Motivating yourself to run regularly can be very hard, especially during harsh weather. And you might wonder how other people find ways to motivate themselves to run regularly?
As Humans, we were all born to run. However, many of us do not understand how to motivate ourselves to run regularly. When we have a deep understanding of the mechanics behind how the human body and mind work, we will be able to beat the internal voice that keeps us from running and exercising.
As a young kid, I used to hate running. During the fall and winter seasons, I would do anything to avoid going for a run or exercise. It seemed to be hard work for no good reason, and I was just the kind of kid who preferred to hang out in the library.
Today I love running. I motivate myself to run regularly about three to five days a week, along with cross-training. I would go for a run every day if I could find the time. One of my goals for 2021, is to run 1500 km or 932 miles.
Let’s explore 16 effective ways to motivate yourself to run regularly.
How To Motivate Yourself to Run Regularly
1- Conquer your Mind
I find that the biggest obstacle to runners’ motivation is their mindset. I began by reading books, and it helped me drastically change my mindset and habits.
One of the books that have changed my life is The Power of Habit Book by Charles Duhigg. You can grab this book on Amazon here. By combining goal setting techniques and social reinforcement, I created a habit and was able to motivate myself to become a regular runner.
2- Educate Yourself
Try learning everything you can about running. For instance, you might participate in forums, read blogs and websites, or subscribe to magazines.
Reading and learning will keep you motivated to exercise regularly, provide you with useful information, and make you feel part of the running community.
Check out this article on the Best Running Books for Beginners to get started in becoming a regular runner.
3- Set SMART Running Goals to Run Regularly
One of the most effective ways to get motivated to run on a regular basis is to set specific goals. For instance, you can say, “I want to run 25 minutes four times a week”. The main idea is to be precise, not vague on your running goals. One important thing is to set goals that are about the process of running regularly.
Setting concrete and measurable goals will make it much easier to stay motivated to go for running or exercising. If you are a beginner to running, sign up for a race.
Registering for a marathon will perform miracles for your motivation level. Also, participating in a competition will be an excellent source of motivation for a beginner to get involved with the running community. Most of the runners got hooked to running after crossing the finish line.
Also see: Here’s How to Set SMART Running Goals
4- Commit and Schedule Your Run Like An Important Appointment You Cannot Miss
I used to find any excuses not to go for a run. For example, I have homework or school assignments to work on.
Life sometimes gets so busy that we feel like there is no time to exercise and run. Schedule an hour a day to go for a run and work out. I use my Google calendar to plan and schedule my work out.
Use whatever works for you to schedule your run and commit to it. Also, remember to plan your day around your workout. In case you have other obligations and responsibilities like work, go for your run before or after work.
Another mistake most beginners make is to start running without a plan. They put on their running shoes and try to run for as long as they can. In ten minutes or less, they run out of breath, start walking, and swear not ever to do it again. Follow a plan that is good for you. A plan will make it easy for you to ease into running and safely progress slowly.
5- Take care and Reward Yourself
Find sometime you will look forward to. Each of us has different ways of rewarding ourselves. Put a reminder on your fridge for every day you are going for your run. For example, you can use a calendar to cross every day you are able to motivate yourself to run. Create a system for whenever you reach specific numbers to trigger rewards.
Remember, every run is yours and not for anybody else. Once you achieve a bigger goal, reward yourself for your hard work with new running gear or a massage to help prevent injury prevention. This reward will make you feel energized and will reinforce your commitment to running.
You are running because you love yourself, not because you want to torture yourself. Did you better your race time without missing a day? Celebrate your success.
Treat yourself to something you enjoy. For instance, you might want to buy something that will support your new hobby: a pair of new shoes, a new running shirt or pants or runners gadgets.
6- Find a Running Buddy or Commit to a Running Club’s Weekly Challenge
Sometimes, joining outdoor activities might help to get you motivated to run. For instance, joining a running group, social event, or registering for a gym membership will increase the level of your commitment to run regularly.
Running will be something to look forward to, like hanging out with your friends, your family, or joining a social event.
Most activities, especially running, become more natural and fun when you have someone to share them with. Running is an excellent way of spending time with your loved ones or make new friends.
Plan to run with your spouse, kids, or friends, and you will stop finding excuses to avoid running when asked: “let us go for a run today.”
You can also sign up for a local running club if you cannot encourage your close one to run with you. You will make new friends and get tremendous support.
7- Joining a Real-life or Virtual Running Club
This is an excellent way to meet new people, make friends, discover new routes, and add elements of competition and motivation to your run.
