How to Stay Motivated to Run

How to Stay Motivated to Run (With No Races)

Right now, it can be hard to stay motivated to run. For some of us, we don’t race, so the lack of races doesn’t change how we run. For others, we miss racing. We miss running with others and we miss having a concrete goal to strive for. Just because you can’t race, doesn’t mean you can’t be motivated to run. That being said, like anything, there is no right or wrong way to do the pandemic.  Just be healthy and be safe.

How to Stay Motivated to Run

As a running blogger, I am supposed to be staying motivated to run all of the time, right?  Otherwise, I have failed at my self-created duties! It is 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.

Especially during the Pandemic, 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 too.  If you find yourself lacking motivation or wanting to do other things, that’s okay too. Sometimes, your body and mind get burned out from things and that includes running.

The short answer to staying motivated to run is change change change. Change your routine, change the time you run, change the area, change something. Variety keeps you healthier both mentally and physically, just be sure to follow the local laws. Run when you feel like running. If that means a morning run or late night run, that’s okay.

To stay motivated running, you want to run when it feels good.

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.  Easy runs, doing 20 minutes of running, doing a 2-mile run, is still a run! You don’t need to do long-distance running. Staying motivated to run doesn’t mean running faster or doing a long run every day.  It just means getting out there and doing what feels right.
  • Remember why you fell in love with the sport. It wasn’t run a specific time or pace; it was just moving one foot in front of the other.  It shouldn’t feel like a chore.
  • Change Your Route: Sometimes, changing your route is all you need to stay motivated to run. Since many of us are working from home, it can be easy to get into the habit of running the same route every day. Change it up and it can keep you motivated to run.  Try running the same route backward.
  • Change your Surface: Similarily, if you typically run roads, try running on trails. Stay safe and follow local rules and laws. If the parks are currently closed, respect that.
  • Virtual Races: Many runs and races are holding Virtual races now. You can upload your results and see how you stack up against other people. Virtual Races have become a fun way for staying motivated to run and racing people you never have the opportunity too.
  • 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.
  • Motivational quotes, pictures, and social media get them out running: If a running quote or mantra gets you out the door, that’s awesome and use it.  Staying motivated to run is all about works for you!
  • For me, I stay motivated to run seeing my friends and runners getting through it: If they can get through a run in bad weather, then so can I!
  • Have a Training Plan or Running Coach: Sometimes having someone holding you accountable is all you need to stay motivated to run. A training schedule and see what you should do written out, is enough for some people to stay motivated.
  • 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, oftentimes, 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 or running gear every day but once every few months can help your running motivation.
  • 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 your running motivation. Visualize yourself crossing the finish line and reaching your goal. Even if we don’t know when the next race will be, that doesn’t mean you can’t visualize it.

While not relevant right now, meeting new running clubs and training groups can help keep you motivated to run.  Training partners (even virtually) can get help you to stay motivated to run. Joining a running group can be as easy as joining a Facebook or Strava group.

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 stay motivated to run? 
What is something you’ve accomplished recently?