You can fit running into any schedule as long as you plan carefully, set realistic goals and practice the necessary discipline. Getting into a routine the first few months can be frustrating, but if you set clear goals and remain committed, you will reap the rewards.
Here are some tips to help you design a running schedule that fits your life.
1. Take Time For Yourself. Understand that you are not selfish for setting aside time for your health.
2. Make Running a Priority. If running comes before hanging out with friends or running errands, you won’t put it off. To stay motivated, think about the benefits you gain from running: you enjoy it once you get going, you feel better, you get out in nice weather, and you lose weight.
3. Work Around Other Commitments. When you create your running schedule, always consider the other things you realistically have to do, and allow sufficient time for them. That way, you won’t have to make too many inconvenient adjustments at the last minute.
4. Strategically Plan Your Weekly Training. If Sunday is a quiet day for you, schedule your long run on Sunday and rest on Monday when you have to gear up for your busy week at school or work.
5. Set Your Schedule to Match Your Body Clock. If you wake up with a bolt, maybe morning running is best for you. Or you might prefer a noon run to relieve mid-day stress. Evening is best for runners who prefer to get everything else out of the way first, including work.
6. Schedule Runs as if They Were Meetings. Put your runs on your calendar. If you treat them as important appointments, you will be less likely to postpone or cancel them.
7. Be Consistent. If you want to be a successful runner, you don’t have to train extremely hard, but you do have to be consistent. Avoid things that get in the way of consistency, like alcohol, video games, social media, bad eating habits and risky warm-ups that can cause injury. Consider hiring an experienced fitness coach to help you stay focused and disciplined as well as avoid injuries.
8. Plan a Year Ahead. Plot out an annual schedule. Doing so enables you to participate in races that are of interest to you without disrupting your schedule.
9. Have Fun. Besides its value as an excellent stress reliever, running should be fun. Never lose sight of that. Enjoy it.