Part 1 of this series focused on the climber-specific benefits that can be attained by adding some weekly running into your fitness regimen. Todays post will focus on finding motivation to do it – whether you’re new to running and wondering how to get started, an established runner who needs a pick-me-up, or a New Year’s Resolution drop-out looking to get back on the wagon. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with just a little dose of motivation! Here’s a few ideas…
1. SMARTPHONE APPS- The MapMyFitness App for my iPhone is awesome. It records my distance, so I can run wherever my legs take me and still keep up with my “stats.” It records distance, average speed, and tells me my split times at half mile intervals. (It can also be used as a weight loss tool to estimate calories burned for running as well as numerous other activities.)
2. MUSIC – I don’t like hearing myself breathing heavy (makes me think I’m tired…) so I like having music to drown out my wheezing. But most importantly, choosing songs at the right tempo can really put a spring in your step. I’ve got a couple of different playlists, mostly in the funk/hip hop/acid jazz genres, but I’m also a big fan of Pandora radio stations (except for the ads…)
3. NEW SHOES – The average life span for a running shoe is 300-400 miles, depending on running surface and body weight. If you can’t remember the last time you’ve replaced your kicks, now is probably the time! The hubby and I both got new shoes for Christmas, and I was able to immediately tell a difference in comfort and how my body felt during and after a run.
4. FIND A FRIEND – It’s easier to make something a habit if you’ve got a friend that wants to do the same. You’ll (hopefully) be less likely to leave your friend hanging than you would yourself, not to mention that the time goes by faster when you have some one to
huff and puff talk with.
5. RECORD BOARD – We don’t write down all of our times, but our household keeps a running total of our personal bests on a whiteboard by the door to the garage. (We also have a “stroller division,” as a giant toddler easily adds 4-5 minutes on even my fastest of days!) Our family enjoys a little friendly competition, so it’s extremely motivating to get a glimpse of the current “time to beat” on your way out the door.
Remember you don’t have to rattle off a 5k straight off the couch on Day 1. Your body will be much kinder to you in the long run (pun intended…) if you ease in to it – run a little, walk a little, run some more, walk some more. Above all else, stay consistent, and eventually your new running program will be part of your weekly routine. And who knows – you may even find yourself jonesin’ to add one of those 26.2 bumper stickers on the back of your car…Or you might realize that you’re plenty happy enough just being a climber/mother/hiker/etc that also happens to run. Either way you’ll be healthier and probably feel better about yourself. 🙂
What does everyone else do for cross training? Run, bike, swim – or all three? Is it something you’re passionate about, or something you do mostly for the health benefits? If it’s the latter, how do you stay motivated to get out the door when you don’t feel up for it?