TEN WAYS TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO RUN WHEN YOU REALLY DON'T FEEL LIKE IT
1. Run With A Friend/Group
Having someone to share the run with or better yet, to hold you accountable can be a great motivator. Call up a running buddy or attend a group run. Rhode Runner has group runs every Tuesday (Beginner runner group), Wednesday (all levels), Thursday (Beginner runner group) and Sunday (all levels)! If you can get into the routine of regularly running with someone, or as part of a group, you’ll find yourself running even on those days when you don’t feel like it.
2. Run With Music
Create a playlist in iTunes or Spotify or pick a station in the RockMyRun app. I’ve created an energetic, public playlist in Spotify called...what else, Hit The Rhode, which you can follow and jam to while you run! In Spotify you can also select ‘Running’ under ‘Browse’ which allows the app to detect your running cadence (steps per minute) and then set the music to exactly your step count. Pretty cool, huh?! I think so!
3. Pick A Scenic Route
Maybe the reason why it’s so hard for you to get out the door is because you run the same route every single time. This route may be convenient and familiar but it may also be time to change things up. Try mapping out a new route and making it a little more scenic so that you have something new to look at during the run. You might just find it inspiring, conveniently distracting or just refreshing to be in a new location.
4. Run With Your Dog
Not only are they man’s best friend, dogs can also be man’s best running buddies! Dogs are almost always full of energy and up for a romp around the neighborhood or park. Tap into that energy and take them with you when you least feel like hitting the road, trail or bike path alone. Just make sure you know your dog well (age, health and breed are all important), keep the leash on him/her when necessary and be sure to develop the mileage gradually. Your dog may not yet be ready for those easy ten milers!
5. Run Early In The Morning
The time of day that you run can make a big difference. Morning runs are a great way to jumpstart your day and make you feel awake and energetic! They also allow you to reward yourself with a good post-run breakfast before you step out the door to take on the day. Also, it’s sometimes great to just get the run over with early so that you don’t have to think about it! Combine this with running with a friend or with a group and you’ll have the best of both scenarios. If you are planning to run in the morning, make sure that you hydrate well the day before and eat something small at least an hour before the run (a little bit of oatmeal, a banana or a sports drink work well here). I’m having a banana right now as a matter of fact. You can experiment and see what works best for you. You may find that you run just fine on an empty stomach but a little bit of food before a run is always recommended.
6. Run For Time
I’ve coached many runners who feel the need to always target a specific mileage goal on every run. While this is an effective method of training, I believe that it is important to routinely plan runs that are dictated by time rather than distance. This is something I plan often, both in my coaching and in my own training. It’s also a great way to motivate yourself to get out the door. If you normally run at a 7:00 pace, it may be easier to think of going out for a 35-minute run rather than a 5 mile run. This also encourages you to run based on how you feel and if you don’t quite get to 5 miles in those 35 minutes, don’t sweat it! You got out the door and ran for that time, and that is all that matters.
7. Run To A Destination (one word, FOOD!)
Turn your run into more than just a run. Turn it into a way to get to somewhere you want to go. You can plan to meet a friend or a group at a favorite local eatery or pub. This way the run becomes just a part of your morning, afternoon or evening plans...but an important part. You could even arrange to meet at the destination and then run from there and back. Now you’ve created an incentive to run that wasn’t there before. Bon appetit!
8. Create A Challenge Or Commit To A Goal
Many running apps have built-in features that allow you to create challenges with other runners. In these apps you can create weekly, monthly or yearly mileage challenges which tap into your competitive spirit. You can also simply write down your goal and share it with others. A public commitment. Many of you have already done this and kudos to you! Once you accept a challenge or commit to a goal, you’ll find yourself that much more inspired to get out the door and get after it.
9. Get Inspired By Social Media
If your social media accounts are anything like mine, they are chock full of runners doing all sorts of amazing things. All it takes is a few minutes perusing my feeds, especially on Instagram, to be wildly motivated to get out the door and run. Use the people, training groups and running teams that you follow on social media to provide that much needed inspiration. Sometimes all it takes is someone who you consider your “equal”, going out for a run, to motivate you to do the same. Follow, interact and get inspired by social media!
10. Run To Raise Money
There is no better reason to run than to help others. Sign up to raise money for your favorite charity or cause and it could be just what you need to get you out the door. You could even consider running 1 to 3 miles per dollar that is donated. This way your own fundraising is actually holding you accountable for those miles. I consider this a win-win!
Get Creative. Run Inspired. Run For Life.