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  • rebeccachidley

I need some help to start running again...

I (like many people) will be using January to kickstart my daily routine after a break over the festive season. One of the main things I will be focusing on will be getting in to running again and finding a way to fit this effectively into my weekly routine. For many of us increasing exercise is a new years resolution but it is important to think about your motivation for setting this goal and being specific about what you want to do and how you are going to do it.

Here are some tips for you to add some substance to your new years resolution (we have used running as our example, but this can be adapted to other activities or goals)

Why do you run? Take some time to identify your why. I have shared some examples but you may have your own why.

  • Improving fitness and all the physical benefits that come with it

  • Stress relief or as a way to mentally recharge

  • Meeting new people

  • Improved self esteem and to feel better about yourself

Motivation to run can also be influenced by these 3 areas:

  • Connection - Knowing how important connection and support is will influence whether or not you stick to your goals. Does being part of a running club work for you? Or just running with a friend? Or are you a solo runner? For some people a mixture of all of these will be beneficial whereas other people have a strong preference to one in particular.

  • Competence - people often drop out of running after a big event that they have been training for and find it difficult to get back into it. Does this sound familiar? Remember that you will have to adjust your goals and rebuild if you haven’t run for a while. Start with shorter distances and times to help you get back into the routine and build confidence. Once you feel competent you can extend your distances and time.

  • Autonomy - This one is often missed by people when thinking about motivation and knowing our why. Do you have a choice over when you run? When is the best time for you? Can you make this work in your daily routine?

Now you know your why and motivation set some goals for your running:

  • Will you focus on distance or time?

  • Are you aiming to run a certain number of times each week?

  • Or will you go out free of performance goals and just enjoy the process?

Now share your why and your goals with others - this level of accountability can help us add an additional layer of commitment as we have talked about it rather than just keeping it to ourselves. In the interest of holding myself accountable! - I will be using Red January to help me get back into a routine with running and other exercise over the next few weeks. In addition I will be focusing less on performance goals and just running to boost my wellbeing and enjoy the process.


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