Discipline is the answer. I know it hurts to read it but it’s true. I’m the last person to instruct anyone on discipline but when I look back at what I learned through my 30 Day Running Challenge, that’s what floats to the surface every time.
The only way to be certain I’d get a run in was waking up at 5am and getting on the road, eyes at half mast but still hitting the tar. I wish there was a trick, you know? Something I could find on Pinterest under life-hacks. The reality is there isn’t. As I said in one of my posts on Instagram during the challenge, I fully understand the Nike slogan now. You have to “Just do it”. No magic cookie or elixir, all it is is just you getting up (even when you’re forcing it) and getting out there for your run.
I ran 5km daily (when I didn’t bail) and here are some helpful tools I would pass to anyone trying to complete one of these challenges:
Get the APP immediately. It has all sorts of support to get you on the road and monitoring your progress. The app times your run, measures your distance, shows you how your friends are doing, keeps track of your personal progress and even has a coach feature which can give you milestones to help you reach a certain goal.
Support From FAF
If you can rope your friends and family to join in, the challenge is a lot easier, especially on the days when you don’t feel motivated. If not, at least ask one or two of them to keep you honest and motivated, maybe in the form of daily updates or weekly posts straight from the APP.
Easy On The Bottle
Yep…the biggest enemy to early mornings is a hangover, even the tiniest one. At my age (which we won’t ever discuss), I feel it even after one glass of wine. The more you can avoid alcohol during the challenge the easier it becomes.
A good diet gives you the vitality you need to get up pumped for your next run. I learned this from a friend and I really started to see it in practice. On the days when I had a burger and soda for dins I woke up feeling tired, bloated and lethargic. The greener my meals the faster and lighter I was in my morning runs. Don’t say I never told you.
I didn’t really make my routes interesting enough and on some days I became bored or tired. If there’s one thing I will do better in my next run challenge, it’s better route planning. Having two tough routes and one easy one to alternate from also helps from what I hear.
This is one of the more hack-like tools I stole from a friend. Packing all your running stuff, clothing, shoes, headphones, phone strap, anything, before you go to bed. This will eliminate any excuses in the morning. The last thing you need is a good reason to hit snooze. “I’ll never find my socks” can be a really compelling argument when you’re sleepy.
Hope this is useful. I’m finna start my next challenge soon. I’m thinking ‘7 workouts a week’ or something along those lines.
Images by Mothusi Molote
Outfit from H&M Sport