Sometimes motivating yourself to go for a run can be very difficult, especially when you’ve just woken up and you’re all comfy in bed. It can feel just as impossible to stay motivated while you’re actually on the run, but you’ll feel great once you get into a good routine! Here are a few things that should help keep you motivated:
1. Set a goal for yourself
Whether you’ve decided to take up running in order to help you lose weight, or even just to feel healthier in general, it’s a really good idea to set a goal for yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but having one in mind will keep you going when your stitch is tempting you to turn around and walk straight back home. I’ve always thought that running is quite psychological – if you have the right mindset, you’ll work through the pain. If you don’t, there’s no point in even going out your front door. Remember, guys, no pain no gain!
2. Put on your favourite playlist
Now this is a foolproof idea. I’m sure if you’ve ever been to a gym you’ll have noticed that they often blast music through their speakers, and this is because music’s a great motivator! I’d definitely recommend putting on something upbeat (I imagine it would be pretty discouraging to listen to ‘Say Something’ on repeat) and it’s guaranteed to provide you with a great distraction from your workout. Mind, you might find it a bit difficult to sing along after a while, but it’s OK. People would have looked at you funnily anyway.
3. Take someone with you
This is a bit of a hit and miss, because not everyone enjoys having a running buddy. It can be hard if you’re going at different paces and, being the slower one, you need to try and catch up (definitely not speaking from experience, pfft), and it can also be tough to find a time in your busy schedules that will suit you both. If this is the case, go by yourself and just enjoy being with your own thoughts at your own pace! However, if you think you would be more motivated if someone went with you, find someone at a similar ability to you and go together. Hype each other up, have races. Win!
4. Join a running club
If you’re someone who’s prone to feeling self-conscious when exercising in front of other people, this one is definitely not for you. If it really doesn’t bother you (just remember, everyone’s in the same boat), then why not join your local running club? It not only would be a great opportunity to meet new people with similar interests and goals to you, but going at a set time each week will also help you feel more motivated. Knowing when you’re going for a run helps you feel prepared, and is certainly a lot more effective than planning to just go whenever you feel like it.
5. Reward yourself!
This is my favourite part of going for a run. If you’re anything like me, you’ll defeat the point of why you just went and buy yourself a multi-pack of chocolate bars ready to stuff your face afterwards. I’m a hypocrite for saying it, but I’d really recommend avoiding this. Instead, you might want to have something planned, like getting your nails done or watching an episode of your favourite TV series. Regularly treating yourself after doing exercise is essential, as it will encourage you to do it more often and reap the rewards!
It’s not easy to stay motivated when you’re suddenly out of breath and your legs are starting to ache, but running really is a great way of getting into shape. How do you stay motivated on your runs? Let us know in the comments below!
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I'm a University of Birmingham Undergraduate studying English and Creative Writing. I love music (I'm especially partial to a bit of Ed Sheeran), reading ('The Lovely Bones' is genius) and, obviously, writing! I hope you enjoy reading my articles.