One of the hardest things about running is actually putting on your shoes and getting out of the door. It doesn’t matter how much you enjoy the process or the post-run high, all runners have moments when they’d rather just stay on the couch.
Now that I’ve been running longer distances, I’ve found that getting myself out for a shorter (half-hour) run is pretty easy’it’s just half an hour, after all. It’s the long runs that are a challenge. In an ideal world, I’d be running all my long runs with a friend’having someone to chat with is the best motivation of all, and makes the miles go by quickly’but that’s not always realistic. Here are some motivation tips I’ve come up with to keep me going’share yours in the comments, too! Note: These tips work just as well for walking as for running, and for working out in the gym.
‘ Listen to an audiobook
Is there a new bestseller you’re dying to read? Buy the audiobook instead and only let yourself listen to it while you’re running. The anticipation of finding out what happens next will be more than enough motivation to get your shoes on.
‘ Have something to think about
If you’ve got a personal challenge you’re working through, or a problem that needs solving, a long run is the ideal time to work through it. There’s no one to bug you and no one to distract you. Your mind might wander, but keep it coming back to the problem and you’ll arrive home with a clearer mind. Bonus: You’ll fall asleep easier, having already thought through anything that’s bothering you.
‘ Listen to podcasts
I subscribe to a lot of podcasts through iTunes, but don’t get around to listening to them as often as I’d like. Runs are the perfect time to catch up and stay informed. (This is the multitasking opposite of the above motivational approach.) New to podcasts? Find out more in our article on online tools that will make your life easier.
‘ Reward yourself
If you’re goal-oriented, maybe this approach is for you. Run x kilometres a week and at the end of that week, you get the reward of your choice: a pedicure, perhaps, or an hour in a coffee shop with your favourite magazine. Even better, rope someone in your household into providing the reward’a foot massage and a cup of tea, for instance.
‘ Listen to new music
Another thing I like to do is to buy new music and not allow myself to listen to it until I’m on a run. It makes the run more interesting and gives me something to focus on, and gives me a chance to properly listen to the music instead of tuning it out because I’m paying attention to something else.
‘ Remind yourself how awesome you are
Hey, if you’re outside getting exercise, you’re doing better than most Canadian adults. Just because most of us won’t reach Olympic calibre doesn’t mean we shouldn’t congratulate ourselves for being fit and healthy. You’re a model citizen’don’t forget to tell yourself so, over and over!
View all of Kat’s running posts on the Half-marathon diaries home page.