5 Ways to Motivate You to Run You Probably Haven’t Thought Of
The first weeks of getting back into any kind of fitness habit are always hard, but it does not have to be. Some days WE ALL need little extra motivation. Good news is that you can actually train yourself to be motivated and stay motivated.
So, how to motivate yourself to run when the primary motivation elements are not working?
1. Set up a realistic goal. Pick a next race in the calendar to accomplish in one year from now.
2. Schedule your run. Clear up your calendar for the running days. Commit to it. Go.
3. Be prepared. Trick your little voice in your head that says ‘wait till tomorrow.’
4. Do not look the time. Concentrate and focus on finishing the run, no matter how long.
5. Read, listen and watch inspirational quotes, speakers, and runners.
The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. John Bingham
1. Set up a realistic goal
Sometimes you will find it so easy to get the motivation to wake up at 6 a.m. and get out the door. Other days, the motivation simply won’t be there, you’ll find thousands of excuses why you should do everything else, and not run. We all have been there, even the elite runners.
It is essential to set up a goal and develop an organized running program that you are going to follow, and you’ll have time for it. The idea is to start slow and then gradually fall in love with the process of running. To fall in love with the process, it is always good to set a goal, no matter how small, something to look forward to and that will motivate you to wake up early in the morning and keep up with your schedule.
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. – Confucius
You need to set a goal you can measure and then follow your progress. More you improve, and more you get closer to your final destination, more motivated you get to run. Set a big goal that you want to achieve (such as lose 10 kg, fit in your favorite dress, or entering a 10 km race). Then break down that goal in lots of tiny steps so that you have achievable flags to aim for.
When you set yourself a mission and a time frame in your calendar for reaching a particular goal, such as entering a race, your motivation will be high, and you will be looking forward to doing things you have not done before.
Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will. Feel the fear and do it anyway!
When you mark your goal and a clearly defined mission with a deadline in your calendar, is a good enough motivator to get you out of bed more natural, just because you have it marked in your schedule. And every time you go for a run, you will be feeling better for doing it. It is the deadline that pushes you down the road on days when you are not in a mood to do anything, especially run.
Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others cannot.
2. Schedule Your Run
Schedule your runs as they would be part of your daily routine or, an important meeting, a date…, you cannot miss. My running program starts on Monday. Why Monday? Well, for me the way I start the week will often set the tone for the rest of the week. After my Monday run, I always feel as I have done some considerable accomplishment. Monday runs motivate me to complete all my scheduled races for the week. Plus, sometime I even manage to sneak in an evening gym session. 🙂
If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
You can schedule your runs (walk-run) in the morning or in the evening. I love running both in the morning an in the evening but with work and family responsibilities, my evenings can be unpredictable. This is why nowadays I choose to run in the morning. Because when I do run in the morning, it feels as if I have added a few more hours in a day, where do not need to rush to do the rest of the daily tasks, plus I do not need to rush to work. With morning runs I am more consistent. Also, after a workday is over, it feels good to just get home to my family knowing that my day has been successfully completed and that I can now chillax at home. So, organize your running plan in such a way so that running will happen.
Don’t fear moving slowly forward…fear standing still.-Kathleen Harris
3. Be Prepared
Regardless of your running experience, a little voice inside of your head will always find a reason and tell you why not to run or exercise. But you can easily trick that ‘negative’ little voice inside your head. For instance, if you are running around your neighborhood, the night before the run, get prepared for the next morning, jump in your running clothes and your running shoes just outside your bedroom (unless you are brave and you want to put your shoes next to your bed). It might sound silly to sleep in your jogging clothes, but it does the trick.
Before the run, engage in something positive and fun.
Concentrate on the positive aspects of your training. More your focus is on the positive part of the exercise, you will start to feel good, more often.
Don’t push too hard, so you get exhausted entirely already after your first week of running. It takes time to get fit, and you need to get there slowly. Run at comfortable pace especially in the beginning so at the end of the run you will feel a bit tired but accomplished and with a thought in your mind ‘I can easily do some more next time.’ Get to this state of training and your motivation will be up and steady.
