Anyone can be a runner and reach their running goals, here’s some help to get you out the door…
1. Feed Your Brain To Power Your Body
The brain needs glycogen – that’s it. It’s the body that needs all the other food. Without glycogen, the brain produces serotonin, which makes you sleepy, and stops producing dopamine – your motivator – leaving you with a wall to face. And it’s a tough one to overcome. Fuel up well before a session and for runs longer than 45 minutes, consider carrying a small snack or a carbohydrate-and-water drink mix in a hydration pack, so you can keep your brain alert enough to motivate your body.
2. Let Your Body Power Your Brain
Running actually helps your brain grow, helping it to learn and remember things, while also keeping it young for longer. Taking that bit of time now will keep your brain lively for many more years to come.
3. Promise A Stress-free Day To Body And Mind
Even a short run relaxes muscles and sharpens focus, which helps to reduce tension and make you feel a whole lot better about life. So when you’re feeling down, forcing yourself out for a run will guarantee to make you feel better.
4. Speak Nicely To Yourself
Elite runners and sport scientists have long known the benefits of positive thinking and visualisation. Have a chat with yourself, tell yourself you are strong and you can go the distance. Visualise yourself finishing that 5km, 10km, hour of running or whatever your goal, and feeling great about it, and you will succeed. Doesn’t hurt to smile while you’re running, either!
5. One Month Away From Habit
To settle into a new routine takes 31 days, but every one of those 31 days can be a slog, so here are some tips for overcoming the hard work.
– Set running gear out the night before to inspire you to just get out there for the morning run
– Leave your running shoes – not your slippers – next to your bed
– Call and text friends a couple of hours before your planned run to make sure it’s still on
– Guilt yourself (and your running buddies) into it by sticking reminders and post-it notes around the house…Beeping reminders on your phone.
– Try a running app or training plan and be driven by not wanting to miss a session
Inspired to get off the couch and start running? Here’s are some insights from training guru Dr Lawrence van Lingen on why you too can be a runner.