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Establish a Regular Running Schedule!

Whether you're new to running or a seasoned marathoner, the desire to train and race may be inside of you but the motivation to get out there can be a struggle. For many, consistency is one of the hardest things to achieve. You make a New Year's resolution, begin your training program for a couple of weeks and then a patch of cold weather stops you in your tracks. You're training for your first marathon and you come up against a bad two-week stretch of business travel.

Well, don't worry, you're certainly not alone with these and many more obstacles that runners face every day when trying to develop a consistent run program. We're here to help! Here are a few ways to help you keep going.

Develop a regular running schedule. Choose a time of day that matches your lifestyle. If you hate mornings, then picking a 5:00 am running time will not work. Be realistic. Be consistent!

Use a running journal. It is helpful to keep track of distance, pace and weather. It is also satisfying to see the progress of your fitness and what you have done for workouts. Use the journal to set weekly goals and push the distance and/or pace.

Sign up for a race. There is nothing like a race to motivate you to hit the road. Set up a calendar with the race marked with a big red x. Use the calendar to as a reminder of your goal. You can use it to adjust your runs in case of unexpected interruptions in your schedule due to work, kids etc.

Run with a friend when you can. Setting up a time to meet will help you be honest and more likely to follow through on your commitment. Get involved with a running group. Many running groups have their own schedule of training including speed work and long runs. This is a great way to get in the tough workouts with other runners.

Social media. If you really want to chart your progress with friends, discuss your goals and obstacles to getting out there on any of the numerous social media outlets. You will be amazed at how many of your friends (and their friends), have been where you're trying to go. You never know what new, additional motivation and or advice you might learn from others that will keep you moving forward

Once in a while just get out there and run. Don't use a heart rate monitor, or a watch, just run. Depending on how regimented you might be this might be easier said than done but every now and again it's a great thing to do.

Just remember, running is a sport that is fun and practically free (other than a pair of running shoes and some good running apparel), and can be done alone or with others. It is a sport that elicits endorphins to your brain which, in turn, are associated with mood changes; the more you run, the more endorphins your body will create, the more endorphins your body creates the better you feel! So get out there and make it happen. Start running and be consistent. Your body will thank you for the effort!

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