We’ve all heard the saying that consistency is key, and that applies to pretty much every area of life.
Your running life is certainly no exception.
If you want to make progress toward your running goals, no matter what they are, the best thing you can do is to train consistently.
If Only It Was That Easy
It’s one thing for me to say that you need to be more consistent with your training. It’s quite another for you to actually do it!
Between work, family, and the many other obligations of life, finding time to do anything “extra” can be virtually impossible.
To paraphrase Mircale Max from the Princess Bride, virtually impossible means that consistent training is still, in fact, possible.
Is it easy? No. Not hardly.
But is it possible? Absolutely.
Strategies to Become a More Consistent Runner
On their own, none of these strategies are likely to be the silver bullet to improving your consistency. But if you combine a few (or all) of them, there is no doubt in my mind that you WILL become a more consistent runner.
- Schedule Your Runs: If your plan is to run when you have time, you will never have time. Put your runs on your calendar and treat them like any other appointment that you have, i.e., don’t cancel unless it’s a true emergency.
- Get Up Earlier: If you’re not a morning person, this probably is not what you wanted to hear. That said, in my experience, life very rarely gets in the way of a 5 am run. Try to grab a few miles in the evening and life might get the better of you. Get your miles out of the way early and then deal with whatever happens during the rest of the day.
- Make It a Family Affair: If the kids aren’t old enough to stay home by themselves while you go run, why not bring them along? Older kids can ride their bikes and the little ones can jump in a jogging stroller and enjoy the ride.
- Invent Time: Hands down, this is my favorite one. How much time do you waste per week waiting for the next thing on your schedule? What do you do when you drop the kids off at dance class or soccer practice? Sit around and scroll Facebook on your phone? What if you went and ran for that hour instead? I’m also a huge fan of the run commute (running to/from work), taking a runch (running on your lunch break), and literally running errands.
- Hire a Coach: Full disclosure, I am a running coach so this may sound a bit self-serving. But there is something about putting your money where your mouth is that helps people follow through with their intentions. If you want to run more consistently, paying a coach to help you create a plan that conforms to your schedule and holds you accountable may make all the difference. When you know that your coach is going to send you a message asking how your run went, you want to be able to tell him or her that you did the workout you paid for, right?
Find What Works Best for You
These are five suggestions that, as a coach, I have seen help my clients be more consistent in their training.
Do they still miss a day or two on occasion? Of course! And you will too.
And you know what? That’s ok!
The key to making progress toward your running goals isn’t perfect adherence to a plan, but training consistently over time.
If you want to become a more consistent runner but aren’t sure where to start, here you go.
Now, it’s up to you to put these tips into practice and see how much of a difference a little consistency can make.