We can all find it hard to get out the door from time to time. Whether you are just getting into running, or a seasoned athlete, there are times that we may find it difficult to find that motivation. During the winter months it can be harder to find that motivation in the cold and wet, sometimes taking those first steps out of the door seem impossible.
During this blog I’m going to give you my top tips to kick start that training when you have lost your mojo. This will kickstart my Running Motivation series of short blogs from people that inspire me, with their top tips for staying motivated.
Just do it
Sometimes the best way to get motivated is to just get out there and run. It is often hard to start, you may not feel like it, and everything is telling you not to bother. The reality is that you almost always feel better afterwards. The hardest part is getting out of the door, so remember that next time you can’t be bothered.
Make a plan, pre schedule that run
It is easy to miss a run, and one run turns into to, and so on. It starts becoming more difficult when you have a plan. When you are structured you are more likely to hold yourself to account. Or at least if you miss a session you are more likely to try and make it up. So if you want to stay motivated, start with a plan.
When making your plans be realistic, set something up that works for you. If you make something that fits around your life, and that is achievable, you are more likely to do it. If you have an unrealistic plan, that is easy to miss a session then it makes it easier to stop following it. So set something up you can work to.
Run with others – social group, clubs, parkrun
When you are only holding yourself to account it is easy to be weak. It’s easy to just let yourself down, and justify not doing something. But if you have friends that you have made plans with it is harder to miss it. Not only will you be less likely to want to let others down, and they are more likely to hold you to account. But if you have a fun social set up, you are more likely to want to stick to your workout. Just remember that if you are enjoying yourself along the way you will be more likely to stay motivated.
Run with music
When running, especially long runs, it can get boring. If you are running by yourself, consider music to keep you entertained. I can run for much longer alone when distracted by music. Otherwise you start thinking about time, and distance, it becomes boring and this makes it feel harder.
Do you treat yourself? Consider having treats for completing your workout. Whether this is restricting your go to treat such as coffee or chocolate to after a workout, putting money in a jar for a bigger reward, or planning another treat, start having something to look forward to. By adding something or restricting something until you have done your run, this adds motivation to get it done. Just think, what will you run for?
Treat yourself to new gear
We all like new kit day. Running in new kit can give you the motivation to go out and try it on, which can kickstart your training. This can add to the point above, or you could treat yourself each season. Whatever you do, a little treat every now and then will give you a boost.
Book an event
Have something to aim towards. The biggest motivation I find is having an event to work towards. I never want to turn up to an event under prepared, because if I do I don’t enjoy it as much. So get yourself an event you will want to do well at, and give yourself that reason to go and train for it.
Set small goals
When you have a big event to work towards you can lose track along the way, especially if you have a stretch goal (something that will be really hard to achieve). So set yourself smaller targets along the way. This may be other events, or smaller challenges. Whether this is a distance or speed challenge, have something that helps you track progress. We can all fall victim of having unachievable targets and feeling like we never make progress. By having smaller measures along the way you are more likely to notice your improvements, which will give you motivation to keep going.
I hope my top motivation tips help you to keep on track this winter. But to help along the way I’m going to do a series of regular posts from lots of fantastic people to keep you going.
Let me know what your best moment of 2019 was, what you are looking forward to in 2020, and your tip motivational tip. And keep me posted on how your training goes this winter.
14 thoughts on “Running Motivation”
Great tips here that will really help people. I’m fortunate in that I manage to stay motivated to hit my main goal – run at least 20 miles a week – as it keeps me mentally and physically well. That really helps (and having a cool target that that creates of 1,000 miles in a year is nice, too: just hit it today!). Having said that, today it was only knowing that I had 11 miles on my hastily jotted down marathon plan that made me force my way, soaked through and freezing from the weather having suddenly come down while we were doing parkrun, back towards home from parkrun for the requisite miles. Having my friend Mary Ellen with me helped, too: “It’ll feel worse if you give up before the target distance”. So bits of all your tips in one day there!
Fantastic Liz, having your friend and a weekly goal is fantastic