So, now that the air is getting a bit warmer, and Spring has finally arrived,(Officially) are you feeling a little guilty at not running the way you were used to before the snow began to fall?
Well, I’ve been there with you. There have been times in the past where I succumbed to the temptation of the snooze button more often then I’d like to admit. I went as far as preemptively laying out my running clothes, shoes, headphones, and all of my other must-have running gear, the night before. Trying my best to cover all basis, I synced my favorite running playlists, and go to sleep dreaming of my feet pounding the pavement in the morning — this is the best way to start my day, or at least it was.
Life can get pretty hectic when you have a demanding job, a family, pets, and various extracurricular activities, but you know that you feel on top of your game and like the best version of yourself when you’re able to get a run in. For me, and I’m guessing like you, running isn’t just another item on an endless to-do list — it’s our favorite part of the day, and it makes you feel alive. Running is non-negotiable, or at least it was back in the fall. But I learned it’s important to anticipate life’s curveballs and have a plan B in place in case your scheduled workout gets derailed. Alarm clock mishaps, inclement weather, meetings that run late, family obligations...all of these have the power to throw off your running routine. And they’re the oldest excuses in the book of “Reasons Why I Skipped My Run Even Though I Love Running and It’s My Favorite Part of the Day!”
Much like shoes, it’s out with the old and in with the new when it comes to excuses. We all know to retire shoes when they’ve logged around 300 miles, so it’s time to retire the typical excuses you’ve been using for far too long.
If you like to run after work, there are naturally some obstacles in place that can make a regular run difficult to maintain on a regular basis. Let’s face it, I don’t like to leave work if what I wanted to get accomplished for the day remains unfinished. I’d rather have my plate cleared so that I can start fresh the next day, ready for what that day’s workload delivers. But that means skipping my after-hours runs or if I do get it in, I’m feeling rushed or I may scale back my run time so I’m not neglecting my family obligations as well.
While you may love running after work, at this time in your life that running schedule might feel untenable. You have two options here: gradually train yourself to become a morning runner, or proactively block off time on your calendar a few days a week after work. Seeing the blocked off space in your calendar might serve as a gentle reminder to make the most of your time at the office and really focus on the most important tasks. Nowadays, it’s possible to fill your entire day with to-dos, but try honing in on the things that absolutely must get done every day. You’ll likely find there are things that can wait until tomorrow, so you can lace up and hit the road guilt-free. Then you’ll come in energized and refreshed the next day, ready to rock.
If you’re trying to get back in the grove of running again, but you're feeling a bit down on yourself because your gait is not what it used to be prior to taking some time off, don’t fret it. Especially if you're competing with your work environment. I know, I’ve been there and my job requires me to travel from time to time to show my face and press the flesh so that we maintain good client relationships. But that also can play havoc with my wishful routine of running on a reg. basis.
If you’re feeling down on yourself about a “slow” pace, not running is probably the worst thing you can do! Think back to why you fell in love with running in the first place. Think of how you feel before, during, and after a run. With the advent of so much running technology, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the numbers game. In order to get back to where you were, it’s time to lace up and get back out there. Running for the sake of running is sometimes just what you need to snap yourself out of a funk, so make a plan to get back out there regardless of your pace. That doesn’t mean you should not be aware of how you are doing, pace wise, or how much distance you are putting behind you. In fact, that’s probably just the opposite of what you should be doing if you’re trying to get back into the running, swing of things again. If you don’t have a good activity monitor or better yet, one that has a reliable heart rate monitor incorporated in its tec-based architecture, you should have one. A good reliable one is the Fitbit Alta HR Activity Tracker It Automatically tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes & hourly activity. While being of the newest in the Fitbit line it has the new Purepulse heart rate monitoring technology so that you can better track your calorie burn, gauge exercise intensity, and see resting heart rate trends.
You know that no matter your speed, style or where you start, you end up in a happier place when you run. You feel like the best, most confident version of yourself when you make you're running a priority, again. Hopefully, some of these solutions are just what you need to break free of the day-to-day things that have been holding you back so you can get back to doing what you love: running.
See you on the trails!