Is this going to be your year for achieving all of your running goals?
If so, consistency is going to be crucial in helping you succeed. And as I’m fond of saying, consistency is the “secret sauce” to successful running. If you want to run faster, you must run more consistently.
But it’s not always so easy. We all have commitments and demands on our time: family, work, errands and a social life are just a few of the many areas in our life that compete with running.
So how do we find the time to run? And more importantly, how do we become the type of runner that almost always gets in their workout—no matter what?
The secret lies in understanding how to overcome the many obstacles to consistency—and building systems that make running regularly a lot easier.
Step 1: Recognize the Obstacles to Consistent Running
The biggest mistake most runners make is relying on willpower to build new habits or build upon existing habits. The truth is that willpower is not enough. Like motivation, it’s fleeting and unreliable.
In fact, one interesting study showed that willpower is a finite resource that gets depleted the more decisions you make. So if you’re planning to run after a hectic day at work, that decision doesn’t stand a chance! The allure of a home-cooked meal, warm bed or a glass of wine might be too much for you to resist.
Know your personal energy levels and don’t set yourself up for failure by relying on willpower when you know you’re likely to skip a run.
Additionally, runners often try to jumpstart a consistent running streak by attempting a “hail mary”or trying to make huge gains in a relatively short period of time.
You’ll recognize these types of runners. They’re the ones who jump from 10 miles per week to 30 miles. Or they register for 5 races in a single month thinking that races looming on the horizon will somehow convince them to run more consistently.
And for a time, it works! Drastically changing any routine is exciting and makes you feel like you’re progressing quickly.
But soon, these runners will suffer a running injury. Or they simply can’t sustain that level of training. Motivation fades along with their hopes of consistency.
Simply recognizing these barriers to running consistently for long periods of time will help you avoid them. But that’s only half the puzzle.