Your schedule might have you running at weird hours, you may not have any runner friends or maybe you simply prefer being alone. For whatever reason, you’ve opted to run solo. Lone runners have their reasons for running by themselves but many face challenge of keeping themselves accountable. After all, that’s the big draw of having a team or buddy. Here’s what to do to avoid slipping up when there’s no one to answer to:
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1) Add the workout to your schedule as if it was a meeting or appointment
When you put your runs into your week, it’s harder to forget them or back out. When that email alert pops up, you’ll feel guilty ignoring it.But if you don’t plan it, things WILL come up giving you an easy out.
2) Set an afternoon alarm
You know what’ great about running pals? They nag. You know what’s good at nagging when you’re all alone? An alarm clock. Seriously, don’t just use yours to wake you up in the morning. Set an alarm a couple hours after you plan on running. The moment it goes off is the moment when you have to be honest with yourself on whether or not you went.
3) Plan a phone call with a friend
Say you’re planning on doing a tough run Saturday afternoon. Once you pick the time, schedule a call with a friend for afterwards. If Saturday rolls around and you don’t feel like it, you’ll have to admit it to that friend later. How embarrassing.
4) Get in the habit of making a weekly to-do list
Many people make to-do lists to get work done. On that list, add your expectations for running that week. Say you write “run five times”. It will feel good to cross it off later.
5) Establish a short-term consequence
This one is simple. No run today? No amber ale for you. Bailed on the hill sprints? I guess you didn’t want the creamy fettuccine that much after all. Pick the thing that will be the consequence if you flake out.
6) Get a dog
Dogs are great at bugging you to take them out. And they have no patience for laziness. But don’t buy a dog if you know you can’t handle the responsibility. This is just a great tip for the dog person who is also a runner.
7) Spend quality time with yourself for afterwards
One of the great things about a run club is the post-run rituals. Some meet in a coffee shop, others stop in for snacks. Just because you’re running alone doesn’t mean you can’t do the same. Take your favourite magazine to a local cafe afterwards. *hint*