6 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Run

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I’ve been struggling the past six months with my love for running. It’s a real slog to get motivated. It’s time to get my mojo back. I have two relay races scheduled and paid for this year, and the first one is only 12 weeks away. If I don’t get it together now, it will be too late for proper training.

There are a few methods I’ve used to re-motivate myself in the past. Each of them has their merits, but not all work when I want them to, so it’s necessary for me to go through the list and try more than one out to see which one is the golden ticket.

Running books –

I love reading about running. It does wonders to get me back into the runner state of mind. I have three favorites that I go back to over and over again. Each time I read these I’m reminded of why I love to run, and how empowered I feel when I’m deep in the depths of a training cycle.

  • Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – this book is a treasure. It details long distance running, different cultures, burnout, barefoot running, chia seeds, and tequila.
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami – I am a big fan of Murakami’s fiction novels so I was overjoyed when I learned that he was a runner and had written a book on running. This book goes over Murakami’s feelings about his running and how age affects the body.
  • Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr. – This novel is a true cult classic in the running community. The author sold these books out of the trunk of his car at races back in the late 1970’s. How cool is that? This book is a fiction novel about a competitive runner. It will get your running juices flowing.

Running Podcats –

I haven’t found a better way to motivate myself than to simply immerse myself in all things running. To listen to people discuss running topics puts me in the right mindset to get back to obsessed runner status.

My favorite podcast – I’ve mentioned it before and I will continue to shamelessly mention it – is Another Mother Runner. This is the most entertaining and informative running podcast that I’ve found so far. These fun, fit, fabulous ladies post a new podcast each week. Perfect to listen to on your long run days.

Documentaries –

Before running Hood to Coast, I downloaded the documentary called Hood To Coast.  I watched it the first time mainly to get a feel for what I was in for, but by the end of the film, I was overly excited about what I was about to accomplish.

There are so many other great documentaries out there on running athletes, triathlon athletes, mountain climbers, hikers, ultramarathoners, etc. It doesn’t have to be specifically about running, for me, any endurance sport will get my blood going.

Running Friends –

Get together at the water cooler with a running buddy, or an acquaintance who runs. Start talking about why you love running, and what running plans you have scheduled. Getting plans out in the open can do great things for your motivation.

Word to the wise: do not discuss your love of running, how much you ran last night, how much you plan to run this weekend, etc, with people who do not run. This is extremely annoying for the non-runner (I don’t get it either, doesn’t everyone love running?), and they will start running just to avoid you.

Group Runs –

Schedule a run with friends, or go out with a running group. Being with a group of other runners can help motivate you and empower you back into a passion for running.

If you don’t have a group of friends to run with or belong to a running group – check in at your local running store, or do a quick internet search for groups in your area. Facebook is also a great resource to find groups.

Remember the Post Run High –

Sometimes all I have to do is remember how I feel after I run. It doesn’t matter how horrible I feel, or how not into running I am before I run; I will always feel fabulous when I’m done. I can’t remember a time when I was sorry that I ran.

Whatever method you use, know that all runners struggle with a slump from time to time. It is only a slump, and the love will come back. Sometimes you just have to poke at it with a stick.

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About Author

Liz Ward

Liz Ward is a running fanatic, avid reader, and amateur farmer. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband, three kids, and a small herd of animals.

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