3 Ways to Motivate Yourself While Running

11 Jan 3 Ways to Motivate Yourself While Running

Remember when you were a teenager, and cross country practice was one of the things you dreaded most about your week?

Messy hair, red cheeks, and insecurity did not exactly help make friends.

Fast forward to today, and running is a regular part of your week, or you would like it to be at least.

You may look at running in a whole new light, but one thing has not changed, it still can be boring, and once it gets boring, it is much easier to slip back into that old mindset of avoiding it at all costs.

We know that setting goals helps to keep us on track, and committing to a race can be one big motivator that can get you out the door on those frigid winter mornings, but what about once you are out there?

Whether you are following a marathon training schedule, or training for your first 5k, having something to keep your mind off the struggle will be a welcomed distraction. Here are three ways to stay motivated during your run:

Create a playlist of your favorite upbeat songs

This is the method of distraction most runners enjoy, and it is unlikely to go anywhere soon. Research has found that running to music improves performance, and will help you fend off those mental demons telling you to slow down.

If the time you spend running is the only time in your day you have to yourself, running to your favorite music will be enjoyable, while taking your mind off the hundreds of other things you have to do in your day.

Apps like Pandora, iHeart Radio, and Spotify make it easy to listen to your favorite genre of music if your iTunes library gets stale.

That escape, even if only for a little while, can leave you feeling accomplished, motivated, and ready to take on what life throws at you.

Listen to inspiring podcasts

There are few things more inspiring than other runners who have accomplished incredible things. Listening to those runners sharing their journey of how they overcame challenges to reach their goal is enough to motivate anyone to stick to what they are doing.

The Run to the Top podcast covers a variety of running topics from influencers like Chris McDougall, world class runners like Molly Huddle, and scientists who are helping us to understand how we can run faster and feel better. Of course there is also a lot of everyday runners who have an extraordinary story, and will encourage you to be your best too.

This podcast is guaranteed to have an episode to inspire and motivate you. If this is your first time listening to a podcast, try this one with Dick Beardsley. If this does not leave you inspired, nothing will.

Think about the finish line

If you have signed up for a goal race, have your training plan all set up, even made it out the door to start your run, but the winter weather is making it very tempting to turn around, it can be tough to keep going.

This is where those mental demons start to come out, telling you that you are never going to be good enough, that there is no point in doing this, and that you can’t do this.

Rather than beating yourself up for your weakness, try being kind to yourself. Think about the fact that you made it out the door, that you are out there doing this, and that on race day, you will remember this moment. You will remember how tempting it was to quit on the day you battled the negative windchill and your fingers felt like they were going to fall off.

Think of how good it will feel when you cross the finish line of your goal race, and you know you overcame setbacks to get there. Replay race videos of yourself or others in your mind, visualize how good it is going to feel when you accomplish that goal, and how proud you will be.

Everyone has those moments where they want to quit, but if you think about why you are doing this, you are more likely to tough it out, and be proud you did.

Running isn’t easy. We know that, but it is the difficulty of doing it that makes it even more rewarding.

You might not always enjoy it in the moment, but as you slow to a walk and the endorphins rush around your body, you will be glad you stuck it out, and might even want to go back out there and keep going.

Guest post by Tina Muir, Community Manager, RunnersConnect