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How to Get Motivated to Run (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It)

Here’s a little secret: even the most avid runners (and the ones who are always on Instagram) don’t always feel like running. But what makes us runners? That we go out and run, anyway.  If we all sat around waiting for the moment we feel like going for a run, we’d probably be sitting around […]

Here’s a little secret: even the most avid runners (and the ones who are always on Instagram) don’t always feel like running. But what makes us runners? That we go out and run, anyway. 

If we all sat around waiting for the moment we feel like going for a run, we’d probably be sitting around for a while… and running half as much as we do now. Feeling “not in the mood” to run is part of being a runner. But even when we don’t feel like going out there, one thing is consistent: we’re always glad that we did.

You know the feeling: it’s too cold, you’re too tired, you need to run an errand, you’d rather meet a friend… All of these excuses are valid and real. But when it comes to training, or just running in general, it can help to implement certain strategies to make sure you have that extra push you need to get out the door and fit your workout in, even when you don’t feel like it. 

  1. Make a plan. Set a date and time that you’re going to run. Put it in your calendar like it’s an appointment you can’t miss. Deciding you’re going to run at a certain time helps you get it done. 
  2. Have a buddy. Choose a running partner who matches your pace and shares your goals. Having a running buddy helps you both stay accountable. It’s a lot harder to wiggle your way out of a workout when you feel the guilt of letting someone else down.
  3. Set goals. Give yourself a target, whether it is a pace you want to hit, a weekly mileage you want to accumulate, or a race for which you want to prep (and demolish). Having a goal is always an excellent motivator.
  4. Get new gear. It might sound silly, but every runner loves trying out some new gear. Whether it’s a camel pack, a head band, a new set of kicks or just a new pair of running shorts, new fun and exciting gear is always a great excuse to get out the door.
  5. Make a new running playlist. The right beats will get you moving in a way nothing else does.
  6. Explore. Pick a new running route or destination to get to. Don’t stop until you get there (and back). A change of scenery is always motivating, and so is having a geographical target.

Everyone is motivated by different things. Figure out what gets you out the door and implement that strategy. You might even find yourself being the motivating force for others.