How to Start Running: Establish a Fitness Mindset
Your Mindset Matters
You wrote down your goals, created a training plan, and bought new shoes.
But something keeps getting in the way for you to run consistently. Or it’s getting harder and harder for you to convince yourself to get out of bed every morning to get your run in.
You can overcome these mental obstacles by changing your mindset.
Your “why” or reason for running might be to run so that you can get healthier. But how do you keep yourself on track? A training plan tells you what to do but your mindset is what will convince you to head out the door. The key to changing your mindset is to eliminate as many excuses or distractions as possible.
The key to changing your mindset is to eliminate as many excuses or distractions as possible.
Accountability partners, social groups and wearable technology are all great ways to keep you motivated so that you can reach your goals. Whether it’s laying out your clothes the day before or connecting with other runners, find ways to keep your head in the right place. The results will speak for themselves.
- Schedule Your Runs
Whether you use a wall calendar, planner, or your smartphone, schedule your runs to make them “non-negotiables”. If you run at the same time every day, you’re creating a routine that will stick with you even after you reach your goals.
- “Check-in” With Social Media
Love it or hate it, social media is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Post a status, selfie, or update your story showing that you went running. Once you post on social media, you’re letting all your friends know that you’re committed to a new lifestyle.
- Prep Your Clothes
Make the transition as seamless as possible. The less you have to think about doing something, the less likely you are to make excuses.
If you run after work, have your clothes laid out somewhere close to the door so you immediately see them as soon as you get home. Another option is to take your running clothes with you and change before you get on the road.
If you’re a morning runner, prepare your clothes the night before so you can easily put them on and head out the door. Or better yet, go to sleep in your running clothes so you have no excuse when you wake up.
Do whatever it takes!
- Local Running Stores
There are plenty of local running stores that host social runs during the week. These stores are great because the owners and employees are usually runners themselves and can offer you advice on training plans, techniques, and the best running gear.
If you’ve never heard of Meetup, you’re missing out. It’s a great way to meet people that have common interests. It’s also a great way to find fellow runners. You can search for groups based on age, running levels, location, etc.
- Social Media
Again, social media is a great tool that can be used for a variety of things. Post a status that you’re looking to start or join a running group. You’ll be surprised at how many people are also interested in running.
When in doubt, Google has your back! Just search for running groups in your area and you are bound to find something. Check out groups like Road Runners Club of America, Moms Run This Town, or Black Girls Run. All of these groups have local chapters across the nation.
- Nike Run Club
This app, along with many others, is useful for keeping track of your runs. You will be able to see how you’ve improved and earn rewards along the way. You can also add your friends and compete with them for the most miles in a week or month. Even if you don’t want to compete, friends can get alerted when you go for a run and cheer you on.
- Apple Watch
These days most people have an Apple Watch. It is a great fitness tool for new runners because it allows you to track your runs, alert others when you’ve finished a run, and compete in challenges.
Even if you don’t want to compete, you can always check on your friends by looking at their activity ring to see if they were active today. And because the Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone, you have the ability to download your favorite running apps if you aren’t a fan of their built-in workout app.
Fitbit is another way to connect with friends and people all over the world through the app’s social groups. The Fitbit is great for new runners because while you can track your runs, they also have challenges that focus on the number of steps you take throughout the day. This helps you work on staying active even on your rest days!
Try incorporating some of the ideas above to hold yourself accountable and establish a fitness mindset. It won’t be easy at first, but after a while, your runs will be more consistent and stay a part of your daily routine.
Grab your shoes and head out the door. You’re ready to start running!
How to Start Running Blog Series: