Ways to Support Your Running Habit
Supporting your running habit amongst the busy demands of life takes concentration. It's fantastic though because the high of running starts to help with that effort; the benefits of time alone with your thoughts, moving outside in all types of weather, the happy lightness of knowing you got your heart pumping faster propel you on to your next run.
But even with those benefits, running still takes intentional support. Some things that have helped me:
-Setting your workout gear out (from socks to headlamp) the night before an early run
-Having a training plan printed out, and checking off those workouts as they are completed.
-Keeping a log of miles run each week (also handy to help with knowing when to replace shoes)
-Drinking water, and other nutritious drinks like water with RealSalt, coconut water, hot teas with lemon juice and honey, homemade chocolate milk and hot cocoa, grass fed milk.
-Lifting weights. I am gaining speed (slowly) as I lift heavier weights. I notice my endurance is much better too. I was able to finish my last half-marathon with a burst of speed uphill to the finish and I felt great afterwards. This surprises me, but I'm so happy about it. I have less of a draggy feeling as I'm running.
-Running in low tread shoes like Altras, or Barefeet. And running barefoot. Strong feet make for better runs.
I've been running for about 3 years. And I had a baby in that time so it's really more like 2.5 years. But I was able to run for the first half of my pregnancy and to my joy I was able to jog a mile four weeks after having our third child. I remember craving running. I had to slowly build up my endurance but wow, it felt so good to move. It still feels good to move and I am learning things about how to run with more structural integrity. The book, "Run For Your Life" by Mark Cucuzzella, M.D., has been so inspirational and instructional.
I'm trying a new thing now, and I'll let you know how it works. In the interest of supporting my running, which I hope to do for a long time, I am taking a break from training for a month and just allowing myself to do yoga, weights, hikes, and a weekly shorter run. Last Saturday I ran a half marathon, my second one, and I am more hooked than ever for these long distances. But I hate running in the dark and cold (which is when I do most of my running in the winter), and I was feeling the need for some pampering.
I hope to run two halfs again in 2022, I loved how it worked in 2021: I ran one in April and I ran one in December. Both were gorgeous trail runs through beautiful country in different weather. I hope to do something similar this next year and in the interest of making that fun and do-able, I'm taking a month long hiatus. I think it will be a good way to increase my longevity in running, but we'll see!
I love learning about how to support good habits, and making life easier, so I hope these help you, too. One thing about running is that its lessons are transferable to other areas of life. What a gift!
Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels