So how do you start running again after a lazy break? I was looking for a way to motivate myself and also a program to follow. At the same time I was doing some research for a talk I was giving on habit formation and how to make habits stick. (I’ll write about habits in a separate blog).
What I realised was that there really is no such thing as motivation, despite years of thinking “how do I get more motivation?” for various aspects of life. What really makes the difference is:
- Planning and writing it down
- Looking at your plans vs your actions regularly
- Tracking and adjusting where necessary
- Having a buddy (this can just be someone you call once a week to report in)
- Focussing on the good feelings when you finish a run
This is how I used the 5 steps above, everyone will have their own interpretation and method that works for them.
1. Planning and writing it down
I decide to run 3 times a week
- First week – 3 x 1km runs
- Second week – 3 x 1.5km runs
- Third week – 3 x 2km runs
My goal is to get to 5km by the ninth week. I’ll then stay at 5km for a few weeks and reassess my goals. (As of today I’m up to 3.5km and feeling great). I have an entry in my Google calendar every Sunday that lets me know the goal for that week and I use Strava to track my running so it’s an automated process – easy
2. Looking at your plans vs your actions regularly
I am using Strava to track my running so every Monday I check where I am at.
3. Tracking and adjusting where necessary
Every Monday I plan out my runs for the week. Every week can be a bit different depending on other commitments.
4. Having a buddy (this can just be someone you call once a week to report in)
A weekly call is scheduled with a friend where we talk about this and other life/business matters.
5. Focussing on the good feelings when you finish a run
I take a few breaths with my eyes closed and let the endorphins sink in.
I hope you enjoy the process…..