Committing to run with others will improve your motivation level and will contribute to your happiness.
Having in mind that someone is getting up just like you and for you will make a huge difference in motivating you to go for a run.
8- Join a Weekly Training Challenge
I love challenging myself. Breaking your bigger goals into small and manageable steps is an excellent way to get out and push forward even if I do not feel like doing it. Following a structured plan will help to propel you towards your more considerable running and fitness goals.
Make your challenge fun and exciting. When designing your challenge, be specific, and establish parameters and rules that will provide you with structure and motivation.
9- Remember: WHY you are Running
Friedrich Nietzsche says that “he who has a why to live can bear almost anyhow.” In other words, if you know why you are running, you can overcome any obstacle in your path and find the motivation to run regularly.
Without knowing why you are running, you will most likely give up too soon. Your reasons may be to lose weight, get in shape, to fight depression, to lower the level of sugar in your blood, and to be able to spend more time outdoors with your loved ones.
The truth is every runner finds it hard to get out the door. However, knowing that you will feel a better version of yourself when you walk back after that run, you almost never did.
Before your next run, write down “WHY,” and visualize how you felt afterward. Repeat this every time you run. Then, on that day, when you do not feel motivated to run, review that list, and read it to yourself.
10- Track Your Progress
You will see a lot of benefits from tracking your running progress. Keeping track of your results helps to reinforce your running habit. Tracking your run has proven to be one of the most effective to stay motivated while running.
11- Take Time to Note your Milestones
Get a notebook and note your milestones. Note your first run without walking breaks, your first miles. Also, observe and write not only your time and distance but also your feelings and emotions.
You can use a beautiful notebook, go digital, or start a blog. Maybe you will be the next famous blogger, who knows?
12- Get the Running Gear you Love
For some people wearing their favorite running gear can affect their motivation to go for a run regularly.
Let us say; you purchase brand new running shoes or running tights, don’t you just want to try them as soon as you get a chance?
Putting on your new running gear might make you feel happy and motivated to go for a run. Looking good makes you feel good and run more.
13- Enjoy your Run
Think of running as something you enjoy, and it will make it easier to keep at it even if when you do not feel like it.
Try to see running as an activity; you must do to unlock not only your physical potential but also your spiritual potential. After every run, you will learn something new about yourself, and this is priceless.
Additionally, think of the health benefits of running. Periodically check your progress to remind yourself of the health improvement you are making. For instance, you may have your blood pressure tested or check your weight.
Observe your energy level and how you now have a healthy way to relieve stress. You might notice that you are sleeping better or are less anxious.
14- Think of Running as “Me Time”
Consider running as an excellent way to devote time to yourself and your needs.
Going for a run alone can be a short escape from your day-to-day responsibilities. It is also an excellent way to give yourself a mental and physical break.
Taking psychological and physical breaks have proven to have tremendous benefits on our wellbeing.
Think of Running, as “Me Time” will keep you motivated to run more often. Soon you will be looking forward to your “me time.”
15- Listening to Music While Running
Music has a significant impact on performance, have found studies.
Dr. Costas Karageorghis, a leading researcher and expert on the effects of music on exercise at Brunel University, said: “Music is a legal drug for athletes.” It will make it easier to beat that voice in your mind telling you not to run.
Dr. Costas Karageorghis shows that listening to fast music while running can increase your pace by up to 15 %.
Compiling the perfect playlist of fast music will not only help you run faster but also motivate you to go for a run frequently.
The key is to find the type of music, audiobook, or podcast that will keep you motivated to exercise. And you will get hooked and will use running as an excuse to catch up on your favorite podcast.
Another research finds that listening to music while running can reduce the feeling of fatigue by blocking out the pain signals sent from the brain.
The researchers conclude that individuals engaged in intense running may benefit from listening to music; therefore, listening may increase your level of motivation to run frequently.
16- Finally smile
Whenever you think about running or going for a run. Smile, smiling when you run, will tell your brain that you are happy.
Think about all those people who love to run as you do, and it will keep you smiling and motivated to run.
Once you get fitter, your body gets more energetic and healthier; your life will get better. Isn’t that enough reason to keep you motivated for a run more often and smiling?
Learning how to motivate yourself to run regularly is not easy, but with these 16 effective ways, you will quickly become a frequent runner and reap all the health benefits of running.
Signing for a race is an excellent way to boost your daily motivation to go for a run. Start to train for your race with friends and family.
Running with friends and family is so much fun and a great way to keep you accountable.