Houston podiatrist discusses motivation to run

January is almost over. Do you know what that means? It's just about time for many of us to give up on New Year's resolutions. Including ones that involved getting out to run more often.

Want to beat the odds and keep on running? We're here to help with some running inspiration! (Plus some tips on how to train safely. Without getting hurt!)

Houston Running Inspiration: Why it Matters

There are days when you just don’t feel like heading outdoors to run or are just unmotivated to hop onto a treadmill. Some days you just want to rest and relax…which is good. We all need to take a break on occasion.

But sometimes those lazy days string themselves together, and you realize you haven’t gone for a run for a while. Either that or you may force yourself to go for a run since you’ve had too long of a long break.

Unfortunately, taking a long break can mean you push yourself harder when you get back to it. And that can be a problem. Because suddenly increasing your training intensity often leads to overuse injuries.

That's not great. And here's another problem. If you force yourself to run, it becomes robotic. Soon, you no longer enjoy the run like you should. So when you're faced with a choice to train or stay put, guess what you'll choose?

For these reasons, staying inspired to train can keep you moving. (And prevent injury.) But, as it turns out, even doing the same routine regularly isn't the best idea. So let's look at ways to switch up your runs. Plus some reasons why you should.

Changing the Setting: The Ultimate Running Inspiration

I once came across this quote from Terrence Mahon in Runner’s World magazine. I think it sums up well the reasons why we need to change our workouts. He says:

“The body gets really good at doing what you ask it to do. Once you have a mastery or proficiency in a routine, you’ll no longer experience new gains in fitness. You’ve got to add different elements of stress."

Need it put simply? Here you go. Your body gets used to the intensity of your runs and the other activities you do regularly. So, if you don't change up your routine, your body will become truly efficient. Sounds like a good thing? Well, it isn't. Because it means you'll burn fewer calories doing the same moves. So, if you're trying to lose or maintain weight with your runs, you'll see more frustrations.

Already at that point? You may have hit a plateau. (Otherwise known as a rut.) So switching up your running location can help you stay motivated. And even help you drop weight at a faster pace.

Adding 'Stress' Without Injury Risk

Let's get back to our friend Terrence for a second. As he says, you need to keep a bit of safe stress in your workouts, or your body adapts and plateaus.

One easy change you can make? Switching your workout environment can add different elements of stress. But you need to do so carefully, because the surface you run on can affect your injury risk.

Thinking about taking your runs to the beach? This can be a great way to bring together increased resistance and inspiring views. (Just read these beach running safety tips before you start to train.)

More of a trail runner? This is a great setting for runners because of the calming environment. But don't think that running on a softer surface means you can stop worrying about running injuries. Because, as this new study suggests, trail running doesn't change the shock your body absorbs. In fact, it puts just as much of a load on your tibia. So, this may a relaxing switch to add running inspiration. But you'll still need to tread carefully to avoid injury. 

Forget the Location: Other Forms of Running Inspiration Training with friends is a great form of Houston running inspiration

Sometimes, switching your running spot isn't an option. Time limits may mean you have to run close to home. The weather can keep you indoors on the treadmill. But that doesn't mean you can't make inspiring changes to your training.

One great idea? Ask a friend to run with you. This will help in a few different ways. First, it will give you a new incentive to talk. When you chat and run, your lungs work harder to maintain your pace. And that will help with your aerobic exercise, so you can increase your miles by running further and farther. (Without getting bored!) Or it can increase your intensity, which can help you run for a time goal per mile.

Don't have a running buddy you can tap for training? Not a problem! You can also challenge yourself by joining a running club or group. It’s always easier to run in a pack. And they may offer better training tips, or even keep you posted on upcoming races. All of which can keep you inspired to train. And keep your body guessing every time you run.

Stay Safe and Inspired with Your Houston Running Podiatrist

I know how hard it is to stick to a running routine. Especially when it's new, or if you're coming back from an injury.

You may think you're immune, if you've been running religiously for a while now. But guess what? That old routine may be just as bad for you as sitting on the couch.

And it is difficult to get out of a routine you’ve become accustomed to, especially with running. Still, I want you to think about making even one small switch. Because adding even a little flavor to your runs to break the monotony can inspire any runner. Plus, it will give you a new incentive. You may even find your second wind to help you keep on running to surpass your prior mileage.

Little things like this will change up your run and push your body through the same old routine. Creating new routines are key to keeping in shape so your fitness level does not plateau. Need more help getting inspired? Or need support to run without pain? That's what I'm here for, so schedule a consultation today. I'll get you inspired to run, and keep you training without pain!

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Connect with me
A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.