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How to make yourself go for a run (in 10 easy steps)

Yesterday morning, I was snug in bed, thinking guiltily that I should go for a run. I knew I’d be happy once I had done it – but the idea of getting up and going out into the cold seemed literally unbearable. I had all sorts of excuses: it was snowy and I feared it would be icy … maybe I would slip and fall over …
So in order to drown out the excuses, I talked myself into in stages, as follows (not out loud):

1) You don’t have to go if you don’t want to … just put on your running gear. That’s all. Nothing else. Once the gear is on your job is done.
2) OK, if that’s too much, just get out of bed and then just find your running gear. And shoes. That’s all – just find a complete outfit.
3) Now put it all on. That’s all! Nothing else! You can still change your mind.
4) Now find your iPod and keys.
5) Great. Now all you have to do is close the door behind you. If you’ve done that, it counts as a run. (I got this idea from The Happiness Project ).
6) OK, it is nippy out here, so how about this: just run to the end of the street, and if that’s too much you can come back.
7) We’ve made it to the end of the street … let’s just run for the length of another song.
8) OK, one more song.
9) Hm, this is starting to feel better … I can turn back at Highbury Fields if I want, though.
10) Well done! this is a proper run!

I don’t have to do this every time I go for a run – but I almost always have to do some psyching-up. I’m always glad afterwards. It was a gorgeous run in the snow, a respectable 25 minutes, and I didn’t fall over. Hurrah!

My running has really tailed off in the cold weather. Also, I was spoiled before in Queen’s Park where I was 2 miles from Hyde Park and 3 miles from Primrose Hill. Now, I’m not sure where to go once I’ve done Highbury Fields. I am a park snob and running around Clissold Park just doesn’t appeal – too flat and boring. But I’m determined to keep it up and aim to run from my house to Hampstead Heath by 1 May (this would be about 8 round miles). I’ll keep you posted …


  1. Think I might try this tomorrow. Just to the street corner and back.

    PS TOOG arrived safely in Germany and I have read the first two chapters – lovely!

  2. Thanks Charlotte! I highly recommend that – just aim for one street and you might find yourself doing more. Glad Alice made it safely to Heidelberg!

  3. I ALWAYS have to psych myself up, especially in this weather!! I have to remind myself of how good I feel once it's done 🙂

    Thank you for visiting my blog, I am really happy to have discovered yours as well! And look forward to reading your book x

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