How to Stay Motivated to Run

How to Stay Motivated to Run

Last Friday, I was anything but motivated to run.  The amount I wanted to run wasn’t just 0%; it was probably -20%.  My motivation to run was not there.

How to Stay Motivated to Run

As a runner and a running blogger, I am supposed to be motivated to run all of the time, right?  Otherwise, I have failed at my self-created duties! It can be hard to stay motivated to run every single day. In fact, I think it’s impossible — every runner, from the new runner to the professional, struggles with running motivation at some point during their career.

What happened that particular day?

  • I had a meeting in the morning. I’m a morning runner, and the later it gets, the less motivated to run. Some people like to run later, but I’m not one of those people.
  • I was already stressed out from outside life factors. For some people, running is their stress reliever.  For me, I like running, but I enjoy other things to relieve stress.
  • Finally, the weather was the coldest it has been all year. It’s not an excuse, but cold weather can be so demotivating.  Sometimes, the last thing I want to do is freeze in the bitter wind while running.

Ultimately around 1 pm, I found myself with a choice.  Either I was going to run, or I was not going to run.  I had my running clothing in the car, and instead of going straight home to think about running, I went straight to the gym.

I can’t tell you I’ve always decided to go for a run when I’m not motivated, but on Friday, I managed to get a solid treadmill run in.

Many people ask how to stay motivated to keep running.

The short answer is: you just do. Running motivation has to come from you wanting to run, not from a blog post telling you how to.

Here are a Few Tips for How to Stay Motivated to Run:

  • Just get Out There. Just take the simple and basic sport and go for a run.  Doing 20 minutes of running or even a 2-mile run is still a run! You don’t need to do a long run. Running motivation doesn’t mean running faster or doing a long run every day. It just means consistently getting out there.
  • Remember why you fell in love with the sport. Usually, you didn’t fall in love with running for a specific time or pace; it was just moving one foot in front of the other.  It shouldn’t feel like a chore.
  • Think about what you would actually be doing in your running time frame. For me, I know I would just be sitting on the computer and honestly doing minimal work.
  • For some people looking at motivational quotes, pictures, and social media gets them out running. If a running quote or mantra gets you motivated for a run, that’s awesome, and use it.
  • For me, I stay motivated to run seeing my friends and runners getting through it. If they can get through run bad weather, then so can I!
  • Have a Training Plan or Running Coach: Sometimes, having someone holding you accountable is all you need. A training schedule and see what you should do written out is enough for some people to stay motivated to run.
  • Meet a Running Group: There have been many times I haven’t had the running motivation, but meeting a local running club, training group, or running partner has got me out the door.
  • Cross-Train: If you don’t feel motivated to run, do something. Whether it’s cross-training, strength training, or getting a few minutes of movement, often, that is all you need.
  • New Running Shoes: Why does it feel easier to run in new shoes? You can’t buy new running shoes every day but once every few months can help your running motivation.
  • Podcasts: Listening to a podcast is like running with a friend. There are even motivational podcasts that can help you stay motivated to run. I wrote a list with some of my favorites here.
  • Visualize your Running Goals: Remember why you are training. To cross your first finish line? To finish your longest race yet? Sometimes remembering your why is what keeps you motivated to run. Visualize yourself crossing the finish line and reaching your goal.

Remember, at the end of the day; it’s just running.  If you take a day or two off, that’s fine.  Your overall fitness is built on consistently running, not just one day.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:
What are some tips you have to motivated to run? 
What is something you’ve accomplished recently?