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Five years ago I started running and at the time it never occurred to me it would become an addiction. My poor DH, seriously at the time he was probably rethinking the whole running as a couple idea.  My lazy buns didn’t agree with being drug down the road.  It was a great challenge each and every time I went out to run.  My personal experience might be a bit different than others though since I wanted to begin running to belong to an activity my husband loved.  On numerous occasions I had tried to run but it never really peaked my interest enough to continue after the first few weeks.  Knowing my own history, I decided to make a promise to myself to continue running by signing up for a 5K run on Thanksgiving Day.  Seriously I started to run with my husband three weeks before Turkey Run Day and made myself continue since I knew that race day would go better if I wasn’t gasping for air while lying on the ground after just one mile.

No matter your level of experience with running, you can always follow these general rules to adding extra miles without going too crazy.  It’s exciting to add distance and can really be a motivator.  Personally I remember getting my first ½ mile, 1 mile and so on from there since it is so monumental in my life.  No matter what level you begin with, you must remember that you are one foot farther than you were when you were sitting on the sofa.  Start and see where you can go, it just takes the foot out the door.

Here are my suggestions to increase distance (even if you aren’t a runner yet):

1.  Run at least 3x a week (Even if you can only run 5 seconds, do it!  Then walk the rest of your mile.)  The more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes to your body and mind.

2.  Play games with yourself to run to a certain spot in your run, to make it just a little further.  This may sound strange but it really works.  Normally I will keep telling myself, okay you can stop running if you feel like it after you hit that tree down the road.  Then when you get to that tree, convince yourself the next tree down the road would be even better and so on and so forth.

3.  Run with a buddy and push yourself.  This especially works if you can join a running club or find a more experienced running buddy.  (Maybe even an eager furry baby…)

4.  Take off your running watch (GPS) and look at your surroundings instead of your miles.  In our area, spring is blooming all around us and your run will fly by without you even noticing your distance.  Remember the road or other marker so you can find the distance on Mapmyrun.com or other tracking website when you return.

5.  Try a slower pace and you might be amazed that you can run a longer distance.  My husband has an issue with this one; he’s a “run as fast as you can to get it over with” type of guy but then distance isn’t his strong point.  When he runs with my slow gluteus maximus, he goes at my natural slow pace.  I may be slow but I can go miles upon miles and hence DH has to change his pace/distance.  (Such a good DH to change for me.)

6.  Listen to music and drift away, just not into traffic.  Pick something that is motivating and really gets you into your groove. Right now I have some motivating Bonnie Pink, SNSD, Super Junior, Crazy Ken Band, Bette Midler and BOA.

7.  Bribe yourself (yea, it really does work).  I bribe myself all the time with little “treats” when I return if I do the job completely.  Throughout the winter months I have been bribing myself to continue with the mileage I had schedule for the day with a nice hot bath with peppermint bath salts.  My neighbors never saw me move so fast and so far.

What’s your method of going the extra mile?