by John Ruibal
Has your running become stale, or has it become a chore to put those running shoes on and hit the pavement? Sometimes we have to get back to the basics and remember why we enjoy this sport. Try these simple tips to get back the passion you have for running.
Be excited about your workout. If you have a dog, you know what I am talking about. My dog River can sense when I am heading out for a run, and his excitement level shoots through the roof. You may not be able to control a lot of things in your day but you own your ATTITUDE. Focus on starting your workout with a good one.
Run without technology once a week. Leave the MP3, GPS, sports watch and other gadgets at the house. Just go for a run. Do not worry about the pace or how long. You may be amazed how far you run and how good you feel.
Make a few small changes in your eating habits. Keep a food diary for three to seven days. Make sure you include at least one weekend day. Take a look at any patterns that you would like to change and highlight these changes. Make an effort to substitute better choices for the items you want to change or the time of day you are eating the items. Most of us can figure out what to cut down on without the help of a sports dietitian. Some common patterns I have observed over the years:
- Beverage choices – Diet drinks aren’t always a good substitute.
- Skipping meals, especially breakfast – This can cause bad snacking choices or over-eating for dinner and after-dinner snacking.
- Not enough fruits and vegetables.
Once you identify an area in your eating that you want to change, work on one to two changes per month. Remember that you have the rest of your life, and permanent changes are easier to make over time.
Stop and Smell the roses. Think how awesome it is that you made the choice to get out and hit the road. I am always amazed at the splendor of the world and how blessed I am to enjoy all that it has to offer. Sometimes it’s the simple things like a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Other times it is the wonder of a fawn as it looks in amazement as I run by. Take the time to be in the moment, feel your body and enjoy your surroundings.
Spring is the idea time to rekindle your love of running, so get out there and feel all the love (and health!) the sport has to offer.
John Ruibal, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, is a registered dietitian and is board-certified in sports nutrition from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. John is the manager for Nutrition and Food Science at CST Brands. He has been running for more than 44 years and coaching for 29.