After you have been running for a while things may seem to get a little boring for you. Finding the motivation to keep running can be difficult sometimes. We start to make excuses and start finding other things to do besides run. To improve your running motivation we need to find things that will keep us moving forward and progressing. Below is a general list of ways to help keep your motivation and to stay running.
1) Get the right gear
Having the right gear while you are running can make or break you. Proper fitting running shoes are a must and since you will be running a number of miles in them they should be of good quality. This doesn’t mean buy the most expensive shoe this just means to buy the right shoes. A running store near my house will let you test out shoes for a week and if they don’t fit right or aren’t what you expected then you can return them. I don’t know of many running shoes stores that do this but if you can find one that does it is great. You just need to find some running shoes that are comfortable to begin with and that provide you with the support you need.
Next get the right attire for your runs. If you are trail running, road running, running in the snow or just normal everyday running you need gear for that. We aren’t going into specifics on what gear you actually need. What you do need to do thought is find out where you are going to be running and research what kind of gear you will need for that. You are obviously going to need different gear for trail running that track running so do your research. Trust me when I say that the proper gear will make you feel more comfortable in your runs and therefore help to improve your running motivation.
To improve your running motivation you need to set goals and they need to be realistic goals. You can’t expect to run a marathon by the end of the month if you have never ran before. Now a marathon by the end of the year is a good goal and will give you something that you are going to have to work hard for.
There are a couple different types of goals that need to be set. There are long term goals, short term goals and what I call quick goals. Long term goals are like running a marathon by the end of the year. Short term goal is to run three days a week until then and a quick goal is that you will finish this run that you are on. We need to set all three types of goals.
The key to success here is to write your goals down and post them somewhere you can see them every day. Obviously the quick goals aren’t going to be written down but the long and short term goals need to be written down. Also tell people about your goals. People will then ask you how you are coming on reaching your goals and this will provide you with motivation to keep going so that you can tell them how you are coming along.
3) Mix things up
After you have been running for a while things may seem to get monotonous. To improve your running mood you need to switch things up. If you normally run on a track try running on the streets around your neighborhood. If you always run around your neighborhood try trail running. Switching things up will cause you to have to focus more on where you are going and what you are doing. Instead of seeing the same thing day in and day out you will experience new scenery and new obstacles to overcome. If you can’t run a different track of route then, at the bare minimum, you can run your usual route in reverse. You will be surprised at how different things are when you see them from a different angle.
Also try mixing in other types of exercises into your running routine. Try cross training or biking or something else that will give you a cardio workout that isn’t running related. This will give you mind a break from running as well as strengthen accessory muscles that you don’t normally use while running. With this different kind of training you will actually improve your running form and quite possibly your speed.
4) Enter a race
Entering a can go a long with the goals that we talked about earlier. This will give you something to work towards. If you have a hard time just running to run then entering a race gives you a purpose. We all know that running is as much a mental game as a physical one so having a race in the back of your mind while you are running will help to improve your running performance. It will give you the extra motivation to push just a little harder to accomplish your quick goals.
5) Bring your music (or not)
Listening to music while you run is not everyone’s cup of tea. I listen to music while I run in the city but not when I run the trails. When I run I listen to high tempo music to keep me going. People naturally follow the beat of the music, whether they realize it or not. So if you have fast paced music on you will more than likely run faster.
However, some people run to get away from things and may not necessarily like to listen to music. On the trails I love to hear the sounds of nature and the stillness that comes with that. It is very relaxing to not actually hear anything but my own breath and footsteps as I run.
Be open to new things though. If you don’t ever run with music try it a few times and try to find music that you like, not everyone likes punk of r&b to run to. On the other side of that if you always have your tunes in try running without them for a few runs. This is all to just mix things up and make running more fun and therefore you will be more excited to do it.
Here is a short list of things that may help to motivate you to keep running
- Make running about you
- Reward yourself for your accomplishments
- Don’t be afraid to brag about your runs
- Show off your new gear. (this gives you an excuse to buy new gear to show off)
- Take before and after pictures and look at the before often
- Finish a race (you don’t need to take first just finish)
- Find a motivational quotes that you can remember and repeat is as you train
- Run to release those awesome endorphins
- Use the time running to sort out life’s problems
- In the end just HAVE FUN RUNNING!