Training consistency is the single biggest factor to building success in endurance training. If it were that easy, however, we would all be much better at sticking to our plan. How can you build more consistency in your running?
Check out these tips below
- Start small- You are much more likely to stick with things if you start off small and progress at a reasonable level. Remember running needs to be fun. When you build too quickly it becomes much more physically and mentally stressful. Start smaller than you need to, and give yourself credit for building the consistency.
- Keep track- Utilize some form of calendar to keep track of your training. There are many apps available that you can use. You can use your phone, sync your watch or enter your training in manually. You can also go old school and use paper and pencil. I actually use both. My Garmin Watch automatically syncs to my phone via blue tooth so it takes no effort on my end. I also, love the Believe journal that I got from my husband for Christmas. I love adding in personal, diary like information in the journal as I track my success. I also find the written down information much easier to look back and reflect on.
- Run with friends/groups- Running with others makes running more enjoyable and adds in an element of accountability. Just yesterday, I joined my friend on a run. I was feeling super drained. I may not have complete even 15 minutes if it weren’t for him. I was able to complete my 7 miles and enjoy it through conversation. Much more so, than if I had headed out the door alone. Friends make running easier and more fun. If you don’t know a lot of people around who run. Look into joining a running group. Lots of times, local running stores and clubs will offer weekly meets ups to get other runners involved. In KC we have tons of options and it seems like more and more are being added.
- Mix things up– Like anything, doing the same thing all of the time can be monotonous and boring. So look into ways to mix into some variety into your training. It can be as simple as heading to a new route, trying a new trail. Mix in a new style of workout or find some new friends to join (see #3). Either way, mix things up every once in a while. It will keep it fun and give you something to look forward too.
- Enter some races– I am typically more consistent in my training once I have some races on the calendar. I like to get at least one race in every 4-6 weeks. This again, is another way to break of the monotony of training. I don’t race every event, I definitely don’t taper for each event. It’s still fun, gets me involved with the running community and adds a little bit more fun to a typical training day.
- Schedule your runs- It sounds silly, but schedule your runs into your day. It’s only a priority if you make it. Getting up early can be hard, but its also the best way to get it done before anything else can creep up and get in the way. Another great option is complete your workout before you head home. This again, prevents time from slipping away, you from getting too tired. Get it done, set a time aside that is protected and make it a priority. Once its done, you won’t regret it and you also wont have it lingering over you.
- Run for a cause– Find a race or event that’s benefiting a cause that means a lot to you, is a great way to stay motivated. There are small local races you can enter, or you can check off a bucket list race like Chicago or Boston by raising money for one of their charity groups that also guarantee entry. Then you are running for something bigger than yourself. Just make sure its a charity or event that means something to you so that it doesn’t become another thing that stresses you out and makes you not enjoy the process. Another option is a group called, I run for Micheal. This group matches runners with people who have different needs and maybe can not run for themselves. You can also run for sibling who can sometimes become the unsung heroes of the family. Checkout the page for more information.
- Rethink your “off days”- When you are building a routine, breaking that routine can have a domino effect. So start rethinking your “off day” as more of active recovery days. Use the time to do something productive, go for a walk or cross train. I like to continue to add in workouts like yoga or strength training so that I can continue to add something to my training journal. Sometimes its as easy as an Epsom salt bath, my air relax boots and light stretching. I am still filling that time with run related activities.
- Hire a coach- Any runner can benefit from a coach. Your running coach can help you build consistency, training safely and push you to the next stage in your running journey. A good coach will help you balance your life and running commitments. A running coach is great for runners looking to chase a new distance, new runners who are getting started, runners who are looking to chase a goal time or BQ.
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Move on when you slip up- We are all going to have those days. There is no point in stressing yourself out, or allowing negative self talk to creep in when we miss a day. Sometimes we take breaks because life happens and sometimes we take breaks because we make excuses. Either way, move on.
What are some ways that you have been able to build more consistency into your training?
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