I have a pretty strict running schedule that I follow to make sure I hit my weekly distance target. Not only do I get a great high from the exercise endorphins, but when I manage to hit my target, despite pressures at work and home, it makes me feel great for the whole of the next week! Part of the schedule obviously involves rest days, which are really important whatever type of exercise you enjoy. Your body needs time to recover when you’ve been pushing it hard. Not taking the time to recover can increase the risk of injuries and strains. Plus, a day off here and there can be seen as a treat.
I usually run two days followed by a rest and I always try and arrange something fun to do on the off days; mainly so I don’t miss the running too much, but it also helps keep that slot in my day free, in case I need to alter my schedule! Sometimes I’ll splash out on a big treat, like arranging a massage. Other times I might just arrange to meet a friend for coffee.
Try and keep your schedule going, no matter what else is going on in your life. It’s much easier to follow an exercise programme if you stick to the rules and set yourself targets. I even managed to keep running last year when I went on ski holiday to Europe – thought I wouldn’t recommend running on snow! I tried it once and then decided to stick to the treadmill at our hotel. I didn’t feel too guilty, though, as I was getting plenty of fresh air and exercise on the slopes. And I discovered that my running had set my body up perfectly for cross country skiing. If I lived somewhere snowy, that would definitely replace running as my true exercise love!