This post is in partnership with BAND-AID® Brand. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Hi! One of the most common questions I get about running is about motivation. A lot of people want to start exercising or run a race but it’s hard to stick with it. I’m working with BAND-AID® Brand on their #StickWithIt campaign, and I’m going to share some tips on how to stick with running.
I’ve been running for over 8 years now. I didn’t run in high school so it wasn’t a natural part of my life. Luckily, I started running in a way that made me grow to love it. But there have been A LOT Of times when I wanted to quit. A lot.
There’s not ONE secret to not quitting. I’ve had to learn about myself and different ways to keep myself motivated. Sometimes it’s with a goal race, sometimes it’s with pizza. You might have to change your plan as you go along.
It doesn’t matter what works for you – just stick with it!
7 Secrets to Help You Stick with Running (when you want to Quit!)
1. Start off easy.
If you join a bowling league or softball team – you don’t show up on the first day and assume you’re going to be the star player. But for some reason many of us start running thinking we should be able to run 3 miles or 1 mile in under 4 minutes or some other random goal that we thought up based on a combination of social media, movies and the Olympics.
Any time you take up a new exercise or hobby (running included) you should give yourself time to learn, practice and grow.
Start off with an easy pace. Run that pace for a while. Take walk breaks if you need to. Increase the distance of your run when you start to feel like it’s easy. And repeat.
2. Make it fun.
Running can be fun in a lot of different ways. The key is to find how to make running a good time for YOU. Here are some ideas to have fun on the run…
- Make a playlist full of your favorite songs that you only listen to when you run. This way you’ll look forward to it and get distracted by the music.
- Meet up with a friend to run and just enjoy their company. The miles will fly by.
- Run somewhere beautiful. Drive to your favorite park or beach to run. Enjoy all the sights and sounds as you go.
- Join a running club and make new friends.
It doesn’t matter when or where you run as long as it’s fun for you. This will help you stick with it.
3. Have a plan.
One of the best ways to stay on track with exercise is to plan it into your life. You don’t need a complicated training plan. You don’t need to sign up for a race. But you should plan when, where and how much you are running.
I had a friend who would run Monday / Wednesday / Friday – 3 / 4 / 5 miles on those respective days. He just kind of made up that routine and it worked for him. Having a plan, even one as simple as this, can help you stick with running long term.
Put “Run x miles” or whatever your run schedule is in your calendar and show up!
4. Invest in yourself.
Running doesn’t require a lot of equipment but running shoes and good running clothes help. Set yourself up with gear that makes running more enjoyable. Invest in yourself – you deserve it.
A pair of running shoes can last anywhere from 200 to 500 miles depending on the type of shoe. Buy yourself a pair of nice running shoes and commit to run until they have maxed out their mileage.
Also – invest in a runner’s first aid kit with the usual items like BAND-AID® Brand SKIN-FLEX™ Adhesive Bandages and NEOSPORIN®. Make it a runner specific kit with items like an anti-chafing stick and salt tabs.
When you’re armed with a first aid kit – a blister won’t keep you from reaching your goal for that day. If you’re not prepared it’s easy to make excuses and give up. But sticking with it is one of the most important things you can do to improve your running. Obstacles will come – be ready for them.
5. Set yourself up for success.
Make choices in your day and schedule that allow time for running. If you’re a morning person – run in the morning. If you are a night owl – run after school or work. Plan for it. Commit to it. And put yourself in situations where you will be able to stick with it. It’s not fair to yourself if you don’t make time for running and then get angry at yourself for skipping run after run.
This might mean – skipping out on a late night party, rearranging your schedule to fit in a run during daylight hours, listening to a podcast about running instead of true crime… Do what you have to do to make yourself a better, happier runner.
6. Give yourself credit for progress.
Run the entire neighborhood loop with no walking breaks?
Run 3 miles faster than last week?
Keep up with the fast group at your boot-camp?
Every time you hit a running milestone – give yourself credit. Running is hard! You are getting better.
7. Set a goal.
One of the best ways to stick with something is to set a specific, measurable goal. When it comes to running that doesn’t mean you have to run a race or set a new PR (personal record). Running goals can be like other exercise or hobby related goals and have nothing to do with a half marathon (or whatever race pops into your head).
Running goals to keep you on track:
- Run 15 days this month
- Run 4 new places
- Go to your run club 2 times this month
- Start a running journal and update date it every time you run
- Run 1 more mile on your weekend run
I’m working with BAND-AID® Brand on this post because of their #StickWithIt campaign. (But really I think it’s because they know I fall 3 times a year and am in serious need of these!)
They sent me the new BAND-AID® Brand SKIN-FLEX™ Adhesive Bandages which move like a second skin when I run and actually hold for 24 hours, as well as NEOSPORIN® + Pain, Itch, Scar Ointment which helps relieve all my minor scrapes from running.
And while I’m not looking forward to my next inevitable fall, I am impressed with the features of these Skin-Flex™ Bandages…
- Moves like a second skin
- Dries almost instantly
- Provides superior, 24-hour hold
- Lasts through hand-washing <- and I’m assuming my sweat
- Touch-screen friendly on your smartphone or tablet device <- um, my favorite!
Before the company contacted me I already had both products in my medicine cabinet. I’m a big fan. Having a cut or scrape is trouble enough without dealing with random bandaids falling off or worrying about scars.
Plus, I don’t know why but I am always getting cuts and scrapes. Anyone else??
Exhibit A: attack knife from the dishwasher
Exhibit B: one of the many times I fell
Exhibit C: actually… I won’t keep linking to these. Every time I do it people leave comments or send me emails that they don’t want to see a bloody cut. Weird, right?
Anyway. You stick with running and I’ll stick with running too (even when I fall).
Question: What is the hardest part of sticking with exercise for you?
When was the last time you needed a bandage?
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by BAND-AID® Brand. All opinions are my own.