10 out, 10 back

After I finished my half marathon, I contracted a serious case of the lazies. I did a lot of sitting, snacking, and TV-watching. I’m not mad about it–it was pretty fun while it lasted. However, having to purchase new (larger) jeans as a result of my laziness was not so fun. The good news is that I look incredible in my new, size 10 skinny jeans. The bad news is that these new, cute jeans mean I’m starting to pack on the pounds again.

I had a moment when I was really hard on myself about it. Then I realized that it wouldn’t be long before I was feeling shame and self-hate again. And I didn’t want that. So I accepted my slight weight gain and decided to get back into a routine that could make me feel fit, regardless of the size of my jeans.

For the past 3 years, running has been my favorite form of exercise and free therapy. So getting back into my routine meant re-introducing regular running–not half marathon training or TV marathon training (aka sitting on my couch). After a few weeks of not running, my body was not so keen on hitting the pavement. I always have a lot of difficulty after hitting a plateau or recovering from an injury that keeps me away from running. I ultimately get back to it, but I wanted a more seamless approach this time. I came up with “10 out, 10 back” as my solution.

10 out, 10 back means running 10 minutes away from my doorstep and turning around to come back. I do this every day (unless I choose a different form of exercise like yoga or cycling) with no excuses. Once those 20 minutes feel “too easy,” I can bump it to 12 out, 12 back. Then I can move to 15 out, 15 back. Eventually, I’d like to settle at 20 out, 20 back to get a nice 40 minute run in every day.

It’s so simple, so easy, and so quick. If I’m only running for 20 minutes, there is no excuse I can come up with to skip a run. If I can watch Netflix for four hours straight, I can commit to running 20 minutes per day. If I can wait in line at one of my favorite restaurants for 40 minutes, I can run for 20. If I can look at photos of my adorable niece for an hour, I can run for 20 minutes. You get the idea.

So far, it’s working really well. The commitment is minimal and the results are wonderful. I feel like I’m finally getting back into my routine. Plus, running every day also makes me more likely to engage in other forms of exercise. I typically do a 20 minute floor workout followed by stretching after every run. I highly recommend this strategy for anyone with a busy schedule and a lot of excuses for not getting out there.

What works for all of you when you’ve hit a running rut? Comment below with your advice!

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