How to make running a habit
As any running coach will tell you, creating a routine is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to running.
Greats like Mo Farah or Paula Radcliffe will have special workouts, super diets and incredible back-up teams to help them, but at the core of it all is there love of running - getting out as much as possible.
It sounds simple… and it is! After all, says Dr Emma Short, "Human beings are creatures of habit and our daily habits have a huge impact on our mental and physical wellbeing and affect behaviours such as how active we are or what we eat. "Many health goals will require breaking old habits and forming new ones. For instance, you may choose to cut out processed sugars and increase your vegetable intake. To achieve this goal, you will need to make a behaviour change and repeat the new behaviour over time."
The formation of a new habit involves four stages, which are:
- Making the decision to take action.
- Taking that action.
- Repeating it - repetition is often the most difficult step and requires continued motivation and self-regulation.
- Repeating the action in a way that helps it to become automatic, which usually means carrying it out in a specific environment.
Give yourself time. Some people suggest that habits can be established in 21 days, but it is more likely there is a wider window, ranging from 18 to 254 days.