If you’re a regular runner then you know that struggle with motivation can get your way. Running is a healthy activity that helps you in developing your stamina, strength and overall cardiovascular condition. Many people decide to run, but after some time they simply don’t stick to a routine and they lose the grip. If you want to stay in training, you should definitely have a routine set up before even starting. Also, self-discipline is a crucial thing here as sometimes it could be a hard thing to force yourself to run if you have a busy schedule.
No matter how much I love to run, sometimes I have a struggle with motivation to stick to the routine. I want to share with you some pieces of advice that help me whenever I don’t feel motivated to run.
#1 Set Goals
Running, as everything in life, needs specific goals that are achievable. It’s hard to follow the routine and stay on course if you don’t know what you want to accomplish. You should have long-term and short-term goals planned. For example, if you’ve just started with running, a good short-term goal would be to have a certain amount of sessions per week.
Depending on your schedule, I advise you to start with 3 sessions per week to start feeling benefits of running pretty fast. Regarding long-term goals, you need to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. Do you want to participate in a marathon or 5K race? Set realistic goals and chase them. For example, if you just started with training, you can’t expect to be ready for a marathon race in one month. Start with thinking and planning before you start with the training.
#2 Keep Track of Your Progress
If you set realistic goals, then it’s crucial to keep track of your progress. That way, you will get the idea if you’re a going in a good direction. The easiest way to track your progress is to start a running diary. Diary is a good way to see your progress over a period of time, which is a great way to motivate yourself. You can keep a simple diary with training details, but also, you can start with something more detailed. You can note down how you felt, what you ate, when the session started, time to complete, etc.
The more details you have in your diary, the better understanding you get. Diary is a great tool as it can point you in a right direction to reach your goals. You can also see what’s the best time for you to run or what food should you consume before the session, which will help you in organizing yourself. There are many running diary applications available for free, so it becomes effortless and fast to keep track of everything.
#3 Find a Running Buddy
On some days, it could be really hard to force yourself to run. Yes, I know it as I have struggled with that too. The interesting way to get the extra motivation is to have a friend who is running with you.
If you share the similar goals, then it’s always easier to keep the motivation high when two persons are involved. When you don’t feel like running, your friend will motivate you to stick to the routine and run. That’s also a great way to socialize, train and connect with people.
#4 Change Places
When people don’t feel motivated it can be caused by many things. One of the most obvious things is a comfort zone. If you’re running every day on the athletic field, it could become monotonous over a short period.
It’s important that you mix-up the things and change places of your running sessions now and then. If you’re traveling a lot and constantly find yourself in different places, what could be a better way to explore the city than running? You can simply put your favorite music on and run through the city. Imagine the possibilities if you find yourself on the island somewhere. You can literally do a running session everywhere, so only your imagination is the limit. Even if you live in one city, you can find the interesting routes that will keep you motivated. The key is to never fall in a monotony and what’s the better way than changing places of your running sessions?
#5 Join a Local Running Club
If you have real struggles with motivation and you can’t find anyone to run with you, the interesting way to keep up is joining a local running club. The running clubs often have specific training routines depending on your physical condition. The majority of clubs have many members that are separated in different groups regarding their endurance and experience. If you just started, you can join a beginners group, follow their routine and progress at a pretty fast rate.
The reason for the fast progress is simply because there are many runners and professionals around so they can help you with the tips and they know how to train effectively. Professionals will push theirs limits, running on the border of pain cave, if you are not that advanced you don’t have to push your self as hard, however I always found looking at this extremely motivating. Joining a local running club is also great for socializing. You can meet many like-minded and positive people who’re trying hard to be a better at life every day.
#6 Invest In Running Gear
Running gear can get quite expensive, but if you’re a beginner then you don’t need to aim for something fancy. A high-quality pair of running shoes and few compression shorts will do the job.
Once you invest money in something, it’s hard to not stick to it as you know your money is at stake. Also, running gear isn’t only for a motivation reason but as well as for keeping you healthy and staying out of injuries. If for any reason, weather or lack of clothes, you can’t make your running session, remember there is plenty of home cardio exercises you can do to keep your cardiovascular health at it’s peak. Also, if you own any home ellipticals equipment, a short and intense use on any type of rowing machines or any types of treadmills is a great addition to mix in, to keep your workouts exiting!
As a runner, it is critical to be able to listen to your body. Look for symptoms of exhaustion, and if noticed in the early stage, you can prevent them and lower their negative impact on your training and body.
Have you ever struggled with the motivation as a runner? How do you cope with the problem and find motivation even on the busiest days?