5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Run

I’ve been an intermittent runner throughout my adult life, but in the last three years I’ve become a dedicated member of the jogging club.  It’s safe to say I’m entirely addicted now. The leap from casual to committed running is an evolution that I wish had happened earlier in my life.  Unfortunately while I was pregnant with each of the boys the thought of exercising never crossed my mind. What was I thinking? Sure, I would lace up my track shoes between each child, but that’s just a lot of stopping and starting. No traction was ever truly gained. 

About three years ago I moved to a suburb of the Twin Cities and finally added a consistent level of running into my life. This season marks the first time that I’m “running through the winter”. It’s been a mild winter, for sure, but nonetheless I’m left wondering why I never purchased tracks and gave winter running a try before. 

Over the last almost three years I’ve honed in on a few things that have helped me stay motivated. I know many people struggle to find satisfaction and motivation to run. I’m not entirely sure how it works, but at some point the “flip switches” and running becomes a treat instead of a chore. For those of you looking to enjoy the trails here are my five top ways to keeping running. 

{MOTR at the Twin Cities 10 Mile}

1. Join a Group! I joined Moms on the Run upon moving to the Twin Cities and it was a life changing decision. Incidentally watching my soon-to-be-friends running down the road near my house propelled me to actually purchase the home I did. I was inspired by watching these women {many, clearly not experienced runners} give it their all. I just knew they would be a welcoming group that would enable me to run with encouragement. The accountability and reassurance this group provides has given me instant running friends that support and understand my desire to run. 

2. Make a Playlist! I’m always puzzled by people that run without music. How do they do that? If you are one of those people, more power to you, but I need music. I have a list dedicated to fast-paced motivating music, but I also listen to my “work” playlist while running. This music is much more low key, but it provides an almost calming bliss inducing effect while on long runs. 

3. De-Stress! Running is an awesome way to escape. Whatever you are dealing with in your life, if you run long enough everything else melts away. The frustration, the stress…whatever you may be feeling eventually becomes suppressed by your need to focus on breathing and maintaining pace. Running has been my life-saver providing me momentary peace of mind and the wonderful endorphins that you feel post-run don’t hurt either. 

{Ragnar ready with a backdrop of vans, of course!}

4. Make a Goal! This point is probably quite obvious, but having a goal is an important way to stay motivated. There are so many different types and lengths of races available for runners. My first goal, once I joined MOTR, was to run the Twin Cities 10 mile. Luckily there was a group of us committed to this distance/race and not “going it alone” made me feel much more comfortable.

This past summer I ran Ragnar Great River. Ragnar is a relay race over about 200 miles. Get the full explanation here. I’m likely going to run a trail version this fall at Nine Mile Forest

{team magnets are shared on vans during a Ragnar race} 

5. Run Your Pace! 

Everyone has their own pace. I didn’t appreciate this quite as much until I joined MOTR. Some participants love running with someone, chatting and socializing during their run. Others {like me} love to zone-out and focus on the run. While our group is naturally social, I’ve never felt pressure to be chatty while running. There is a clear understanding that “you do you”.  Whether your stride is slow or super fast, run your pace. Whatever speed you are running is better than not running at all. 

Does anyone have any other tips for staying committed to running? Please feel free to share in the comments below! 

Comments

  1. These are great tips. it can be soo hard sometimes to keep motivation strong.
    XO Ellen from Ask Away Blog
    http://www.askawayblog.com

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