Now before I start, I ought to let you know that this is not actual exercise advice, it won't tell you about your lactic acid or distance or time or any of that, I will and do save that for our PNM Personal Trainer, Mr. Calum Taylor.
No this isn't exercise advice, this is a how to guide on actually going for a run. As in, finding the motivation, putting your trainers on and ACTUALLY GOING FOR A RUN. Yes, this sounds easy enough, why am I bothering I hear you ask... Well, because this is probably the reason that you have't been going for many runs in your life, it's certainly the reason that I haven't been... I literally can't get out of the front door...
So here goes:
TELL EVERYONE THAT YOU ARE GOING FOR A RUN
"No sorry, I can't come out tonight, I'm going for a RUN:, "Yeh, I'll call you later, after I get back from my RUN", "#ImAFuckingLegend #AboutToRun #CatchMeIfYouCan #ImAmazingCauseImGoingForARun #YesYouHeardMeImAMotherFuckingRunner"
This will make you feel obligated to go, you've signed the 2016 equivalent of a contract (Twitter is basically law) and you don't want to be the one that has to admit to your mates that you couldn't be arsed, not when by going for an actual run you've got so much to show off about.
PLAN A ROUTE
There are loads of websites out there that will help you to do this. Map My Run, Plot My Route etc. Even if you know that you won't be able to actually run the whole thing, and will need to stop at certain points to walk, having a route planned will make it easier to break it down in your head AND will stop you from wanting to quit and turn back.
A route will also make you feel committed to certain landmarks, if you're weird like me at least! You've told the bridge that you're going there, he'll be expecting you, don't disappoint him, you've gotta go, you PROMISED.
EAT BEFORE YOU GO
Now sadly I don't mean shove crisps into your mouth as you walk out the front door, but if you know that you are going out for your run after work, make sure to have a really good lunch before you go. Two reasons.
1) You can eat as much as you want because you're about to burn it off and YOU KNOW IT.
2) If you're hungry you just won't feel up to it, you'll be shaky and tired and the sofa will look ten million times more appealing.
FIND A TIME THAT WORKS FOR YOU
I'm absolutely crap at running in the morning. The idea of heaving myself out of bed an hour early to pound the streets? No thanks. I NEED to run in the afternoon or evening if I stand a chance of going out at all. The minute I worked that out, running became about a million times easier because I felt no guilt for not going in the mornings.
FEEL FABULOUS IN YOUR CLOTHES
And by that I mean, feel as sexy as possible. Running makes you self conscious enough without the worry of perceived judgemental stares from strangers. Although they don't actually give a shit about you (no offence), it will make you feel wayyy more confident if you feel good. Whether it's a baggy tee, a skin tight lycra number or even a bit of makeup, whatever makes you feel GOOD is the most important thing.
FIND A FRIEND
If you are struggling with the idea of going on your own, find a friend to do it with you. Although my friend Ross is a much better runner than me, we'll account that to the extra foot in height, we both love running together because it means we can't actually let each other down, we talk about it ALL DAY and when it comes to the actual running, are able to enjoy it WAY more.
DELIBERATELY MAKE YOURSELF LATE
If you don the lycra too long before a run, you'll get too comfortable, sit on the sofa, eat something yummy and soon the motivation is gone. If you're lastminute.com with it then there is no time for comfort. If you're meeting a friend, get ready 5 minutes before you are due to see them and if you are doing it alone, then try to make a plan for straight afterwards, whether it be a pub trip or the TV - it's essential that you feel a little bit rushed.
FIND A WAY OF TRACKING YOUR DISTANCE
Talk to any cyclist out there and they will tell you that if their ride isn't on the 'Garmin' (tracking device) then it didn't happen. Without recording it how are you supposed to tell everyone that you did it? Oh, they're meant to just trust you? No, sorry. No stats, no exercise. Simple.
There are loads of apps for this, Strava, My Fitness Pal or even just the Health App on your iPhone and there are of course devices such as FitBits and Jawbones that help too. By recording your run, you can look forward to seeing what you've done afterwards and keep an eye on it while you are doing it as well - it's a great way to hit mini goals.
"I can stop when I get to the next multiple of 9" or whatever it is, this distracts you with a maths problem AND pushes you harder. Win win.
REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE DOING IT
If you haven't got a reason, you probably ought to think of one quickly. If you're signed up for a challenge, treat this run as a REALLY important part of training. If you are trying to lose weight or get healthy, then take a second to properly visualise what you want before you set off and if you're just feeling a little bit overwhelmed or stressed, see this as a really important opportunity for you to bring your problems to the forefront of your mind and to deal with them in your own way, in your own time.
I've always thought the hardest part of going for a run was the actual going bit, the actual I'm leaving my house now to go for a RUN bit. Once you're out it's fine, you can take it at your own speed, walk lots of it if you need to, at that point it doesn't matter because you're already OUT.
By my reckoning, 9 times out of 10 we are stopped from doing things by the voices in our head which is not, as you've been lead to believe, a sign of madness, more a sign that you are in fact a human. Don't stress it, you're not mad and you're not alone, just tell those voices to do you a favour and piss off. Tell them to stay at home on the couch for a bit, because you are putting your trainers on and going for a run.