It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually, you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit. -George Sheehan, running author
Follow your weekly schedule as much as you can and exercise regularly. Why? Your left side of your brain is the smarty pants, it is a big negative, it will resist new challenges especially if it involves some sort of pain.
Your right side of the brain is creative and confident. Longer you wait to return to your running schedule, more negative messages you will get from your left side of the brain. And if there is a day you reallllly do not feel like going out for a run, go out for only 5-10 minutes and run. Learn to tap into the right brain. Run more often.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
– If your running experience is at the gym, pack your gym bag the night before, have everything ready.
– Do you love music? Prepare a motivational high bit music or any kind of music that makes your heart dance.
– Make sure you change the route from time to time. If you keep running over and over again the same track, it might get boring. So every week, schedule a different route to run.
Don’t fear moving slowly forward…fear standing still.-Kathleen Harris
4. Create Commitment
Different people are motivated by different things. Here are some further ideas.
Find new running friends. When it gets dark and cold, the best one can do curl up in a cozy bed and enjoy a hot cocoa drink and watch Netflix. One of the ways to avoid that is to join or gather together a group of people you will run with. When you have a group of people waiting in front of your home, it will help you focus not on how tired you are, how cold you are, or that you do not have time… Rather, your focus will be on having a nice run with a friendly company. It is a simple strategy, but it works. Also, your runs might look shorter, lighter and more enjoyable.
Follow your progress. There is nothing more motivating than to monitor how much you have progressed from the day one. You can download an app to your phone and track your running routes and progress.
Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not. -George Sheehan, running author
If you are more an online community fan, check The Running Bug site (therunninbug.co.uk). I also visit the website from time to time because it is aimed at mass runners and I love to read the enthusiasm of new runners, their challenges, and obstacles. People there are also so lovely and ready to share advice and own experiences. You can log your runs to earn Bugmiles. Based on your Bugmiles there are prizes you can win, and you get monthly goals to keep you on track.
I am a runner because I run. Not because I run fast. Not because I run far. I am a runner because I say I am. And no one can tell me I’m not. -John Bingham, author, and runner
The running stories.com is another great site where you can read other people running stories, which can be helpful and educational. You can also share your own story. Run mummy run site is a community for ladies, in particular mums. Here you will get lots of support, hear issues and get advises mums happily share.
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and, most of all, LOVE of what you are doing. – Pele
5. Keep Motivational Quotes At Hand
Reading or listening to motivational speakers and runners on a regular basis is a great way of keeping motivation. You can have them on your phone, write them down on paper and stick them in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, front door, office… I hope you find the following quotes motivational as I do.
The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race; it’s to test the limits of the human heart.- Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.-Thomas Jefferson
Runners just do it. They run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first.-Unknown
Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. -Lance Armstrong
What is the source of my success? I think it’s a combination of consistency and balance.” – Mark Allen
Run. Because zombies will eat the untrained ones first!” – Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide
Run the first two-thirds of the race with your head and the last third with your heart.“‘I breathe in strength and breathe out weakness,’ is my mantra during marathons—it calms me down and helps me focus.” – Amy Hastings
Look in the mirror. That is your competition.
Your thought of having lack of energy, being physically weak, overweight, next year vacation in Europe, your slim friend… will be your primary motivation to start running. If you cannot start to run right a way, begin this by walk-run and gradually increasing the distance every day. For example, for the next six months, wake up every day 45 minutes earlier than usual. Be disciplined.
Put on the comfy clothes and step outside. Walk 20 steps, run 50 steps. You find this easy? Increase running by ten steps… continue to increase the running steps as long as you are able to breathe easily and effortlessly. Run every day 20 minutes at first. When you no longer need to walk during those 20 minutes, increase your running sessions to 30-40 min and run three times a week. Have a healthy diet as well.
One run can change your day.
Many races can change your life.
Enjoy the journey.