Top 10 tips to keep you running this summer
Maintain your motivation to train!
For the runner, Summer is the season that brings the opportunity of good weather and long days – which will be perfect for maximizing your running training. Look at summer as a great opportunity to take advantage of the improved elements to really get stuck into your training program and make good progress.
If you’ve worked hard through the wind, rain and snow during the winter, now is the time to really enjoy your training. But remember: a lapse in training can set you back as well as dampen your enthusiasm – so here are our top ten tips to keep you motivated for your running this summer.
Start your running training early
Set your alarm clock to wake you up 30 minutes earlier than normal, so that you can get some training in before work. Early morning exercise is a great way to start your day off on the right footing – plus it’s far more appealing getting up to see the early sunshine during the summer, rather than seeing the weather on a dreary winter morning. If you get your run completed in the morning, this provides the added bonus of freeing up your evenings so that you can do some other fun things during your summer.
Get a running gadget
Buying a new gadget is great for giving your motivation a boost. Why not go for a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit, which allows you to record speed, distance and even altitude from a training tool which straps to your wrist just like a watch? Many GPS units also feature a heart rate monitor, so that you can accurately assess your training and resting heart rate. This information can usually be downloaded to your computer, and can act as your training log – thereby giving you a clear idea of how you are progressing.
Top up your tan while running
We keep getting told that there’s no such thing as a ‘healthy’ tan, yet huge numbers of people aspire to get beautiful bronzed bodies! If you’re someone that fits into this category and feel the need to acquire the bronzed look, rather than just lie there in the garden, why not get out running? For a start, it will give you better all-round tan. You’ve probably seen the tan lines on runners when they compete in their rather skimpy competition gear – so that should give you a good indication of how much sun runners catch while out training.
Get fit for the beach through running
If you’ve slogged through the winter months in the hope of getting yourself in the shape where you’re a little less afraid to peel off those layers on the beach, then don’t let up now. You might not have the body you aspire to so keep all that in mind when you’re weighing up whether or not to get out and train.
Train with a running friend
When the sun emerges from behind the clouds, it seems to bring an invasion of runners out with it. Even if you usually run alone, it’s quite possible that you’ll be able to entice a friend out to run if the weather’s pretty decent. You know you’ve got little chance in winter, of course, but summer’s a different matter altogether. Companionship while you run can be a great motivator, and a bit of rivalry might even push you both on to better things.
Add variety to your running
Trying different places to train to keep things fresh isn’t ideal in winter, as you’ll probably be more concerned about getting in out of the soaking rain and icy cold conditions. But in summer you could consider going on a variety of running routes such as going off-road. It can be extremely beneficial to get some grass running in, as it’s gentler on the knees than road running – plus if you accidentally trip, you’ll be less likely to get injured.
Set a running goal
To keep you focused, set a realistic target to achieve by the end of the summer. It may be that you’ll want to be running a set distance comfortably by the end of the summer as part of a training plan for an event later in the year, or you might even have a specific summer race in mind. As long as you set weekly goals and monitor your progress by measuring your time, distance, or heart rate (your GPS heart rate monitor will help you with this), you will be able to keep motivated.
Get some new running gear
You’ve trudged through the long winter months wearing layer upon layer, but now it’s time to cast them off and run as nature intended! Well, not quite – but you’ll need to run in far less clothing. So why not take this as an opportunity to buy yourself a few summery items of kit? Just get out to your sports or running specialist and find out what items are new this summer. Some new clothing could inspire you to step out of the door – and if you look cool and feel cool, then you’ll be much more likely to keep motivated.
Change your running routes
We all have a favoured route that we run almost on automatic without really thinking where we’re going. You’ve probably got little idea how many times you’ve run it or exactly what things you pass along the way. Just by doing that favoured run in reverse –not running backwards, but in the opposite direction! – can make it seem completely different and far more interesting. You may even start to spot things along the route that you hadn’t even noticed before while clocking up the miles.
Reward yourself for completing your running training
Don’t be a slave to your running regime. After a run, why not treat yourself with a drink at a bar or meet up with friends for dinner – you deserve it after all! If you’ve been training hard, why not dedicate an evening for socializing? Don’t let training rule your life – make it part of your life. Remember, rest and recuperation are key parts to your training too – and if you keep ignoring your circle of friends in preference to your training, you may miss out on important parts of their lives.