Five fantastic ways to make sure you stay running.

1. Schedule running into your day! You need to make sure exercising is a priority. Don’t let anything get in your way of your run today. Invest some time in yourself.

2. Take it easy on yourself. Running can be hard, and you shouldn’t push yourself to far too soon. Beginners should really walk before they start running. Then you can work on mixing jogging in when you are more comfortable with your workouts. There is a rule when exercising. You know you are working too hard if you can’t talk without gasping for breath.

3. Get a Running buddy. I can’t stress this one enough. Having a friend or co-worker help you get in shape is so important. Sharing your experience will keep you more motivated and make exercising more enjoyable. Part of the reason I am a running coach is it forces me to run. I don’t have to worry about motivation when I know I will be running with my athletes every practice.

4. Set some Smart Goals. You should have something to work towards so you stay focused. I know you can do it. Write your goals down and look at them every day.

5. Have fun! This sounds silly, but it is true. Run around an area you have never been to before. Run on some new trails while on vacation. Run in the sand at the beach and dive in the water at the end of your workout.

Five fabulous reasons why running is great for you!

1. Running burns calories like crazy. It is the second best activity for burning calories, just behind cross country skiing. As long as your diet doesn’t change much, you’ll lose weight when you start running. I started running when I was 13 and I only weighed in at 105 pounds. Now I didn’t have much weight to lose, but after 10 weeks of the cross country season, I was down to 95 pounds! Don’t worry. Since then I have grown a foot taller and added a lot of weight to my frame. Now I run to manage my weight. For instance, over the holidays I exercised more because I love eating all the great food.

2. Running increases your metabolism. Running does a little damage to your muscles that your body repairs daily. This increases your metabolism. Don’t worry about your muscles. They get mini tears during any normal exercise. That is the general muscle soreness you might feel. It is perfectly normal and will eventually go away.

3. Your self-esteem will improve. Running is a great way to just get away from everything else.

4. Running can extend your life! It’s true. The life expectancy of people who run often is much longer than an average person. Here are just a few of the incredibly long list of health benefits if you run: Reduced risk of heart attack, increased bone density, lower bad cholesteral, higher good cholesteral, less risk of stroke, increased self esteem… the list goes on and on.

5. You can develop life long friendships. My best friend is a track teammate of mine. Four of my college running teammates are now coaches my team runs against regularily. It’s great to see them each season.

So there you have it. I hope you found some excellent motivational tips. No one can do it but you. I know you can make it happen, but you have to believe in yourself. Now get out that door and go for a run. You’ll be glad you did!