Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Basic Running Tips: The Power of Accountability

It's amazing what having a community/support group can do for you. I recently joined Twitter and there is this "Plank a Day" group. Their goal is to get everyone to do one plank every day. Not the stupid "planking" thing that is popular all over Facebook, but the real abs-burning type of plank. I kept seeing the #PlankADay hashtag everywhere and finally decided to join in. As soon as I committed myself the Plank Police was after me! A couple times a week they are asking me if I've been keeping up on my plank-a-days! Its amazing. I feel guilty all day until I do it.

So what does this personal story have to do with you? Get a support group. Get someone to be your Running Police. Get someone who is going to ask you how your training is going. If you have to report to someone you aren't going to be as likely to skip your workout or push it aside. Your "police" can be anyone.....a significant other, your kids, the front desk dude at your gym, random people on Twitter or Facebook, your best friend, your neighbor.....anybody who would be willing to push you out the door (literally or figuratively) and keep tabs on you. Report to someone about your progress. People do care. Runners want to help other runners, whether they know them or not. That is something I've learned by being part of the running community on Twitter. People want you to succeed. I want you to succeed. Heck, I will be your Running Police! I would love it. Sometimes all we need is someone to tell us "You can do it. You want to do it".

I dare you to try and report to someone. At LEAST once a week. Do it. Tell me how it goes. Do you feel guilty about skipping a workout if you know you have to tell someone about it? I definitely do.

And while you are at it, you should definitely try the Plank A Day challenge (click the link to read more about it). You will build your core muscles (abs and back) which will help you be a better runner. All it takes it 1 minute a day!


  1. Very good article, I totally agree. One of the main reasons I personally am on twitter is the accountability to others. I may not "Know" a particular person but that really does not matter. Thank you for the article.

  2. Hey thanks for the Plank A Day mention! I think you have hit the nail on the head about accountability and support. These are SO important to staying motivated. If you don't have strong support for your fitness or nutrition goals at home, there is a wealth of support found in social media. Find kindred spirits and work together. Sherry, www.FUdiet.com

  3. Great minds think alike ;-). I blogged about the same topic here http://wp.me/p1gRzG-5U. I will post a link to your article as well :-D

  4. I've been participating in Plank A Day. It's been great - I worry all day that the Plank Police will find me (and they've almost caught me a couple of times!).

  5. Link didn't post for some reason

  6. I just started training to run (jog)(make it without dying) a 5k at the end of December. I have lost 10 pounds. Now I have started planking. Well, just started today. 15 WHOLE seconds! :)



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