Sometimes the hardest part of running is getting out the door. Oftentimes we fall prey to mind over mattress syndrome, where the comfort of the duvet conquers our best intentions – and we miss yet another early morning training run. Unless we are able to conjure up the motivation that gets us out the door, we will achieve absolutely nothing.
In this article, we present a smorgasbord of motivational tips that you can dine from every day in order to feed your desire and get you over that doorstep.
Run an Errand
Run an errand. If you need to return a DVD, incorporate it into your run, even if you have to take a long route.
Run trails rather than running the road. It will give you a great change of pace. Just remember to be safe – carry a cell phone.
Be in the Moment
Stay in the now – don’t focus on how far you’re running – just the next step.
Keep it Real
Be realistic – keeping with 3 workouts per week regularly is far better than getting out there every day for two weeks and then crashing and burning.
Go Bargain Running
Run in search of garage sales – check them out on the way back.
Share the Joy
Start a training blog. Post your daily mileage – then give your blog address to your friends and family so they can monitor your progress – and spot when you’re skiving off.
Invest in a new pair of running shoes. It’s fun to break in a new pair – it may be enough to get you through a rough motivation patch.
Don’t Watch the Clock
Forget about time. Leave your watch behind. Don’t worry about your pace – just enjoy the run and think of the many running health benefits that your body is getting.
Run at lunchtime. It will give you a midday break from stress, while allowing you to better utilize the number of hours in your day. Running at lunchtime will also ensure that you don’t put too many calories into your body.
Find a Running Buddy
Get a running partner. Knowing that someone’s waiting on a street corner for you at 6am is bound to get you out the door.
Focus on Your Goals
Set, and have firmly in mind, your daily goal – it might be a technique, a pace goal, or even a goal to sprint at the end of the run.
Get a pedometer
Wearing a pedometer will allow you to track your running distance in steps. Distance sounds more impressive in steps (FYI: 10,000 steps is equivalent to about 5 miles).
Have a Back Up Plan
There are times when your running partner will be unavailable? Don’t let that stop you from completing your planned run. Ask a friend or family member to come along with you. If they’re not as fit as you, invite them to bike alongside you.
Do a Mini Run
Don’t feel up to it today? That’s ok – just head around the block. Chances are by the time you’re halfway there, your mojo will come back and you’ll hit your stride and keep going.
Don’t Feel Guilty About Walking
Need a walking break? Take one – walking and running are the same thing, just at different speeds.
Adjust to the Weather Conditions
Check the forecast. Go to www.weather.com and see what you can expect for the next few days. If it’s going to be blazing hot, switch to an early morning session.
Chart Your Progress
Have a sticker chart to track your training – and palace it on your fridge. Every successful run gets a gold sticker. It works for adults as well as kids!
Give Yourself a Break
Don’t expect greatness every day. Just like our mood, our energy and strength levels fluctuate daily. So don’t expect your progress to be a linear progression. As long as you’re out there running, you are making forward progress.
When you’re not in the mood, head out a half hour earlier. If you procrastinate it won’t happen at all, so do it now!
Run With Your Best Friend
Get a dog. That way when you choose to slacken off on your schedule, it’s not just hurting you, it’s hurting him – and you’ll love him too much to allow that!
6 Great Running Reads
Learning about the challenges and triumphs of those who have run before us can be extremely motivating. The following six books will provide you with a feast of inspiration from some of the best runners who have ever lived. Read in bed and you’ll drift off to sleep with thoughts of running greatness in your mind . . . and wake up rearing to run.
- The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe
- Once a Runner by John L. Parker
- Pain by Dan Middleman
- Bowerman and the Men of Oregon by Kenny Moore
- Life At These Speeds by Jermey Jackson
- Wilma by Wilma Rudolph