If only getting addicted to running was as easy as getting addicted to smoking, drinking coffee or stress eating chocolate after a bad day.
I actually have a few tips for making running a habit, maybe you could even even replace smoking or stress eating half the kitchen cupboard with a short run around the block- you’ll feel better for it, trust me.
1. Find a trigger
First off find your trigger. Your trigger will form your habit.
Think about it. Trigger- feeling stressed out / habit – smoking/eating
I have a couple of triggers now, which include: bad or busy day, feeling sad, worried about something, stuck for an idea, can’t sit still, see someone else running and feel jealous.
Your trigger could be an alarm tone that’s different, it could be the day of the week or a feeling.
2. Sign up for a race
Find a charity that you care about and ask for sponsorship. However, tell people that if you don’t complete the race in X time or if you don’t complete it at all, they’ll get their money back and the charity will get zilch. Now there’s your motivation to get running.
Write a running plan for the week on Sunday night. Stick to it. Tell your partner or friends about the plan and tell them if you don’t do it you’ll do something like buy them a drink in the pub, give them money, double your mileage the next day etc.
4. Reward yourself
After a run reward yourself with something you enjoy- maybe not that processed cookie though. Watch an episode of your TV program, have a long bath, enjoy a new protein shake.
5. Run every day
This is something I just heard on an old NMA radio podcast. Doug was running at least 1.5 miles every day as part of a challenge and had done that for around 80 days. Apparently it takes about 30 days to form a habit, so running a little everyday should get you started.
After your first race when you get that runners high I promise there will be no stopping you from tying up your trainers and hitting the streets. You’ll be a running junkie in no time!