No one is born Running although some people make it look like they were. The hardest thing about becoming a runner is taking those first few steps. Once you start it can easily become a natural part of who you are. There are many reasons why running is the ideal way to stay physically fit including, endurance, fast fat burning and it’s a great stress buster. I read somewhere anything that you can do for 3 weeks becomes a habit. It only takes 3 weeks to develop a habit, good or bad.
If you could run every day for a month it would become a part of who you are. You would be able to identify yourself as a runner and start reaping all the benefits of a runner. Running every day for a month is a challenge for both the experienced runner and especially for the novice. While it will not harm you to run every day for a month you should be aware that there is a greater risk for injury especially for the novice. Taking a few precautions can go a long way in helping to keep you safe. There are some simple tips that can help you get past the hurdles and breeze through a month of running.
Calendar Your Running Time
One of the hardest parts of running is setting aside the time to do it. I calendar my runs. I set my alarm on my phone and when it goes off I throw on my running shoes and I hit the pavement. If I did not set that alarm and remind myself that my run is scheduled as part of my day there is a very strong chance that I would not get the time in to run. Life is hectic and unfortunately scheduling my runs is the only way I know I will have time.
There is something to be said for being mentally ready to take the challenge on of running every day for a month. Planning your start date and marking it on the calendar will help you to mentally prepare for your month of running. A big part of being a successful runner has nothing to do with your physical attributes but instead with your mental preparedness. Being mentally ready can really pay off. For more mental tips, you can also check this article: From Couch Potato To 5k – Mental Tips For Running Beginner.
Slow and Steady
A lot of runners make the mistake of rushing through their run. I know that sounds a little counterintuitive to say you are “rushing” through a run but you can. If you are consistently breathing hard that means you are pushing yourself too hard which can result in injury. When you push yourself to hard the run becomes less enjoyable and feels more like work than play. Slow and steady wins the race. It is far better to slow it down and cover less ground than it is to race yourself to the finish line and wind up just giving up because your body gets worn down.
Time VS Distance
Setting clear goals each day for the amount of time you will run can be more beneficial than clocking the distance. For example saying “I am going to run for 30 minutes today” is far more advantageous than committing to run 5 miles every day. Committing to 30 minutes of running is a lot easier to squeeze into your schedule than it is to clock distance. You can fun for 30 minutes this week than run for 3K next week. You can do both but should start out clocking your time not your distance.
Speaking of Time
Stagger your times to get the most rest periods in between. For instance if you run at 6am today than run at 4pm tomorrow so you can maximize your rest periods. Staggering your times between runs each day will give you more of an opportunity to recuperate between runs.
Switch it up
To reduce the chance of injuries switch the surface that you run on. For instance one day pavement is fine, next day do grass, day after switch to a track and even get on the treadmill a couple of times a week. Switching up the surface that you run on will prevent overuse injuries.
Let’s face facts running the same loops can be very boring and when you get bored (since you will already be tired from running every day) you are less likely to stick to your guns and make it through the month of runs. Drive out of town and run somewhere you never have been before. You do not have to go too far to have a completely different experience.
Get Your Groove On
Bring your IPod/MP3 player after you have downloaded some motivational music (think Rocky theme) that will help the time pass while you run. Remember that mental commitment? The mental part of your run will be glad you brought along some tunes to listen to.
It is good to challenge yourself and push past the point of being tired but it is never good to push past the point of recovery. Give yourself a break once in a while and sleep in and rest. Your body needs the time to recover. Hot baths with Epsom salt can help loosen the muscles and subside the aches.
Make a Deal
I make deals with myself. I will think “if you make it through this last 10 minutes than you can get your hair done” or some other reward plan. If you make a deal with yourself it helps to self-motivate you. It is okay to bargain away the desire to just quit.
People run for a slew of different reasons. Some run so that they can train for an upcoming event. Some run so that they can take care of their bodies and other run just for the feeling of escape for stress and worry. No matter what the reason is you run by following the tips above you can make that 30 day mark with ease. Remember:
• Be mentally prepared
• Pace yourself
• Be kind to your body
• Have FUN!
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