No matter how long you’ve been an active jogger, it can still be hard to get excited about going for a run. Sometimes life gets in the way, with kids or work making it difficult to find the time and energy. Other days it’s just a little difficult to get out of bed in the morning. In order to maintain your running routine, it’s important to take the necessary steps that will help you to not only stay motivated, but also to avoid the excuses that might keep you from going out in the first place.
Time is the most common issue for people who want to run but aren’t able to make a habit of it. Unfortunately for those using the excuse of having too many things to do, everyone has the same number of hours in their day. Phil Thow, who’s been a serious runner for years, says that most of the people who claim they don’t have time to run aren’t framing their schedule correctly. They look at the hours between work and dinner and don’t see how they can possibly drive home, change, run and still have time to eat. If you look at things through that lens, time does seem to be lacking.
What most running enthusiasts have learned is that your schedule is more flexible than you think, and when you start working your day around a quick run in the morning, afternoon or evening, everything else still falls back in to place. People who decide to run during their lunch break and eat at their desks often have more energy during the second half of the day and are able to work more efficiently and get home earlier. In that situation, people are actually creating more time in their day by going for a run.
The morning is the best time for many people to get a jog in and yet somehow the easiest for others to write off as an impossibility. “I’m always surprised by how many people think it’s too difficult to get up 45 minutes earlier,” Phil Thow says. Until it becomes routine, waking up early is extremely difficult for most people. Sleep is a precious commodity and many aren’t willing to trade it for anything.
Interestingly, part of the reason people don’t want to get out of bed in the morning is because they aren’t excited about starting their day. If your morning ritual is to wake up, shower and go to work, there’s nothing particularly appealing about those first few hours. Alternatively, once you start to take pride in your running and the health benefits, starting the day with a two-mile jaunt is a great reason to get up in the morning. Not only are you improving your general well being, you’re getting your exercise in first thing so that it doesn’t become a scheduling issue later in the day.
Phil Thow points out that many people who declare they aren’t able to get up early have never tried it. If you turn it into a daily ritual, you’ll likely discover that you didn’t need that extra hour of sleep, and your body and mind stay fresher throughout the day after spending less time in bed and more time exercising. While everyone has their own physiology, it’s fairly common that people are only oversleeping because they aren’t inspired to get out of bed.
Once you find the time of day when you’re actually able to fit in your run, there are still hurdles that need to be overcome. Phil Thow says that even lifelong runners have routines they need to follow or else they might not make it out for their daily jog. If you run in the morning, it’s important to have your athletic wear easily accessible so your tired mind won’t get frustrated and head back to the sheets. If you run at lunch, hold yourself to that routine and don’t skip the exercise every time someone proposes a lunch date. The same goes for people who run with a partner; it’s good to let another person serve as your motivation to get fit, but they can’t be the reason you skip it.
Night runners have more safety issues to contend with, especially depending on the area in which they run. Phil Thow reminds people that they don’t want to put physical activity ahead of their welfare, so it’s very important that people who choose to run after dark always have the proper visibility clothing and know the exact route they plan to take.
Running isn’t a sport that’s only enjoyed by the people who have the extra time – it’s an activity loved by those who create the extra time. When you actually embrace the routine and hold yourself to it, you’ll find that the motivation comes naturally.
Written By – Phil Thow