How to make running a routine
Getting started is always the hard bit. Making running a habit will take time, as learning and adopting any new behaviour (such as exercise) requires effort and reinforcement. Scientific research claims it takes 60 days or 2 months to form a habit.
That’s why it’s important to recognize that starting a new routine like running won’t happen overnight and that you’ll need to schedule time and energy to make it a part of your life.
Here are a few tips to help make running stick and become a regular part of your life.
Make a Fitness Plan
Decide what you plan to do for the coming day, week and month. Make a note of what you did, on what day with times and locations. Start with may be one or two days in the first week and schedule other activities around your run.
Having specific cues associate with your running routine will help reinforce the behaviour. If you can, run at the same time of day and start with the same routine. Place your running gear out in advance. Listen to the same music to get you in the mood.
Develop a support team
Having others actively support and cheer you on will go far in making your habit stick. Whether it’s your non-running friends and family, a training partner or even a mobile app, having others to depend on will help provide the motivation and accountability to keep you running. It also allow you to share your success and learn from the experience of others.
Rewarding yourself will help reinforce the learned behaviour. You could enjoy a smoothie, take a bath or watch favourite TV show. Maybe a longer term goal could be new trainers or a massage.
Don’t be afraid to fail
There will be times when you simply can’t run. Don’t stress over short term or occasional failures. Remember that developing a new habit takes time and it’s the long term that matters most.