Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Staying Motivated For Running

Okay, so I know how hard it can be to stay motivated for running. There are days where the last thing you want to do is lace up and head out the door, where the couch looks much more inviting than a pair of running shoes. I’ve put together a list of things that I think helps keep you motivated in your pursuit of becoming a better runner.

1.       Take music with you: If you have an iPod, MP3 player or even a Smartphone, you can bring along music with you to keep you company and help get you going. Songs that are between 120-150 bpm (beats per minute) have been proven to help you push through a workout as the fast beats help energize you.

2.       Find a new route: If you tend to run the same routes over and over, try running your usual route only in reverse, or turn your run into a mini adventure by creating an entirely new route. The change of scenery may be just what you need to keep boredom at bay.

3.       Bring a friend or dog: If solo running is getting to be a chore, see if you can bring a friend along with you, the company can help keep you going and even help you work harder. If a friend is unavailable and you have a dog, bring him along with! The two of you will get in quality time, exercise and you won’t have to worry about walking the dog later. It’s a win-win situation! If you have a dog that isn’t used to running too much, start out slow maybe with a half mile or a full mile to get your pup used to the activity. If you are both beginners then you can both build up endurance together.

4.       Add sprints: Not only a great way to burn even more calories but also another way of building up your stamina. Try sprinting for 10-20 seconds then slowing back down to your normal pace. Great way to kick up your runs a notch.

5.       Post-run effects: Aside from the runner’s high that comes from endorphins being released during strenuous activities, there is also the feeling of accomplishment. Think about how good you feel after a run simply because of the fact that you went out there and got it done. You won’t get that feeling sitting on the couch or at the computer wishing you were outside running.

6.       Schedule it: Put it on a calendar, on your phone with reminders to go off, on the fridge, anywhere you will see it. If you see it written down as a scheduled event you are more likely to hold you self accountable and less likely to skimp out on it.

7.       Talk to people: By telling people such as friends and family your plans, they can provide you with support and motivation. Not to mention it’s easier to tell them about the runs you have been doing than explain why you AREN’T running.

8.       Join a running club: They are everywhere and in nearly every town/city so you can’t use the excuse that none are around. Not only can the group provide you with pointer on what to do but being around more runners can get you more excited about running once you see you’re not the only one out there.

9.       Remember why you started: Be it for weight loss, getting into better shape, or being able to run a marathon, remember that the only way you are going reach those goals is if you go out there and work for it. Remembering why you started running will provide you with enough ammo to keep running.

10.   Have fun: Also remember that it doesn’t have to be a chore. Have fun with it, use it to clear your mind, distress and get away from everything for a while. Don’t you out and kill yourself on every single run. Repeat DO NOT GO OVERBOARD! A common mistake with new runners is think they have to go out everyday and run at 110%, this is wrong, not only is it wrong but is also unhealthy. It can lead to multiple injuries, exhaustion, and burnout from running. Don’t feel bad if you’re running slower today that the day before, let loose and relax a little you will enjoy it much more if you do.

QOTD: What do you use as motivation?
How do you get yourself out the door when you don’t want to?