Running Motivation: 15 Ways to Free Your Inner Runner (and power through the times when you don’t feel like running)
Running Motivation: How To Get It, Keep It, And Make Progress Without It!
Even if you’re a passionate, dedicated runner, sometimes you’ll get into a bit of a rut when it’s just hard to make time for that daily run. Running motivation can fade, and life has a way of catching up with you, especially if you have a lot of family commitments.
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But remember: getting into a daily running routine is often more mental than physical. With that in mind, here are 15 tips for freeing your inner runner and powering through the tough times.
#1: Mix up your running routine
There’s something comforting about going on the same run, day after day, but just like anything in life, the same routine can get old fast. That’s why you need to think about ways to vary your routine. Instead of running on a track every day, think about mixing in speed work, interval training and hill repeats.
#2: Set goals and follow them
Setting measurable goals is one way to push yourself further. And, with the number of different wearable fitness devices on the market today, it’s easier than ever to track all the quantitative aspects of your run over a period of time. In doing so, you can create drive, running motivation, and ensure that you are following all of your established goals over both the short and long term.
#3: Challenge yourself frequently
If you normally run 5Ks, think about signing up for a 10K. If you run 10Ks, think about signing up for a half-marathon or marathon. The key is to be constantly challenging yourself so that you are expanding what you’re capable of achieving. It’s impossible to describe the mental boost you’ll get after you meet one of your challenge goals. You’ll feel like anything is possible and your running motivation will be at an all-time high.
#4: Don’t get caught up with hitting a certain pace
Every runner wants to run as fast as possible – but pushing yourself too fast, too soon, can often have negative repercussions. For one, you won’t be able to get in the distance work you want because you’ll be too tired. And, for another, you may be putting too much stress on your body, and that could lead to injuries later.
#5: Find a running partner
Running solo can be a magnificent experience. But, let’s face it – sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to squeeze in a daily run. If you have a running partner, though, everything becomes easier. You won’t want to let him or her down, and you will be mentally prepared for a run, even if your body is saying “no.”
#6: Find a charitable cause to support
Sometimes the motivation for getting in your daily runs can come from causes that you support in your everyday life. Ever notice how some of the most popular races are for medical causes and the search for medical cures? That’s because a worthy humanitarian cause can be a powerful stimulus for people to involve others in their running and race preparations.
#7: Experiment with running at different times of the day
OK, some of us are morning people, and some of us are night people. While getting in a morning run can be a great way to get a boost of energy before the day even starts, sometimes it’s just not possible given scheduling commitments. So think about switching things up, maybe going for a run at night or after you’re back from work or picking up the kids from school.
#8: Find your running power song
Music can be a great way to pump up your energy level, either before or during a run. Up-tempo songs can be a great way to push yourself faster, and slower songs can be a way to guide yourself through a warm-up or cool-down.
#9: Experiment with meditation and stretching
To prepare yourself mentally for a big race or a new training regimen, there’s nothing better than some deep meditation, followed by stretching. Gaining focus is one way to get your mind and body back in sync. And when that happens, you’ll be more inspired to go for your daily run.
#10: Read running magazines and blogs for inspiration
Reading about the practices of elite runners can help to inspire and motivate you to take your running to the next level. There’s always something that you can learn from others, and insights from runners in magazines and blogs can be a great way to turbo-charge your training routine.
#11: Go off the beaten track
Who said you have to run on a track or treadmill every day? Running in nature can be a great way to find your inner peace and running along an uneven surface will help you in terms of balance, coordination and stability.
#12: Change your diet
There are some running foods that can help your body feel better and more energized, everything from almonds and oranges to whole-grain cereals and salmon. Elite runners know exactly what they are putting into their bodies, and why.
#13: Become smarter about how your body works
By taking a more holistic view of your body, you will become smarter about how to make small tweaks in your running routine, from diet and sleep to specific exercises and stretches to relieve pain and stiffness.
#14: Use the power of positive visualization
Like we said, getting back into a runner’s groove is often more mental than physical. With that in mind, the answer might just be getting your mind back in sync with your body. One technique that’s been known to work for many runners is “positive visualization” – if you can visualize every step of getting ready for and then completing a great run – including the mental boost at the end – you’ll be ready to get over any mental obstacles holding you back.
#15: Pick up some cool running gear
You didn’t think that we’d list 15 ways to free your inner runner and not mention the great sunglasses from Athletes Insight, did you? Having the right look can make a big difference in your self-esteem. If you look like a runner, you’ll feel like a runner. And our high-performance sports sunglasses and running gear make it easier to get in a run, no matter the weather conditions.
As these 15 tips illustrate, the most important thing is to have fun when you run. Whether you’re just getting started, or are an experienced runner with plenty of races under your belt, it never hurts to have a few tricks to help you get over those times when you have lost running motivation, or simply don’t feel like running. Once you find the strength to power through these obstacles once, it becomes progressively easier the next time around!
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