We all know that running is good exercise, a way to keep fit and healthy and improve our bodies. However, it may be one of the hardest types of fitness to keep up with. The most successful runners are motivated, determined and, most importantly, have habits that ensure their success. Here are just four of the most useful habits to make you as successful as possible in your daily runs.

1. Consistency is key!

Alistair Brownlee MBE, an Olympic gold medal-winning triathlete, said: “It’s better to train for four to five hours a week than to do 10 hours one week then nothing for two weeks. It helps your body adapt and maintains your fitness.”

We definitely agree. Consistency is one of the hardest but most useful habits to build. If you run for a week and then stop for another, all the progress you have made will have depleted. It’s important to create a schedule that you stick to, that you can adapt to your life and your progress. It is much easier for your body to adapt to constant training rather than sudden bursts.

A successful runner makes a plan and sticks to it – with no excuses.


2. Achievable, realistic goals

Goal setting is important for anything you want to develop – realistic goals are good to keep you investing the time you need to get better.

Say you work a nine to five job, have a house to look after and children that require your attention. Setting a goal to run for two hours every day may not be viable. However, a 10-minute jog every morning before breakfast is much more doable and something you’re more likely to stick to. Small targets are easier to fit into hectic schedules and thus easier to complete, keeping you motivated to keep going.

Also, it’s important to bear in mind your experience level. If you are a beginner, aiming for marathon times is going to place lots of strain on you. Start small and build up: your progress will be a lot more obvious in the end.


3. The right gear

No matter what type of running you’re doing, your feet are going to take the brunt of it, so the shoes you wear are essential to keep you comfortable. If you’re comfortable, you’re going to keep going. Durable and high-quality shoes are going to make a huge difference in how much you can do on your run. Nike is one of the leading brands, and are an excellent starting point for those who are just getting started, or have been running for a while and want to push themselves further. Groupon recommend Nike, especially as 75% of their footwear and apparel were made with some recycled materials in 2017. 

Your gear doesn’t just include your shoes. Your workout clothes are just as important and, for women runners, a sports bra is a must. Find the type that works for you. The point is that you are comfortable and suitably dressed for the run ahead.

Some runners also get their hands on smartwatches as one of their ‘can’t leave home withouts’. These watches can track your steps, your heart rate, your water intake and a dozen other things that you may want to keep an eye on over the course of your scheduled exercise time.


4. Take care of yourself!

Self-care is perhaps the most important thing. Make sure you’re looking after your body. Before and after each run, be sure to stretch your muscles. It doesn’t have to be too long or intensive but stretching is important to keep yourself from cramping up or pulling something vital during your exercise periods.

This self-care also applies to rests. Give yourself some!

If your consistent schedule is intense, constantly pushing yourself further and further without giving your body the chance to relax, you may end up causing yourself more damage than good. Your days off and no-exercise days are just as important as your intense running days. Taking breaks is good for your mental and physical health as well as helping to combat exhaustion which could ultimately lead to you giving up running entirely.

All successful runners need good habits to ensure victory. If you implement these habits, you’ll triumph over your running goals and see progress every day.