Most runners I know struggle from time to time with motivation. And I don’t mean the motivation to keep going in a marathon or maintain the pace to beat a PB in a 10k race. I mean the motivation simply to get started - to get out of the door and just get it done.
For me, the battle between my inner runner and my inner sloth is a regular thing.
Sure, there are days I’m just itching to lace up my shoes and get gone but there are plenty of others when I end up hitting the snooze button or feel pinned to the couch thinking of a dozen reasons to can that planned training run.
But I’ve also got to the point where I can pretty much silence my lazy alter ego and get out the door. Over the years I’ve evolved a few tricks to win the motivation battle. Here are 10 that come immediately to mind and which have worked for me.
1. It’s all good
Remind yourself that you never finish a run and think “Gee, I which I hadn’t done that.” You always feel better after a run.
2. Go early
There is something very special about being out and about while most other people are sleeping, and there’s the added benefit of getting training out of the way before the rest of the day begins. You might also find you’re out running before your body really has a chance to wake up and object!
3. Reward yourself
Promise yourself a reward after you’ve finished your run. Ideally, this should be something healthy (but if it happens to be a glass of wine with dinner, don’t stress).
4. Sleep on it
Go to bed in your running gear (freshly washed, naturally). When you wake up you’re good to go with no excuses about not being bothered to get changed.
5. Pair up
It’s very difficult to back out of a training session if you have arranged to hook up with a running partner. There’s nothing like the fear of letting someone down to make yourself accountable.
6. Enter a race
Put in your entry then mark it on the calendar. Only 6 weeks to race date? Better get off your butt and do that tempo run.
7. Get cross
If you really, really don’t want to run for whatever reason (or maybe you have a niggling injury), then don’t can the session completely – do some cross-training in the pool or on your bike
8. Change it up
Maybe you just can’t face running that same old loop you’ve been doing for the past five years. If you feel like you know every crack in the pavement on your route, try going in the other direction or even head off road.
9. Lie to yourself
Perhaps you just don’t feel up to a 10k this morning. Promise yourself you’ll just do 5km. Chances are, however, that when you hit the 5km mark you’ll be in your stride and happy to push on further.
10. Make a meal of it
Looking forward to that roast dinner tonight? You’ll enjoy it a whole lot more if you’ve burned off the calories in advance in a training run.
Is getting started sometimes a problem for you? Have you used any of these motivation techniques? What works for you?