Slacker’s Guide Series: How to Stick to a Running Program

Posted: May 22, 2011 in Motivation, Slacker's Guide Series
Tags: , ,

So you’ve been kicking butt with your running program, recording your runs, getting all fancy with new running gear and sharing your running progress with everyone who’s anyone (that is, anyone on your social networks). And it’s been a whole week and you’ve only taken off that one night to go drinking…oh and that one day your head hurt…and the time you got lost in the parking lot and walked extra, which must count as a workout, right?

If you go on a short vacation, take a break from running and just relax and do your slacker thing.

Ok, so the running routine can get old, especially after the initial excitement wears off and you don’t look like a before and after commercial. And let’s face it, as slackers, we’re not exactly known for stick-to-it-ness. But before you toss your new running shoes to the back of the closet, try these tips to keep you running without getting bored and apathetic:

  • Prioritize. How many things in your life do you really need to do? The key to slacking successfully is to just pick a few things to stick with, and forget the rest. We’re not trying to be rocket scientists or world leaders here, we just wanna get fit and live in a slackerish ease. So forget that gym membership you never use, ditch the extra activities in your schedule and streamline your social life. Unfortunately work will have to stay on the priority list, but other than that, stop committing to all those activities you probably won’t stick with anyways. Just do a few consistently and you’ll be less stressed and have less people’s expectations on your shoulders. This will also garner you social points by preventing you from being that annoying, well-rounded person who does everything.

Running is one of the few things I've stuck with in my life, and I can help you stick with it too.

  • Combine activities. Got a date? Need more time with your kids or family? Take advantage of your relationship and drag the other person on a run with you, in the name of “quality time.” This way you can combine your obligations and expend less time and energy than if you did everything separately. You will get extra points for being a positive influence in another’s life (seriously, running’s one of the best gifts you can give someone, and it’s free).
  • Reward yourself. When it comes down to it, we all enjoy a pat on the back in some form or other. Choose something you enjoy (well, except a bacon burger or box of doughnuts — ok, let’s just say stay away from the food rewards) and give it to yourself once you complete all of your workouts each week. Your gift to yourself doesn’t have to be big, but remember, it’s the thought that counts, and since you’re giving it to yourself, you won’t wanna slack here.
  • Rest. This step should be the easiest for you, but sometimes the honeymoon phase of a new workout plan can make even the most dedicated of slackers googley-eyed and giddy to run for days on end. Even if you don’t want to, give yourself one to two days of rest per week so your body can recover from your runs, and your mind can also vacate the workout circuit. Play video games, lounge, eat, talk, shop or just do nothing on your off days. And before you know it, you’ll be rarin’ to go again (or ok, at least plodding out the door) on your next run.
  1. limenlemons says:

    great blog! went through several posts. noting some tips!

  2. I’ve noticed that I don’t commit very well. I have unfinished paintings, projects that are halfway done… you get the picture. When I began walking/jogging with the intention of eventually being able to run like you’ve mentioned in your other posts. I’d like for running to be one of those things that I actually stick to in life. Your words have encouraged me and I’ve picked up a lot of good things from your other posts. I’m so glad I found your blog! Thanks : )

    • Marnie says:

      I can relate as I have a lot of unfinished books, writing projects, art, business ideas and the list goes on…lol. Luckily running can be addictive and once you get in the habit of it, you will stick with it. After you make it through the first few weeks, you’ll be a dedicated runner, eager to get out and enjoy the next run. I’m glad Runstreet can help and keep me posted on your progress! Happy running;).

  3. Ascentive says:

    I just took 3 days off my running routine for my birthday, today was my last off day. This post made me feel like it’s ok to have those days 🙂 Thanks

    • Marnie says:

      No problem! taking some off days can help you stick to your program better in the longterm. In my experience, when I treat running like a chore and feel obligated day after day with no breaks, I not only get burned out but start to lose the joy of running. So enjoy the days off then have fun when you get back to it;). Happy running!

  4. SimpleP says:

    I’m definitely a slacker, so this site is a great resource for me. Especially since I’m planning to run my first half marathon in the fall. Appreciate all the great info, I’ll be back for more.

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