How to Stay Motivated for Running
Whether you’re an elite athlete or are just getting into exercise, it’s likely that you’ll encounter days when you just don’t feel like going for a run, and staying in bed to watch a movie seems like a better idea. However, in order to make sure you get the most from your training, it’s vital that you stay motivated. Keeping active doesn’t just help improve your physical health, it also benefits your mental health.
We’re dedicated to making sure you’re enjoying your fitness training, so below we’ve outlined our favourite tips for keeping running motivation levels high.
Set Yourself a Goal
It’s far easier to stay motivated if you have an achievable goal you are working towards. You’ll be determined to reach your target, and as a result you’ll be willing to work harder and put that extra bit of effort in. If you’re just running for the sake of it and don’t have an objective, you’ll soon get bored and are likely to stop running after a little while.
Completing a virtual challenge is an ideal type of goal that runners can try to achieve. Virtual challenges require you to run a set distance throughout the month in however many sessions you like. Different distances are available to take part in, allowing people of all abilities and ages to participate, and the distances can be covered whenever and wherever you like.
Run with a Partner
Running seems easier and more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with and it’s a great way of keeping fit and spending time with people you care about. Rather than arranging to meet a friend for a slice of cake, instead organise to go on a run together – it’ll motivate you to put the TV remote down and get off the sofa!
Alternatively, if you’ve got kids, you could go for a fun run with them. It doesn’t have to be far, but getting outside and exercising will be beneficial for both you and your children. There are a variety of virtual challenges available for children to enter, so it can be a good way of getting them off their games console and motivating them to complete the challenge and regularly exercise
Create a Training Plan
When people first start to get into exercise, they usually make the same mistake of just running for as long as they can. Within a few minutes they run out of breath and are adamant that they’ll never put their running shoes on again. However, if you create and follow a detailed training plan, it’ll make it much easier for you to ease into fitness – you’ll also be able to track your progress and see how much you’ve improved.
You should mark significant milestones as you go through your training plan. For example, your first mile completed or your first run without walk breaks if you’re new to running, or if you’re taking your fitness slightly more seriously, make sure you record your first sub-7 mile as well as the first time you complete a double-digit run.
Training can be incredibly tough at times, and as you’re constantly working hard and pushing yourself, you’re entitled to a little treat every so often. You should celebrate certain successes, such as the milestones mentioned above, but this doesn’t necessarily mean tucking into your favourite takeaway. Make it a productive reward, such as a new pair of running shoes or a running t-shirt. As a result, you’ll be looking forward to trying out your new gear, and will be itching to go out for another run.
Run in the Morning
This isn’t possible for everyone, but consider getting up early and going on morning runs. If you complete your runs first thing in the morning, you’ll have accomplished so much before others are even out of bed, and it will feel like you’ve gained a couple of hours during the day. You’ll have time for work and home responsibilities in the evening, as well as time to relax!
If going on early morning runs just isn’t possible for you, an alternative is to schedule your run like it’s an appointment you can’t miss. Book it in for a certain time in your calendar – knowing you’ve dedicated some time to go for a run will make you more inclined to do it, and will make you feel guilty if you skip out!
Take a Break
Rest is crucial for preventing injuries and staying motivated. You should incorporate regular recovery days into your schedule to allow your muscles the time to recover, to prevent fatigue and to reinvigorate your enthusiasm for training.
Change Where You Run
In order to stay motivated, we highly advise that you take your training to different locations. Running on a treadmill and staring at the same wall for hours will quickly become tedious, as will running around the same field every week, and you’re more likely to stop running altogether when it becomes boring. Plan your route before you set off, making sure that you don’t run the same course time and time again. If you’re struggling to think of different places to run, have a look online- there’s bound to be plenty of people from your area sharing their favourite route.
Listening to some motivational music can be extremely beneficial to your performance. It’ll motivate you to get out of the door, and push you to run that extra mile.
How Race at your Pace Can Boost Motivation
Here at Race at your Pace, we’re dedicated to rewarding people for getting outdoors and keeping active. Our virtual challenges challenge you to run a specified distance in a month, and are great for motivating people to regularly exercise! Contact us for more information, or sign up to one of our popular challenges today!
See more: Diet & Nutrition Tips for Runners