Haven’t you resolved a hundred times that you will start running on a regular basis? And how many times was the resolution the final point of your regular running? Running is the simplest cardio workout, and it may be a great addition to your gym or home workout sessions. Why do we often fail to act upon our running resolution? Here’s how to set our minds on the running action in five simple steps.

Step 1: The resolution – from general to detail

I guess the first mistake we make is resolving generally that: ‘We will be going for a run regularly.’ What does that actually mean? More or less, nothing. That’s like deciding ‘Someday, I will be rich.’ Well, that’s just perfect, but it does not entail any real plan to follow, which makes it no more than just wishful thinking.

In case of becoming rich, the plan is much more complicated issue than in case of going for regular running sessions. If we really want to make something out of that decision, we should be more specific. Start with how many times a week the ‘regularly’ means to you. And start slow, let’s say twice. Think of when exactly you can go for a run: on what days? In the morning, or in the evening? That’s how for starters you can make a little plan for two running sessions.

Step 2: Stop thinking of a running session in terms of a half-marathon

Another misconception many of us have is thinking of the run in terms of a quite long distance to overcome. ‘Why even bother leaving the house for 15 minutes – that’s not gonna make a workout.’ – Wrong! 15 minutes is just fine to start.

Make it 10, but get out of the house and just run – even if it won’t be a single mile. It’s about the habit, not the distance. Once you make it a habit, you’ll see you’ll be willing to run a longer distance and spend more time running. Take it step by step for long-term effects.

When you want to run to lose some weight, you don’t have to be jogging all the time. Think of sprints or intervals. 15 minutes is just enough if you set your intervals for sprinting alternating with a moderate pace running. Such a short yet dynamic running session may in fact bring better effects than a longer jogging session.

Step 3: Think of where you can run

Think of your neighbourhood and when exactly you can go running. Setting yourself a friendly route is another step in planning. Make sure you will feel safe there, and that nothing or no one will interrupt your running session. Of course, it’s hard to predict every obstacle, but you can avoid at least some of them simply by choosing a proper spot.

Step 4: Make everything ready for the run earlier

That may seem silly, but it actually helps a lot. Before you go to sleep, or before you leave for work, depending on when you are going to run, prepare the clothes and the trainers you will be running in. This will spare you looking for them when you wake up or get back home – the step which may actually distract you and make you feel you’re losing your time.

When everything is ready, you can just change and go out when it’s time for the run. To avoid excuses it’s best to not give yourself time for finding the excuses. Simple plan will do: wake up/come back home, put in something comfortable and go for a little relaxing run. All the other things can be done after that, when you have some new energy and the great feeling that you stick to your resolution.

Step 5: Tune in to something energetic

When it comes to workout, and especially running, music is a powerful factor that can put you in the right mood to start and then keep going. That’s why it is very important to create a playlist that will boost your energy and make you think of something else than ‘how enormously tired you are.’

It is said that the music should be energetic, with the beat that will nicely synchronize with your steps when running. Usually, that will help., indeed. But don’t restrain yourself only to such songs. Think of the pieces which bring positive connotations and boost your energy in general: make you feel stronger, more confident, and put you in a sort of elevated mood.

Final words

I don’t want you to think of these 5 steps as a set of golden rules. That’s what actually helps me, as I am not the eager runner type myself. Try out some of the tips on yourself and check if they actually help you stay on the best track towards your fitness goals.

But try also to find your own tricks. What works for one person will not necessarily work for all of us – that would be something I would call a golden rule in workout generally. Please don’t hesitate to describe your own ideas in the comments.

About Cathy Patalas

The sports soul and the alleged specialist in words of 52Challenges.com. The main 52C Blog writer. A diligent student at the English Department of the University of Wroclaw, majoring in applied linguistics. An ex-acrobat and aerobic gymnast with the 13-year long experience in „training for winning”. A multiple medallist of Poland nationals in acrobatic gymnastics, and academic nationals in aerobic gymnastics. A fan of gymnastics of every existing type. Personally, finds making everyday choices in a healthy lifestyle even more demanding a challenge than making everyday sacrifices in the athlete’s lifestyle.