New Year, New You is behind us. How’s the exercise regime going? Now is often the time that boredom and lack of motivation can set in. You’re not alone. Even seasoned joggers can find themselves in a bit of a rut. Maybe it’s time to revisit your routine, maybe you need to shake things up a bit and breathe new life into your jogging plan. It’s good to keep things fresh, so take time to consider what might need changing and get yourself back out there. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re giving yourself a kick start.
Try to remember why you started jogging in the first place. Any type of workout can become mundane after a while, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Start off slowly and set yourself small, achievable goals. Don’t over commit and try to jog every day. Rest times are important for giving the body time to recover, and stopping you from getting bored. It’s easy to over do it at the start of a new training plan, so pace yourself rather than wear yourself out. You never know, it might become something you look forward to rather than dread!
No-one wants to look at the same view over and over again. Alternate your route and you’ll always have something new to notice. Try to vary your surroundings if you can. If you’re based in a busy town you could take a drive to somewhere more rural and combine your jog with a bit of nature spotting. On the other hand, if you’re surrounded by countryside, perhaps a more built up area can provide visual stimulation to accompany your jog. Whether it’s people, cows or tractors you’re in the middle of, it’s more interesting if you change your route regularly.
Jogging with a partner has many advantages. It can make your jogging time a bit more of a social event. Use this time as a catch up, a support system or simply to get all your grievances of the day off your chest. A good jog will blow away your troubles of the day nicely, and having someone to share them with can help put things into perspective. It can also help the time to pass more quickly if you can have a chat along the way. Jogging with a partner will help (maybe even force) you to keep your routine going. It makes you accountable, and you don’t want to let your partner down. Even if you don’t feel at all motivated to jog, you will find you push yourself a lot more if someone else is depending on you. And they are probably feeling exactly the same, so it works both ways.
We come in all different shapes and sizes, but most of us can find a jogging pace and regime that suits us. You will know your own strengths, and you’ll know your limitations. Tall, short, slender or larger, being comfortable will be one less thing to put you off your stride. The correct attire – shoes, clothes and undergarments, go a long way to making your jogging experience more enjoyable. Women, in particular, should pay particular attention to finding the right support bra. For those with larger breasts, whether natural or enhanced by implants, a supportive sports bra is vital. Pain and discomfort in this area shouldn’t put you off jogging. It’s perfectly possible to maintain a regular running programme if you’ve had implants, but it’s important to take care by choosing the correct support clothing.
You can’t run on empty. You need to keep the body hydrated and nourished in order to get the best out of your workouts. Consider the nutritional value of what you’re eating. If you can prepare, or just plan mealtimes in advance, you have a better chance of sticking to food that fuels the system in the longer term. Hydration is absolutely vital, so keep a water bottle to hand and you’ll be reminded to drink water throughout the day. If you find yourself forgetting you can always set a timer on your phone. Some fitness apps have built in reminders to make sure you never miss an opportunity to top up your water levels. Looking after your body in this way will put you in the best position to get the most out of your jogging timetable.
Maybe you find it easy to make yourself the priority, maybe you don’t. If you fall into the latter category there are things you can do to get the time you deserve. Make sure that friends and family are aware of, and understand what you are trying to achieve with your training programme. If they understand how seriously you are taking it they are likely to follow your lead. Try not to view your jogging regime as something that can be moved about and changed at the drop of a hat. Consistency and habit are important when trying to stay motivated. Changing or cancelling plans at the last minute won’t help you to maintain a routine. Other responsibilities you have are important – but so are you. Get a reliable support network in place and treat yourself as the priority.
There’s a reason you started this jogging programme, so don’t lose sight of it. If you wanted to increase your fitness levels you could try tracking your progress using a fitness app, or simply by timing yourself over a familiar route at different stages. If you’re using it to boost weight loss then your clothes and the bathroom scales will tell you everything you need to know. For some, it’s simply a bit of time away from the daily grind. Whether you get lost in music or preoccupied with a podcast, whatever gets you through is up to you.
You don’t need to be professional athlete, or even a regular at the park run, to take advantage of the benefits you can get from jogging. It’s a passtime most can participate in, to varying degrees. Being prepared and sticking to a plan isn’t always easy. But breaking it down into more manageable pieces means the overall task is much less daunting, and you are a whole lot more likely to stay on track (or road, or field, etc,etc). So get a plan, grab those running shoes and get yourself out there.