Running was everything to me last year; however a mild shin splint and a sore knee completely put fear in to my heart and completely turned my mind against the thought of running. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d Google searched my heart out for ideas on dealing with a sore knee or how to avoid shin splints but the lazy bug bit me and I never looked back.
Fast forward to 2014 and I started strength training again with my mother and instantly became obsessed. Cardio rarely crossed my mind and if it ever did it was just to hop on the elliptical or go for a walk around my neighborhood. Yet in still, photos from 2013 had reminded me of all the progress I had made from doing both cardio (running) and strength training. That little voice in the back of my mind reminded me that due to my body type, I needed to incorporate more rigorous cardio.
In walks running. Le sigh. Just the thought of running turned my stomach. I think I was more afraid of hurting myself again and just allowed that main excuse to be the reason why I did NOT want to go for a run. However, watching my mother train and run in the Pittsburgh Marathon helped respark my running bug.
With that being sad, I’ve come up with 5 tips on how to light that runner’s spark…again.
- Log Off. Shut Down. Go Run. Put down that smartphone. Shut off that computer. Turn off that HDTV and put on your running shoes and get outdoors. My phone was a huge problem for me when it came time to start running again. I would often get lost in the addicting, yet unproductive world of social media and look up and a few hours had passed and the sun was slowly setting and there went my motivation.
- Schedule It. For all my organized folks out there, writing things down is a must. I know once I write something down, it usually has a high significance in my life and it needs to be completed in a timely manner. So I started scheduling my runs and holding myself accountable when I would slack off and skip them. Make running a priority, today.
- Run with a friend – Make It Fun! Running with a friend is a great way to catch up rather than texting for an hour or even throwing back a couple drinks. Also, download a few running apps such as NikeRunning and join challenges that will help keep you motivated. P.S. Nike Running is amazing because it helps keep track of your runs which will help reinforce the habit, especially when you’re trying to get back into it.
- Slow & Steady Wins The Race. This tip might be the most important tip out of the 5. I know after a few runs, we all might get excited about getting back in to running and even might overdo it. Heck, I know how I am and I usually tend to overdo things. However, my knee is my baby and I have injured it before during my teenage years playing softball and tend to take things a bit easy at the first sign of pain. With that in mind, I’ve started to ease myself back in to running. I only run for short periods of time, stretch before and after and will soon invest in new running shoes. Check out the Couch25K app, it is perfect for easing back in to running.
- Reward Yourself. Rewarding yourself is important and will help to keep you motivated. To further keep myself accountable, I place a dollar in a jar every time I complete a run. After a month has passed, I will either use the money to reward myself to a nice pedicure or new fitness gadget or place those funds in my savings for an even bigger award at a later date.
Also always remember to document your journey, whether that’s through a blog like this or a journal or even pictures. Regardless of what your end goal is, it will be great to have memories for when you are lacking motivation or just want to see how far you have come.
Lastly, I’m currently training for my second 5K, it is the Pittsburgh Great Race which will take place on September 28 of this year. I’m planning on doing a weekly blog of my highs and lows during my training. If you are on Nike+ Running, be sure to add me just search for Erricka Hager.
Great runners aren’t born, they’re remade.
Peace and Love ❤