Tiny TweaksTo Prevent Your Past from Sabatoging Your Present

Tiny Tweaks : Running Habit

Exercise is the best tweak you can make for your health.

Big Life Change : Running

When I first started, running was hard, boring, and I couldn’t wait to get it over with. Now I run 3 days a week, every week. It’s easy, fun, and I look forward to it everyday.

That’s because I pushed myself to run for the 66 days it takes to create a habit. Now running is so automatic that it’s actually hard for me to not run.

Below you’ll find out how to start creating your running habit today without feeling overwhelmed. Over the years I’ve made several tweaks to my running resulting in a wonderful habit. I share this plan to help you start simply then slowly and naturally add powerful little tweaks as you go.

This way your transition to running will be a smooth and amazing experience.

Running Tweaks : Month 1

Week 1 : Write Your Plan. This is the first step in habit creation, if you haven’t read about the simple system to create permanent habits, take 5 minutes and go read that first!

What days and what time will you run? How many days a week? To establish a routine keep your times consistent. After lots of trial and error I found right after work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to be best for me.

Exercise 15 Minutes. Consider yourself successful if you move your body for 15 minutes at the time and day you said you would. Jog slowly for as long as you can without stopping, but once you need to stop just walk the rest. Don’t mix jogging and walking, that creates a bad mental habit of quitting and makes it very hard to jog consistently in the future. Increase your jogging time at your pace.

Mark Your Calendar. Visual progress is extremely motivating! Mark an X everyday you successfully exercise. If you meet your weekly goal fill in the days between the X’s with a dash and keep the streak going!

Exercise Calendar

Week 2 : Audio. Prepare something to keep yourself entertained. Explore podcasts, audiobooks, music, and the zombies run app. Order a flip belt to hold your phone and wireless headphones.

Weeks 3 & 4: Try New Locations. The closer to your house the better. Pick a place with a good running surface. Surfaces from best to worst: dirt, mulch, rubber (track), pavement, concrete (sidewalk).

Running Tweaks : Month 2

Week 1 : Clothes. Start thinking about what clothes are the most comfortable. Try different outfits and research what you’d prefer to run in. I recommend moisture wicking gear.

In warm weather I wear: Nike dri-fit shirt and shorts, Thorlo Experian socks, and Under Armor or no undies.

In cold weather: I add a hat, hoodie, facemask, and gloves for the first mile. I toss them once I warm up. I also wear Under Armor compression pants.

Week 2 : Running Shoes. Splurge on a great pair of shoes. Visit a running store and have them fit you in the best pair. Bring an old pair so they can look at the tread wear to know if your foot pronates or supanates. At these stores you can jog around in the new shoes before buying to ensure that you love them. Many running stores also let you return shoes after taking a jog or two if they aren’t comfortable.

Weeks 3 & 4 : Nutrition. Eating habits are really hard to change. Spend the 2nd half of the month tracking your protein intake. To build muscle you need to eat .8 grams of protein per pound each day. Otherwise running will tear down your muscles and they won’t build up stronger.

Running Tweaks : Month 3

Week 1: Running Partner. Now that you are experienced you’ll feel better about asking others to join you. Get a friend, colleague, or family member to run with you. Many people want to exercise you just need to give them the motivation. You will be doing them and yourself a favor.

After two years of seeing me benefit from running my wife became interested. Once she started running with me it became much more enjoyable and I stopped missing days.

Weeks 2-4 : Form. Watch YouTube videos and try to establish a good running form. It took time but I eventually shifted my form so that I was running on the front half of my foot like Kenya Olympic Champions.

Running Tweaks : Month 4+

Performance. Now that you have developed a solid foundation try to enhance you performance. Get to where you can run 30 minutes without stopping. Try to increase the distance you can run in that time.

A plan that helped me improve my running speed is Hal Higdon 5K Training : Intermediate.

Never Stop Tweaking

Continue to try new things to make running most enjoyable for you. These tiny tweaks compounded over time will make a big difference to the quality of your running habit.

As you are out there running, remember real heroes don’t leap over buildings in a single bound they take small determined steps consistently over time.

Happy trails.


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