Finding the motivation to run can be difficult. Some find the thought of going for a long run daunting. When faced with the prospect of a run, seeing the fun in it can be difficult. Many simply envision an hour or two of torture.
But there are tricks to find the joy in running. Add the tips mentioned below into your routine and you’ll find that your desire to run further and train more frequently will skyrocket.
Pick an event to train for: Running for the sake of running doesn’t provide ideal motivation for the average person. To get the most out of your runs, you need to train with purpose. So choose an event at the beginning of the year and dedicate your training toward that event. Even better, set up an event or race calendar and set up a specific training regimen with the goal of peaking at the right times to maximize your performance. Having something specifically to train for will bring out the best in your motivation.
Run with a friend: Training alone can be tough. It’s been said, “you need to have an incredible relationship with yourself” to get through hours of running alone. Running with company is a much better solution. A friend gives you someone to speak with to help pass the time, to motivate you when you don’t have the desire to train and to keep you going when you may want to stop. Each of you may want to stop, but neither may be willing to admit it. And so you both soldier on.
Skip the music: While music can be fun to work out to, your goal when running should be to zone out. Find a good audiobook or a podcast to get lost in. You want your brain to settle into a frequency of relaxation. Find the right story and you’ll begin to look forward to each of your runs.
Use out and back points: Once you’ve managed to get yourself running, you may find it’s easy to give up on a run early. You may get bored or tired and just want to turn around and head home. To combat this urge, try pre-planning a turn-around point. Your goal is to get there at all costs. Once you do, you’ve guaranteed the full distance of your run, as you’ll have to run the whole way home. It takes the desire to cut your run short out of the equation.
Track your progress: Start keeping a running journal or track your progress digitally. Log how far you went, how you felt, what you ate and more. Track as much as you can. Nothing makes you want to go for a run more than seeing yourself get faster and the desire to exceed your previous performance. Get a GPS watch and utilize their tracking features to really take things up a notch. You can track pace during and after runs, as well as your distance, average and current heart rate and more. Some even handle elevation profiles and give you post run digital readouts of your route.
Running doesn’t have to be something you dread. With enough time, you’ll start to find your daily run isn’t so bad, and it may even become therapeutic.
Make a couple adjustments to your routine and utilize a few ways to trick your mind and you may find enjoyment in the process. If you use these tips to boost your motivation, you’ll find yourself running faster, stronger and even getting excited to train.