So you have been promising yourself for weeks …(months…) you would get fit and take up walking, joining or a little bit of both. Some days we need a little more of a push out the door than others, so just like your running programme, you should also have a plan to maintain your motivation to run. With brighter nights and warmer mornings, there is really no better time not to give it a go…!  Here are some helpful tips to get you going…

Make It Routine

Test the waters. Start with one or two days per week. Knowing you have the other five mornings to snooze makes getting up early less painful. And to stay motivated, make sure you can get to bed on time the night before a crack-of-dawn call, or you risk skimping on sleep.

Lay it out.

Set out your clothes, shoes, water bottle, and reflective gear the night before to eliminate excuses and get out the door quickly. And put your alarm across the room—jumping out of bed to turn it off makes it harder to hit the snooze button.

Make a date. 

Nothing keeps you from going back to bed like knowing someone’s waiting for you. Good conversation with running friends almost makes you forget that you are running at zero dark thirty on a cold morning.  Finding a local running club or getting friends or family to run with you is a good way to start and stick with running. You can use each other to motivate and push each other on.

Give it time.

All habits feel awkward at first. Since it requires resetting your body clock, morning running may require a little longer than most—at least three or four weeks—to sink in. Consider trying this habit in the spring and summer months, when weather and darkness are less likely to interfere. (And morning runs aren’t right for everyone, so re-evaluate after a month or two.

Write It Down

If you are new to running sometimes you feel you may be going backwards or just making no progress at all, which can leave you deflated. Keeping a training log or running blog is a good way to track your progress and help you stay motivated. You might just look back at it and remind yourself just how far you’ve come, and how much more you can achieve!

Treat Yourself

Every now and then, treat yourself to some new running gear, such as a new shirt, or a massage (this also helps with injury prevention) as a reward for your hard work. This might make you feel energized and revive your commitment to training.

Set Yourself Goals

Staying with the programme is key in order to progress, and making and achieving incremental weekly targets towards your overall end goal will help ensure gradual improvement and renew motivation each week. For example, aiming to beat your previous personal best time or distance each Friday.

Remember The Health Benefits

Make sure you remind yourself of the health improvements you’re making with every run. Step on the scale and check your weight, think about how much more energy you have, and how you now have a healthy new way to relieve stress.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Sometimes no matter how much you plan to run, life can get in the way – you get stuck at work, or you’re really tired, or you simply don’t have time. Don’t beat yourself up just because you don’t stick to the exact schedule. Sometimes a rest day can benefit you more than a workout. All of us have bad days or missed days, so just accept that and get back on track with your programme.

More importantly make sure you have fun! Don’t make running another stress in your life and enjoy it!