Regardless of whether you’re just starting to run, or have been running for years, finding the motivation to run can sometimes be tricky. Just about every running will probably agree that your success has a great deal to do with your ability to stay motivated as a runner.
Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to stay motivated and energized during training.
Today, Kyle Ohman from Lists for All is sharing some of his favorite tips and tricks to stay motivated and energized as a runner. Check out his advice below!
When it comes to running, not everyone sees it the same way. Some see running as a punishment or something that “has to be done” if you want to stay fit. Others spend hours and hours every day passionately running because they love it.
The third, and most common group, are those that find themselves somewhere in between. These are the runners that enjoy running but aren’t as consistent as they could be with it.
Regardless of what group you find yourself in as a runner, this article is going to breakdown how you can motivate and energize yourself to continue moving forward. Whether you are just looking to start, or are looking to set a new PR, each of these keys will help you in your pursuit of becoming a better runner.
Take advantage of these nine ways to stay motivated and energized as a runner, and start getting the most out of your running.
9 Ways to Stay Motivated and Energized as a Runner
Set Short and Long Term Goals
It is always easier to get yourself motivated if you know that you are working towards something. This is especially true on the days where your motivation may happen to be a little bit lower than usual.
That is why you must sit down and come up with personalized goals for yourself. By taking the time to write out your goals and then place them somewhere that you will see them regularly, you set up reminders for yourself. You will be able to refer back to your goals, and will better be able to find the motivation to keep going.
When selecting your goals, it is essential to set both short and long term goals. This will allow you to see what you are ultimately working towards, but it will also allow you to experience some success as you go.
This pairs well with setting goals, as you can pick a reward for yourself if you accomplish one of your goals. It doesn’t have to be anything huge either. It could be a new set of workout clothes or maybe a nice dinner out. Whatever it is, find something that speaks to you, and that will help you stay motivated to continue forward.
Find a Partner
One of the best ways to stay motivated and energized as a runner is by finding a partner. Being able to find someone that has similar goals to you and can push you and hold you accountable can be a game-changer.
The goal is to find a partner that has the same schedule as you and is a similar level runner. That isn’t always the easiest thing to do, though. So if you are struggling to find someone that meets that criteria, that is okay. Ask a close friend or family member to be your accountability partner. They don’t need to go on runs with you, but they are someone that you have permitted to hold you accountable.
If you can find someone that is both encouraging and also not afraid to call you out, you are going to be able to set yourself up for success.
Mix it Up
Doing anything the same way over and over gets boring. So instead of allowing yourself to fall into the same running pattern week in and week out, mix it up. Go to the track and run, hit up the treadmill at the gym, find a new path to jog on, etc. Keep mixing it up, and it will be a lot easier to stay motivated and energized.
Run for a Cause
Being a part of something bigger than yourself is always a great way to find extra motivation and energy. It can sometimes be easy to blow off running for a day when it only impacts you, but if you know that you are training for a particular cause, it will challenging you not to skip any days.
A friend of mine recently pledged to run a marathon and asked people to donate towards building clean water wells in poorer countries. He would train regularly, share his progress, and continue to raise money as he did.
Find something that you are passionate about, raise money for a good cause, and use it as motivation to become the best runner you can be.
Keep Your Mind Engaged While Running
The more you can keep your mind engaged while running, the quicker the miles will fly by. And, while it isn’t a must to listen to anything (I prefer running without headphones), a great way to pass the time is with music, audiobooks, a podcast, etc.
Before you know it, you are wrapped up in what you are listening to, and are flying through your run. Also, if you do choose to listen to something educational, this is a great way to be productive and maximize your time.
If you do choose to listen to headphones, make sure that you are aware of what is going on around you, and please make sure to be aware and stay safe.
Train for a Race
If you are a competitor, this is going to be a great way to stay motivated and energized as a runner. Training for a race will allow you to have something to work towards. Rather than running just to run, you know have a specific goal to aim for. And don’t feel like you need to be the best runner at the event or come in first place overall.
Instead, challenge yourself to get a new personal record, or maybe run a distance you haven’t tried before. Find something to challenge yourself with, and then do your best to accomplish it.
Value Your Recovery Time
A big part of any fitness plan is recovery time. If you are continually tearing your muscles down without giving them time to recover, you aren’t going to see the results that you are looking for. So it is critical that you are getting the needed time to recover between your runs.
It is also important what you are doing with your recovery time. Are you making sure to stretch, eat the right things, get a good night’s sleep, maybe take some supplements, and so on? The more you can stay on top of these recovery areas, the better you will feel, and the better your results will be.
The more you do something, the easier it becomes to take it for granted. Being able to run and be active is a gift that not everyone is able to enjoy. So rather than allowing yourself to think, “I don’t feel like running today”, change the narrative and think about how thankful you are that you have the ability to run and be active. If you challenge yourself always to have this mindset, it is going to be pretty easy to stay motivated and energized as a runner.
When it comes to running, it is easy to see the physical benefits associated with running. Whether it is being in better shape, looking better, etc., the physical side effects of running regular are pretty easy to see. What is not as easy for others to observe, though, is the mental and spiritual benefits that running provides. Running allows you to be able to clear your mind, test your mental toughness, think about important decisions, and so on.
Take advantage of these nine ways to stay motivated and energized as a runner. They will help you through the days where you are struggling to find motivation and will continue to push you to be the best runner that you can be.
About the Author
This article was written by Lists For All‘s Kyle Ohman. Along with writing, Kyle enjoys being active, playing, sports, and enjoying life in sunny Tampa, Florida. As an ex-professional athlete and current basketball trainer in Tampa, Florida, he understands the value that running provides for himself and the players he works with.