How to stay motivated for running

How to stay motivated for running has been asked by many runners when they find themselves in a rut and struggle to get going again. What is motivation and how can we find it during our down periods?

According to Wikipedia, "Motivation is the driving force by which humans achieve their goals." A person who is motivated knows no obstacles. Motivation is a powerful driving force that cannot be deterred or side-tracked.

We all have desires and ambitions, but without motivation, they will probably not be fulfilled. We need physical energy to run and train, but our emotional energy is what keeps us motivated to achieve our goals. So how can we increase our emotional energy and learn how to stay motivated to keep running and training?

Running Motivation In order for humans to take action or to be motivated, we need a good reason. We need a specific goal and a specific reason for achieving this goal. Your first step towards getting running motivation should be to state your goal and your reasons for wanting to achieve it.

For example, your goal could be to complete a specific half-marathon for a charity. Your reasons could be: helping others, health reasons, raising money for a charity, helping a relative, etc.

Another example would be setting a goal to get a PR in a specific 10km race. Your reasons could be: for fitness, an accomplishment, motivating others, etc.

Know what your goal is and know why you want to achieve it. Write it down and place it where you can see it every day. It will help you get motivation for running when you really don't feel like doing anything.

Emotions can Negatively Affect your Motivation

Emotions can keep you from staying motivated. Some days you will feel good and some days you will feel down. Don't fight your emotions. Accept them and allow them to come and go, but don't let them interfere with your goals.

Some emotions create fear and will cause you to feel afraid. Recognize these feelings as harmless emotions. You may feel afraid, but you don't have to act afraid.

When you are feeling a strong emotion, there will be a reaction in your body. You will notice that you feel tension or your breathing is uneven. The best way to overcome your emotions is to control the reaction you feel in your body. You can do this by breathing slowly and deeply into your belly. Do this for as long as it takes for you to feel relaxed and at ease again.

Without the tension or uneven breathing, you will feel better and will be able to think more clearly. You will have a healthy perspective on the moment. You will be able to focus clearly on your goals and reasons and find your running motivation again.

Tips on How to Stay Motivated

Motivation creates energy and drive. Use these tips to help you stay motivated. As you learn how to stay motivated, always keep in the back of your mind your specific goal and your reasons for wanting to achieve it. They will be the basis for your inspiration and running motivation.

How to stay motivated:

  1. Have a clear vision of your goal and do visualization techniques.
  2. Always keep the end goal in mind by reminding yourself daily of your goal.
  3. Find inspiration through success stories, books, movies, videos, magazines, photos, etc.
  4. Have a vision board and add your most inspiring pictures and stories.
  5. Be persistent despite setbacks.
  6. Don't procrastinate.
  7. Make a commitment to stick with it and finish what you started - don't give up!
  8. Don't let fear and self-doubt stop you from achieving your goal.
  9. Use positive affirmations and motivations quotes, e.g. I can do this, to strengthen your commitment.
  10. Spend time with others who have the same goals. Encourage each other to succeed.
  11. When your motivation is lacking, talk about it to your running mates. They will help you to focus on your goal again.
  12. Be consistent in your training.
  13. Make your training fun and the best part of your day. Enjoy your time alone or your time with running friends.
  14. Track your progress and follow a schedule so you will always know how much you have already accomplished and what is left to do.
  15. Reward yourself after each accomplishment. For example, a forbidden, but delicious dessert on your long run day.
  16. Have confidence in yourself and your accomplishments to date.
  17. Be patient and focus on where you are presently. Enjoy each stage of your training. It will be over before you know it!
  18. Give yourself an incentive to finish. Reward yourself with a new gadget or new shoes.
  19. Get excited!

Now it's your turn. How do you stay motivated? If you have tried any of these tips or your own tips to get motivated, leave a comment and let us know about it.

Related links:

Visualization Techniques
Positive Affirmations

Return from How to Stay Motivated Back to Running Psychology

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