After posting about running and negative attitude a couple of days ago, it seemed like a great idea to do a post with some tips to get and stay motivated to go for a run (or do any other type of exercise for that matter).
Hopefully you’ll find something useful here!
1. Find a partner.
You can motivate each other, you’re less likely to cop out because someone else is counting on you to be there and sometimes it’s just more fun when you have someone to talk to.
I plan my long runs in the weekends so my sister can come along, even though she doesn’t run the same distance as I do, it’s nice to have her with me for the first 20 minutes or so (which is usually my ‘tough’ period). Plus point is that she runs a bit slower than I do, so I don’t run ( no pun intended ;))the risk of starting off my long run too fast and not being able to finish it cause I went crazy on those first few miles.
2. Organisation is key
If you’re planning on running early in the morning make sure you have your gear spread out somewhere in sight, already prepare a light snack for pre-run fuel and if you run with Ipod/Garmin make sure they’re charged and ready to go as well.
When everything is set and done, you’re less tempted to stay in bed.
Planning on exercising after work? Bring your gear in the car and make sure everything’s ready as well. It’s also nice to have dinner ready on those days, eat leftovers or plan something you can make well in advance so you don’t have to start cooking after a long day of work and exercise.
3. Change things up
New routes, other days to run, run in group when you normally run alone or fly solo when you normally run in group… it’s normal to get bored when your exercise moments have become a routine so change things up a bit and you might just find the joy of exercising again.
This is also true for trying new sports: sick of running? Well don’t run for a week or 2 and find a new sport to enjoy. Chances are that after 2 weeks you’ll start to miss running and feel the same urge and joy to start running again as when you first started.
4. As Nike would say: ‘Just do it’
Stop making excuses, getting out there and getting started are the hardest parts after that it all gets easier.
So no ‘But I can’t/don’t feel like it… (insert other excuse here), just get going already!
5. Set goals
Signing up for a race or setting goals in terms of distance and time are excellent ways to get that extra bit of motivation you’re searching for.
Sometimes just making a schedule and putting it somewhere in sight gives enough of a punch to get you going.
I keep a schedule in my diary: in the beginning of each month I make some general notes with every week that say how many miles I want to run that week or how many times I’d like to go running. I also add other sports I’d like try that week.
At the beginning of every week I plan per day what I’m going to do that day and I cross it off when I’ve done it.
6. Make it fun
Create a fun play list on your Ipod for your next workout, buy a new outfit and try it out on your next run, do some research on yummy recovery smoothies and make one of those after your next workout… anything to spice things up a bit.
I always plan my bakes of ‘Breakfast Bake Oktober’ after my long runs, so I have something extra to work for.
7. Think of how you’ll feel afterwards
Some workouts are going to be hellish, other workouts are going to be wonderful, that’s just how it goes. Having a positive set of mind about this and being mentally prepared for it will help you loads.
And remember: no matter how bad you feel during your workout, afterwards you know you’ll feel great.
In order to reach a goal it might be useful to link it to a reward. A new sports top, a massage, a night out,… choose things you know that ‘ll take you just that bit further. Watch out with food rewards though, you don’t want all your hard work and healthy balance to be undone 😉
If you have other tips/tricks, feel free to share them!