As a runner, you often set big goals. You may have set your goal to complete your first half marathon or an array of running events. But what happens when you achieve these goals? It isn't uncommon to lose motivation and fall off the bandwagon.
If this sounds like you, you may have focused too much on the outcome. So, how about we set some goals on the process instead? Setting process-orientated goals will enable you to achieve small but frequent victories.
Healthy habits will boost your consistency, and consistent runners are the most successful.
Here are six tips to help you get on top of your running habits.
Run in the AM
It's often tough to log those km's. You've got study commitments, work, family, friends and a plethora of additional obligations. By the end of the day, you're tired, and you want to wind down ahead of sleep.
The solution? Make running the first thing you do each day! For some of you, that may mean a jog in the neighbourhood while for others, a jog to work.
You will feel accomplished before the day has even begun, and you will get addicted to the morning rush of endorphins.
Include Strength Training
What's better than just running? Seeing yourself improve. A great source of motivation, stronger performances are the direct result of putting in the extra work.
Some essential strength exercises will help you improve your overall speed and endurance. Our suggestion? Get at least 2 - 3 strengthening sessions in per week.
Warm-up Before Running
The high impact and repetitive motion of running will tighten muscles, so it is imperative to focus on warming up your muscles correctly to reduce the risk of injury.
Try some leg swings and dynamic exercises ahead of your run, and if you've had shin splints or think you're at risk of the injury, make sure you wear a Solushin for 30-mins to an hour to ensure you're preparing your legs for the run.
Stretch After Running
In addition to this, make sure you stretch or use a foam roller on your chest and back. You may not realise it, but you use your arms more than you think!
Get Enough Sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep is not only crucial to your running but your overall health. Your body and mind both recharge, allowing your body to repair all the damage done from your exercise.
So, how do you know if you're not getting enough? If you're falling asleep during meetings or if you're clocking off as soon as your head hits the pillow; that may be an indication. Most people need six to nine hours per night; do your best to get the right amount in for you.
Looking for a good sleep and activity tracker? Try the Oura Ring.
It's important to stay well-nourished when running. Leading obesity researcher, the top-selling author of the Interval Weight Loss (IWL) diet and Australian National 400m runner, Dr Nick Fuller, wants you to avoid fad diets.
"The IWL plan enables a runner to achieve their goals with running while maintaining energy and vitality," says Dr Fuller, "fad diets will give you a short-term result on the scale but long-term pain when you regain it. And you won’t have the energy needed to train at your optimal."