Even daily runners need to watch their step to avoid injury, boredom and losing their love of the sport .Running the same route every day is good for you but without some variation, you end up going nowhere.  Running experts say the best plan for daily runners is just that:  a plan.  Read on for 7 tips that keep daily runners on track.

1. Make a game plan.  Do you simply want to get fit or do you want to win a marathon?  There are countless training programs to help you achieve your goal whether you're a beginner or a professional.  Set specific goals for each run.  Don't try to do too many things at once.  Work on distance, speed or duration, one at a time.  Write goals down, and keep a log to track progress. 

2. Change routes, surfaces, and routines.  Mix in a few races.  Find a new trail.  Head out of town.  Whatever you do, just mix it up.  You'll run yourself into a fitness rut or plateau if you don't change directions occasionally.  The difference between running a track and running a mountain trail can help you work different muscles, burn more calories, and train your brain to boost your performance.

3. Find a buddy.  Running with a partner bumps up the fun factor and keeps you motivated.  You're accountable to your buddy and, if you're the least bit competitive, likely to work out a little harder. 

4. Get a coach or mentor.  A qualified coach or expert runner will help you stick to your plan, push you harder, encourage you to cross train and, most importantly, keep you from overtraining.  Call a running store or gym, or check the internet for references. 

5. Nutrition matters.  You can't hear it often enough:  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  While some "crack of dawn" runners do their best work on an empty stomach, it's important to refuel early.  Running is an intense workout and can drop your blood glucose level if you're not tanked up.  Not only can low blood sugar leave you exhausted and ruin your run, it can also cause physical damage and lead to snack attacks on the wrong foods.

6. Wear the right stuff:  Running shoes  (unlike other sport shoes) are designed to absorb the impact of the road and support proper body alignment.  They wear out though after 300-500 miles.  If you're logging 3 miles a day, that's more than 20 miles a week. You'll need new shoes about every 4 months.  Dress in layers and invest in moisture-wicking running clothes to draw sweat away from your body.  That will keep you cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. 

7. Take a break.  Nobody says you have to run every day.  Rest is important, too.