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You see friends that seem to be able to maintain running through it all. Nothing gets in the way of their running habit, even when they have kids or take a two week cruise and actually use the on ship treadmills. So why do some people become a lifetime runner? Here are five secrets of lifetime runners that keep them laced up.
Secret #1 They are not fair weather runners
Seriously. Snow, rain, scorching heat. Doesn’t matter. Lifetime runners learn to run no matter the elements. Now, they are prepared for the weather and have the gear to make sure they don’t overheat or freeze, but a little bit of bad weather won’t stop a lifetime runner from getting in their weekly miles.
A few tricks for running in the elements.
For rainy days, it is always good to have a pair of back up running shoes so your wet shoes have time to dry out (NEVER put your shoes in the dryer as it will support). I love my Allbirds running shoes and always have a back up pair in case mine get soaked. Less is more when you are running in the rain. If you can wear a singlet and shorts - then a good running hat will help keep your vision clear for your run.
Secret #2 They have friends that love to run
I actually love running solo BUT I would not have been able to become a Boston qualifying marathon runner without my running posse. Since high school I have had a running buddy on call for those days that I wanted company on a long run. It is worth noting that though I live in my hometown and have a great group of friends since childhood, I have made a different group of running buddies. Yes, we occasionally hang out for reasons other than running, but most of my time with them is on the run. Point is, your running friends don’t have to be in your wedding – but they will help you stick to your running habit through the stress of it all!
Secret #3 They don’t just run for the race
Racing can definitely be the hook that creates a lifetime runner, but at some point it is no longer about the race. As someone that started running competitively at age 12, and who now is the mom of three boys under three, I can tell you that I run for my quality of life, and haven’t thought seriously about races during this phase of my life. This may shock some of you, but when I take the boys out on a run, I don’t even time myself. I just run for the sake of running.
Secret #4 They run at least three days a week
Why three? Because they know that going too long between runs will make running more difficult. Running is a sport that requires consistency. If you stop for too long you will lose out on all of your gains. Keeping up with the habit, even if it is lower mileage, will help to make each run easier.
Secret #5 They love to run
I know, this sounds corny, but it is true. Lifetime runners actually enjoy running. They have good runs and bad, just like everyone, but all and all they love to run. I have had peaks in my running career that I was running 75 miles a week, and droughts where I only ran 9 miles a week (or none when I was post-partum), but I always come back to running because I love it!
Do you want to learn to love the run? Try to keep up with a training plan for at least three days a week, even if it is cold outside (hello treadmill), find a buddy, and take some of the race pressure off to see if you can start to love it like a lifetime runner.