I love running. Most days I’m happy to get out and run. But heck, let’s face it. Running can be hard, and some days it sucks. All you think about is your warm bed, your achy legs, the bad weather, etc. The excuses stack up fast and suddenly you have missed your run for the day.
I definitely have those days and I wanted to share some of the ways I stay motivated.
Having a Schedule
I have posted about this before on my personal blog and the TSFM blog. Creating a schedule for my runs is one the most powerful ways I make sure that my run happens. I block out time on my calendar for my run in the same way that I reserve time for appointments, meetings, etc. Not only does this mean that I have made a commitment for myself, it also means I know the best time of the day on any given day that is best for my run (i.e. no excuse that I had no time!).
Running with Friends
For social butterflies, running with friends is the best. Joining a running group was one of the best decisions I ever made! Most days or weeks, my runs are also my time catch up with friends. Often when I’m not feeling a run, I send a text to one of my “running wives” to see if anyone can join me. Most of the time, someone shows up and gets me into my running shoes.
Using Music/Podcast/Books on Tape
For those of us, who don’t love running with others or value our solo runs sometimes we need a little extra push. I often don’t run with music, but sometimes the iPod is the trick to make a run happen. For speed and hard workouts, music often works best. However, for long runs I enjoy throwing on a favorite podcast or book on tape. In fact, my 18 miler last summer was while I was out of town and having a book on tape kept me going for the entire run. (As a safety note, if possible keep the volume low or use only one earpod if on streets.)
Knowing the Best Time of Day
Similar to having scheduled your run, knowing the best time of the day to run is important. This doesn’t just mean when you have time but when you LIKE to run. Some of us love running early in the morning (this girl!) but for others getting up to run when its dark is the worst idea ever. So don’t plan to run when you know you will have difficulty making it happen. Don’t plan to get up early to run if you love sleeping in, instead schedule a “runch” or after work run.
Reading blogs, like this one, or articles in periodicals such as Running World is one of the best motivations I know. I love reading someone else’s strategy, finding new workouts to try, or getting inspired from a friend who recently PRed (created a new personal record at a race). Often after reading a blog post or article, I get excited for my next run. And since you’re here reading this, it’s likely true for you too!
Create a Goal
Sign up for a race and what better one than TSFM 2014?
Signing up for a race is one of the best motivators. If you have a race goal, you will not to miss that goal and you definitely will not want to look back and think “if I had just ran that one day I choose sleep instead…”
So what motivates you? Share in the comments the ways you keep excited about running.