Everyone has those days when they’d rather stay on the sofa and binge watch another series from Netflix. Beverley Hadgraft, author of The Unstoppables: The no-diet guide to weight loss, shares tips guaranteed to help get you off the couch and lacing up your running shoes.
Step outside the door
Sometimes the hardest part of a run is simply getting yourself out the front door. Put on your workout gear and tell yourself you only have to run to the corner. Once you get going, you won’t want to stop.
Phone a friend
It may be easier to talk yourself out of a workout, but you won’t let a friend down. Arrange to meet up with a motivated mate for a run to keep you committed.
If you’re new to running and finding it harder than you expected, know there are three phases to work through. These include The Physical Phase, which is rarely enjoyable but only lasts up to three weeks. The Physiological Phase is when running gets a bit easier, and then you’re on your way to the Addictive Phase when all the happy endorphins start coursing through your body and you love how running makes you feel!
Find realistic role models
Find other runners who are a similar build, fitness level or age to you. Seeing them successfully run ten kilometres will make you believe you can do it too.
Don’t think about purple elephants
You’re thinking about them right now aren’t you? It’s the same idea if you tell yourself “don’t quit” or “don’t give up.” You’ll instantly think about doing those things. Instead, tell yourself you will complete that five kilometre training session or sprint to the next lamp post.
Be like Michelangelo
When asked how he carved his statue of David, Michelangelo is said to have replied David was already in the marble, he just chipped away the excess. Think of your body like a piece of marble. Every training session will chip away at your body leaving you sculpted and in better running shape.
Turn it into a treat
Put $3 into a savings tin every time you run. At the end of three months, if you’ve trained three times a week, you’ll have $100 to splurge on a reward for yourself.
Put your running shorts over the phone
Set an alarm on your phone to wake you up. When you pick up the phone, you’ll already have your shorts in your hand and you’ll feel too guilty to go back to sleep.
Focus on your good traits
Do you talk yourself out of running because you think you’re too old, big or slow? Ask yourself what evidence you have for your thoughts and what you’d tell a friend who expressed the same doubt. Also, ask yourself what you have to achieve by dwelling on negative thoughts and what you could do if you focussed on your good traits like being determined and capable.
Get some sounds
According to researchers at Brunel University, choosing the right music makes exercise more enjoyable and increases endurance by up to 15 per cent.1 Try to find music that’s about 150 beats per minute for running.
Check your results
Every month, do a check to see how much further and faster you’re running. If you feel like opting out of a session, think how it would feel to slip up after all your hard work.
Think how you’ll feel if you complete your run – energised, proud, happy. Now think how you’ll feel if you stay on the sofa – guilty, unhappy and lazy. No contest, is there?
Run towards better health
Many people take up running because they don’t like their body. But if you do that it becomes a punishment. Run because you want to look after your body and think about running towards a healthier, happier you. That way you’re more likely to enjoy it.
Make it exciting
Download a fun app such as Zombies, Run! to help you set goals. The beginner version coaches you to complete five kilometres with a variety of gripping story lines that give you a reason to pick up your speed – you’re either saving the world from zombies or saving yourself by running away from them!
Real Insurance is proud to sponsor the Sydney Harbour 10K and 5K runs. Learn more about the running event on 29 July and our role in the big day.