Love is in the air this February 14th – but whatever your relationship status, we think it’s time to celebrate the passion we all have in common: our love for running.
We absolutely adore getting laced up and outdoors, but we’ve come up with 10 easy ways to help you love running even more – yes, it’s really possible!
And if you’ve fallen out of love with running? Struggling to get going or stuck in a rut? Then definitely read on and our top tips will help you reignite that flame.
PLANNING FOR SUCCESS
We love a plan, and let’s face it: a good run is often a planned run. Check the weather forecast, work out the best time of day to head out and make sure you’re properly fuelled and hydrated. Set yourself up for success by considering your work or study schedule and other responsibilities, too. No goal was ever achieved without a plan!
SIGN UP FOR A RACE
Committing to a challenge – and then talking about it to family, friends or even on social media – are two strategies proven to help runners achieve their goals. Printing out your event confirmation and training schedule and putting it somewhere you can see it every day also makes it feel more real, and can work as a powerful motivator. And if you’re going to run, make it a Great Run 👟😉
MAKE A NEW PLAYLIST
High-energy tunes can really help get your mind in gear and your legs pumping. Add all your guiltiest pleasures and turn the volume up, or pop on a podcast or an audiobook if that’s more your thing. Just make sure you stay alert to your surroundings – perhaps save the headphones for days when you know you won’t be out late or on busy roads.
MIX IT UP
Always run outdoors? Give the treadmill a try. Usually stick to a steady pace? Maybe add in some interval training. If you find yourself running the same routes week in and week out, try something different: Google the most beautiful runs in your local area, or travel to the coast or the woods and immerse yourself in nature. You know what they say: a change is as good as a rest!
Running is enough of a challenge without kit that’s too tight, too baggy or just plain uncomfortable. Treat yourself to some new leggings, and check when you last upgraded your trainers – if you’re getting towards the 500 mile mark, it could be time for a new pair. With new gear to put on, you’ll find yourself looking forward to getting changed and getting out there in no time!
DO IT FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Committing to raise money for a good cause is a great way to reframe your runs. Not only does it give you an extra push to train, but it’s also a hugely rewarding experience. There are so many worthy organisations out there, the only tough bit is choosing which one. In need of some suggestions? We have plenty – just take a look here!
TAKE A BREAK FROM THE METRICS
Try taking a run without technology: no apps, no obsessing over pace, no posting on social media. Metrics have their place, and are definitely a valuable tool in your training regime, but go too far and it’s easy to lose track of the important stuff: your body and how it feels. Technology can be an unwelcome mental distraction, too: how am I doing? Too fast or too slow? Wow, what a view – I should take a photo! Running without technology, even just every once in a while, can feel liberating – try it.
TREAT RUNNING AS YOUR ‘ME TIME’
Instead of looking at your run as a job to be ticked off your To Do list, try thinking about it as a chance to check in with yourself. Time to think, time to decompress – or if that’s too much of a stretch (running is a challenge, after all!), perhaps build in some rewarding ‘me time’ afterwards. Need an excuse for a long hot soak in the tub? You’ve got it.
REMEMBER THAT TOUGH RUNS HAVE THEIR PLACE
Running isn’t about perfection – we’re going to have good days and bad days. However, a bad run can feel like a failure, and that can threaten our love for getting out there. Don’t let it. Remind yourself that the hard runs have an important lesson to teach us about perseverance and building physical and mental resilience. Bank that knowledge in order to run further, faster and to keep going when it really feels like a struggle.
Running doesn’t have to be a solo sport, and you can share the love by running with friends, joining a running club, entering events and sharing incredible achievements together. There’s a phenomenal, super-friendly running community online – why not check out the Great Run Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds or take a look at our Strava group for a start?
To connect with Facebook and Strava groups for a specific Great Run Series event, find your Great Run here.