out, or even grab a running partner to keep
accountable. This creates neural pathways that make the activity into a habit.
Image via : The Times
3. Reward yourself
Combining a guilty pleasure that you truly enjoy with a healthy habit may encourage you to
stick with your new habit.
Rewards can be anything such as a hot shower, a smoothie, or a nap, with a continued
repetition your brain associates running with an immediate reward.
Eventually, you will start feeling motivated to run even before you change into your workout attire.
Image via : Vietnam Insider
4. Find a support system
Lastly, running is much more fun when you have a friend around, the chances of sticking to
your running habit is higher.
Thus, try to set a weekly running date with a group of friends to help keep the motivation and fun going. If you’re looking for a much challenging run, join running clubs, as they have set times for group workouts and it pushes you a step further in your running journey.
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