How to Stick with Your Running Routine
Get to know Reebok Boston Track Club pro athlete Justyn Knight and how he stays motivated.
Justyn Knight is the whole package – speed, strength and focus make him practically superhuman. His vigorous approach to training recently resulted in becoming the 2nd fastest person ever in North America to run a 5k, clocking a mind-blowing time of 12:51. But for someone who is used shattering records on the track, it’s not always easy to keep motivated when you’re logging miles day in and day out.
As a professional athlete, Knight relies on his trainers and coaches for support. To be the best version of yourself when you’re competing, you need people who have your back. Knight’s trainers and coaches are there for him on his off days to get him prepared and on race days when he needs that boost of confidence. With Tokyo right around the corner, the club’s Head Coach Chris Fox and Assistant Coach Adam Smith are integral to Knight’s success on and off the track.
The landscape of professional sports has done a complete 180 over the past year and will forever be changed going forward. But that hasn’t stopped Justyn from sticking to his routine and showing up every day ready to run. Read on for how he’s stuck to his routine through a tumultuous last year and come out the other side winning.
Knight says the best advice he’s received from his coaches that has stuck with him is that it’s all about powering through. “No matter the situation or circumstance, TCB (Take Care of Business),” he says. While Knight and the team continue to uplift one another, it can still be difficult to remain motivated to stick to your routine especially with everything that happened this past year. At that time, it was about establishing a new normal. Knight says that he suggests having a task list to keep track of and not to throw your schedule out the window completely. “Right now, I have a list of stuff that needs to be completed daily by a certain time to help me stay on track and focused,” he says. “I wasn’t required to practice with my team anymore, that didn't mean that I should just do things when I felt like it.”
The sport of running has become even more popular lately as a safe way for people to exercise while still keeping their distance from others. Knight says if it’s something you want to stick with, then routine is crucial, especially during this work-from-home moment in time. “Keeping a routine is very important because it helps hold you accountable when you don't want to do stuff. Routine helps me stay on track of accomplishing goals that I set out for myself,” he says.
Routines also include conditioning and incorporating regular workouts. For Knight that means finding creative ways to keep himself in shape and not harping on how long he’ll have to keep it up for. He says it’s about taking it all in stride and finding the fun in it. “One thing I recommend is looking up in house workouts or exercises that you can do in your house or in your backyard. Don't think about how long you will need to have an interrupted schedule, just take it day by day,” he says.
Knight says the competitive mentality that he and his teammates have is what pushed them through last year and is what will allow them to stay top of their game for this season. Since he didn’t live with them, he couldn’t practice with them during the pandemic. But he says he knows that they kept that edge even while they were all apart. “We all have a competitive mentality, so I'm sure they were doing their part to stay in shape.”
As Knight continues to learn new ways to stick to his running routine, he says he has found other escapes that are keeping him positive. Like many people, he says keeping in touch with people who mean the most to him has kept him sane. “I have been talking to the people I miss the most regularly about positive stuff, fun moments we enjoyed or any shows that I want to share. I think there’s so much negativity that happened in 2020, it’s good to bring up positive things that have happened in our past or present.”
With a lost season last year, Knight used that positivity to fuel his training to remain in top condition for this season. The support from his coaches and teammates allowed him to look forward to future race days like this past weekend, where he could experience the thrill and the win he had been training so hard for.