It’s hard to keep a consistent running schedule and so easy to not run.
People ask me all the time how I stay motivated, but there is no clear cut answer. It’s a combination of things. They say “You’re so disciplined.” Sure, there is discipline, but how do I stay disciplined? is the question. I find what motivates me to keep running and I focus on that. Everyone has motivators to do certain things, such as, save money, eat healthy, work-out. Here are my “things” I have done that keep me motivated to run.
Tips to help you stay motivated:
1. Decide it’s a lifestyle that you want.
- A habit, if you will. It’s said that if you do something for 3 weeks it becomes a habit. I’m guessing it takes more than 3 weeks of running to make it a habit (or lifestyle) because you’re probably still going between love and hate at that point.
2. Be consistent.
- Running is hard, but has great benefits. You need to be consistent to reap the rewards. Running is not a sport that you can do every so often. You must run 2 -3 times a week to see improvement, and improvement can be very slow, so be patient. If there is a week you can only run once, then run once, don’t blow it off thinking you’ll make it up the next week. That’s not how running works. Next week you will be starting all over again, not from where you left off…especially when you’re a new runner.
The idea of losing the strength and endurance that I have gained is my greatest motivator.
3. Find a route that interests you.
- I generally run my neighborhood. I am a creature of habit and like to see the same people along my route…runners and walkers, young and old. We smile, say hello or wave. We have a common goal and it brings us together. When I need a change of scenery or a longer route, I go to the beach. There’s lots of activity along the bike path and it feels good to be outside with other people enjoying the same thing. Trail runs are also a great way to change it up.
4. Buy new running gear.
- Seems simple, but a new pair of shorts, shoes, hat, even socks, can make me look forward to my next run. I guess I’m easy like that. 🙂
5. Upload a new song to your playlist.
- This is an obvious motivator for me which is evident by my Music Monday posts. Go to Runheartfit Runlist 2016 to upload songs.
6. Register for a race.
- Registering for a race makes you accountable and keeps you motivated. It gives you a goal. There are some trail runs coming up here in Southern California that look like fun. Go to Rock it Racing for details. To find races in your area go to Active .com.
7. Buddy Up.
- Make a running date with a friend. Making a plan with a friend keeps you from flaking out. Running with a friend also makes it more interesting, it gives you someone to talk to (or listen to). Sometimes running with someone can increase your pace. I ran 8 miles non-stop with someone once at a pretty quick pace, only to find out when we finished that she wanted to stop and walk several times but thought I didn’t want to. I was dying the whole time.
8. Take your dog
- If you don’t have a dog, what a perfect time to rescue a dog. Be sure to research which dogs are best for running. An English Bull dog is probably not the best idea, while a German Short-haired Pointer will run forever. My dog has always been a motivator to get me out the door in the morning.
9. Know that you can eat carbs!
- Runners are known for eating carbs. What’s more motivational than that? Having said that…just because you are now a runner, doesn’t mean you get to eat an unlimited amount of carbs. Moderation is the key to everything. Running makes you hungry, especially when you’re new or you have an increase in mileage, be sure to keep your appetite in check. It is so easy to eat everything in sight… I mean, heck, you’ve earned it, right? 😉
10. Enjoy running!
- Take in your surroundings. Most of my runs are routine, but I try to take notice of the flowers, puffy white clouds, snow-capped mountains, dogs running on the beach… these things keep me motivated. It sounds corny but you’re out there for a reason, otherwise you would be in a gym on a treadmill…UGH!
11. Be Grateful.
- When asked why I run, I often say “I run because I can”. It’s true. I hope that I can always run. I see people everyday that cannot run even if they wanted to. I can, so I do. This thought motivates me in itself. I am grateful for my ability to run. My daughters ask me how long I plan on running…”until I no longer can”.
Thanks for reading. I hope I have motivated you to start or to keep on running!
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Keep running my friends!