5 ways to start running more consistently

Getting out the door for a run feels impossible some days. Whether it be telling ourselves it's too cold, too dark,  or we're too busy -- there are myriad reasons you won't get your ass out that door.

I know, I do it. And I fight it. Each day is another chance for a success, and another chance for a failure.

Here are 5 ways I've managed to combat the dreaded running inconsistency virus.

1. Sign up for a race.

There's something motivating about knowing that in 3 months from now, I'm going to be towing the line whether I like it or not. Races give us goals, things to work for, and a purpose that may be lacking in our running routine.

When you think about skipping that day's run, you will know that you aren't damaging some unknown future you, but a very real goal race in the upcoming future. Often times, that's the extra mental boost needed to get yourself out the door.

2. Get a running buddy, or running club.

If every Tuesday you do a long run with the ladies, you'll be guaranteed not to skip. A running buddy, or group holds you responsible through a social commitment to others.

When you don't feel like running, you won't need to think about skipping, you'll just head out anyway and get it done. Your presence will also help others to overcome their excuses not to run.

If you're not sure where to look for a club, start by checking out information from your local running store. Often times they have classes, disguised as group runs.

3. Start small, add small.

Last week I ran 30 miles, so think week I'm going to try to run 60 miles. That's a daunting task which will set you up for defeat.

If you're new, or coming back from injury, start small, and add small amount of mileage. It doesn't matter how great you feel after the first run, do not over commit yourself. There's no quicker way to start feeling bad about your runs than to schedule more than you can handle and feel like you're cheating yourself.

Be kind to yourself by giving yourself reachable goals.

4. Set aside time. Schedule a meeting with yourself.

It's easy to stretch your tasks to fill the time in your day. If you schedule a run, just like you schedule a meeting in your calendar, you will be much less likely to miss it.

Think of running as an appointment you make with yourself to spend time alone, thinking, and enjoying the thrill of floating on your own two feet. With all of the things you do for other people, for work, for your family -- it's silly not to set aside some time to enjoy and improve yourself.

5. Let go of the guilt.

So you missed the past few days? Don't look back and think, "I've missed two days already, what's the harm of missing a third". Instead, think, "I haven't run in awhile, now is a great time to start a new streak". It's all about perspective, keep your thoughts on the present.

Feeling guilty about running only clouds something which you enjoy. If you're feeling guilty you won't want to think about running, since you associate that with negativity.

Even after you complete a run, you may think, "whopteedo, one run, I've missed so many days, I haven't gained anything".

Just let it go and treat each day as a new opportunity to better yourself, no matter what has happened in the past. Think positively and your experience will most likely be an enjoyable one.

Well? What keeps you running? I'd love to hear.