It may be tough to get up and go for a run. But most of the time, you’ll be more pleased and satisfied with yourself if you get up and do it.
Think about the reasons you want to run in the first place. Ask yourself if running is something you enjoy, since you’ll be more likely to drum up the motivation for an activity you truly want to do.
It’s easy to come up with excuses to avoid something, but the key is to counter those excuses with reasons to just do it.
Often, motivation follows action. So get yourself together and get moving. You’ll feel better after running, and you’ll be happy you stuck to your routine.
Let’s take a look at 20 tips that will help you find the incentive to step up your game and commit to your running routine.
Whether you’re planning a light jog around your neighborhood or an intense interval training workout, these tips can inspire you to dash out the door.
1. Get competitive
Look for a bit of friendly competition, if that’s something you enjoy. Find a group of people to run with in order to keep up the pace, or chart your times against others with a fitness app.
2. Reward yourself
The power of prizes doesn’t stop at childhood. Create a reward system for yourself. Track your process with good old-fashioned tally marks, or make a chart complete with stickers. Place it somewhere visible so you’ll see it often.
Rewards can be something as simple as allowing yourself an extra 30 minutes of sleep or booking a massage. Or you can go all out with a celebratory tattoo.
3. Lower your minimum time
On days when you aren’t able to meet your daily minimum time, run for whatever amount of time you have available instead of sitting it out completely. This way, you’re more likely to stay in the swing of things since you won’t have missed an entire day.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Running burns calories, reduces belly fat, and helps you make healthy food choices. It can also help you meet your weight loss goals or maintain your target weight.
5. Get in a group groove
The more the merrier when it comes to group motivation. Find one or several training partners with whom you can set up a running schedule. Even if you don’t run together each day, you can band together a few times a week for accountability.
6. Feel the endorphin energy
The runner’s high is real. You may experience feelings of positivity or even euphoria, as running improves your mood and makes you feel better by releasing endorphins, one of the happiness hormones.
7. Set goals
Break your intentions into small, manageable steps. This can include the amount of time you put in per week, how fast you run a certain distance, or the number of days you run.
8. Dress for the exercise you want to do
Dressing well can have a positive effect on how you perceive yourself, and it may motivate you to run more often. Shop for workout clothing and shoes that you’ll enjoy wearing.
Or use your athletic clothes as a chance to experiment with styles you wouldn’t normally try. That could mean going for bright colors or wearing shorts when you normally wouldn’t.
9. Let the music move you
Take the time to create a playlist of all your favorite tunes. Select upbeat songs that put you in a good mood and inspire you to move. Only allow yourself to listen to these songs while you run.
10. Keep track with an app
Stay on top of your goals by using a motivation or habit tracking app. Many allow you to set reminders, connect with people through forums, and view graphs that track your progress.
11. Mix it up
Switch up your routine at least one day per week. Run hills instead of a long distance, or add in some sprints. You can also run in a different neighborhood, do your usual route backward, or change the time of day.
12. Feel the sunshine on your face
Running is a fantastic way to get the sunlight needed to boost serotonin levels. This helps to put you in a good mood while reducing depression and anxiety.
13. Set your own pace
The only person you have to answer to is yourself, so feel free to run at any speed that feels good. Decide if you prefer to run at top speed or more of a leisurely pace.
The early morning lends a certain energy to your run, and you may feel like you’re getting ahead of the game, which can set a positive tone for your entire day.
14. Be on the right side of the bed
Starting off your day by checking off your running box is a huge accomplishment. Doing it first thing leaves you with less chances for distraction or getting caught up in all that comes with the daily grind. You’ll feel better mentally and physically for getting it done early.
15. Bask in morning stillness
Enjoy the beauty and silence of the early morning. Waking up early allows you to take time for yourself and enjoy this quiet, peaceful time of day. Other benefits include boosts to your productivity and concentration.
Running on trails will give you a new perspective, and can train your body to move in different ways. You may become more aware of foot placement, which can help you focus your mind and stay present. Plus, running on dirt is more gentle on your body than pavement.
16. Connect to nature
Breathing in fresh air and surrounding yourself with the natural beauty of trees, lakes, and hills can be mentally refreshing. Plus, being outdoors is a natural mood booster. Even if you can’t get out of the city every day, try visiting a natural park at least once per week.
17. See the birds and the bees
Pique your curiosity and make a point to learn about some of the natural wildlife and plants in your area. Set out to discover or take note of one new aspect of nature each time you visit a running trail.
Running a marathon requires structured training over a set period of time, so you’ll need to commit to a course of action. Plan carefully to make sure you have plenty of time to prepare.
18. Put your race face on
Sign up for a few shorter race such as a 5K, 10K, and half marathon, and gradually build your way up to a full marathon. This way, you’ll start to get a feel for following a training schedule and what it’s like to compete.
19. Get the ball rolling
Sign up for the marathon you want to run at least five months in advance. Once you’ve set your heart and intention on this race, start your marathon preparation. Make sure you’re well-versed in what exactly this entails, and stick to your training schedule.
20. Find a fan club
Running a marathon is no small feat, and if it’s your first one, let your friends know. They’ll happily support you and check in with your progress as you prepare.
Your friends may even want to join you for parts of your training. Plus, they can mark their calendar so they’re present on the big day to cheer you on.
You’ll need to stay motivated and make sure you maintain this drive day after day, week after week in order to achieve your workout goals.
If it works for you to have a set routine, continue in this direction. If it’s easier for you to stay motivated when you change up your routine, then do something different.
Run sprints, hills, and long distances on different days. Change up your location and the time of day to keep it varied, which will prevent you from becoming bored.
Ultimately, you’re the only one who can lace up your sneakers and set out on your course.
It’s easy to list off the reasons why you can’t run on any given day, but it’s just as easy to turn it around by creating a list of the reasons why you can. Stay focused on the reasons you like to run and the benefits it brings.
If you need some extra motivation, reach out to a run coach, or join a run group in your area. Figure out what your goals are, what helps you achieve them, and commit to a plan of action. Trust yourself to lead the way.