Running is one of the oldest sports known to humans. It is assumed the ability to run was developed by our ancestors approximately 2.6 million years ago to hunt animals. Nowadays, in the so-called “sitting age”, running is above all helping to maintain our cardiovascular as well as mental health. But sometimes, we become carried away by the fast phase lifestyle where we forget to include cardiovascular activities into our packed schedules.
Many times it occurs that we feel too tired and not motivated after a long workday in the office. Skipping a workout once isn’t a problem, but skipping it twice or three times can quickly become a habit. To avoid such habits to develop we have 6 suggestions on how to overcome mental barriers and find the motivation to keep running in your schedule
1. Do running first thing in the morning
It may sound harsh, but running in the morning has a lot of benefits compared to running in the evening. In addition to ticking it off your daily to-do list, running in the morning will have beneficial effects on your performance in the office. Many people think running or any other exercise will make you tired, but on the contrary, it makes you more awake and energetic due to the high blood rate and more oxygen in your brain.
If done before breakfast, it also helps to burn fat faster, because the body uses the storage of fat instead of food to get energy. So if you are on a mission of losing some weight, this is the best way to do it. Just don’t forget to drink water. Before you say no, try it!
2. Set a goal
We all run with a different purpose. Some people prepare for the marathons, some prepare for longer expeditions some want to lose weight and some just want to stay fit. The point is to set a goal you want to reach and track your progress on the journey. It will help you stay motivated and on track. Let success drive your motivation!
3. Be progressive
Especially if you are a beginner or you took a long pause from running. In order to get back on track, start firstly with walking. Your muscles have to adapt and gain strength and for that they need time. If you start with running immediately, your joints and muscles could get injured quickly, which can set you back and decrease your motivation to start all over again.
It is also advised to track your heart rate. To get recommended heart rate for your age subtract your age from 220 to get your maximum heart rate. If you want to get the best results to multiply this number by 0.65 and 0.85 to get an interval in which your running will be the most beneficial for your body (see the example below). It depends on your preferences where in the interval you want to be. Higher the intensity, less time you need for your run.
A person who is 30 years old should calculate the intervals in the following way:
- (220 - 30) x 0,65 = 123 (low-intensity cardio - incline walking, fast phase walking or light running - also depends on your condition) constant movement for a longer period (30-45 min)
- (220 - 30) x0,85= 162 (high intensity cardio - sprints) done in intervals and in shorter time (up to 20 min)
When you do all the calculations make a list, notepad, or use an app to track your progress (avg. heart rate, distance, time, average speed, and energy used), where you should keep one variable constant to have the best track of your progress.
4. This is the time for you
In fast-phased life, we easily forget about the most important thing - ourselves. Let the runtime be the time for you. Forget about your daily problems and rather think about yourself, search for solutions, and not problems. Turn on the music or your favorite audiobook and kill two birds with one stone. Learn, develop, and become more successful!
5. Eat properly
The saying goes “you are what you eat”. In order to feel better before and during your running session, your food has to contain the right amount of macronutrients. Avoid fatty and sugary foods, and rather search for healthy alternatives. Eating unhealthy will directly affect your condition, where you’ll feel tired and without any energy.
Eat enough of complex carbohydrates which will gradually give your body energy during the workout. Nowadays, also fast food can be healthy with some small twists. Go for meals containing a lot of vegetables, protein (meat, eggs, or hummus) and complex carbohydrates (multi-grain bread or pasta, non-fried potatoes, or oats). If your eating habits are in order, your progress will be much faster, which will keep you to stay super motivated.
6. Have a running partner
There is no better motivation than a classic “kick in the ass”. When all other points fail, there is always someone who will motivate and support you before and during your workout. When he/she fails to find motivation, be there for him/her and return the favor!