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Unleash Your Pace: 13 Running Motivation Hacks

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Many people are surprised to hear that even avid runners sometimes struggle with getting (and staying) motivated. Although it might seem as easy as simply lacing up your running shoes and heading out the door for a morning run, many people must work to stick to their running habits.

So, how do you stay motivated when it gets challenging? We have some great advice to keep you moving!

What To Do if You Have No Motivation to Run?

Do you need help with the motivation to run? It’s more than just beginner runners who find themselves needing more motivation to get moving.

If you’re struggling with motivation to run, consider setting small, achievable goals to build momentum. Change up your routine by exploring new routes or running times. Reflect on your past achievements to remind yourself of your capabilities and consider taking a brief break or cross-training to rejuvenate both physically and mentally.

13 of Our Most Effective Motivation Hacks

Are you looking for some ideas on staying motivated? No matter what your problem is, we can help!

  1. Build Habits: After doing something for a few weeks, it becomes a habit. If you want to run in the morning, commit to it for a few weeks. Lay out your clothes the night before, set multiple alarms, get an accountability partner if needed, and just push yourself out the door.
  2. Coaching: A running coach is another tactic that many find helpful. Not only does a coach help you with a training plan and running tips, such as improving your form, but knowing someone else is looking at your workouts might ignite that passion.
  3. Distractions: Although there are runs where you need to stay focused, sometimes a distraction is good too. Try listening to audiobooks, creating a new music playlist, or listening to a podcast to help pass the time.
  4. New Running GearTreating yourself to new running clothes, shoes, or a shiny new Garmin can kickstart the flame. What sounds more fun than playing with a new piece of equipment?
  5. Running Club: Finding a running group is a great way to keep yourself moving. Running workouts can get boring and tedious, so plan hard. If you have a group (or running buddy) depending on you, that can be a game changer.
  6. Make a Plan: Having a training plan can be motivating. While you may enjoy running just for the joy of it, others benefit from a clear action plan that needs to be implemented.
  7. Mix Up Your Pace: A common mistake runners often make is to do every workout at the same pace. One way to spice up your running is to vary your running pace. Try some easy runs, sprint workouts, tempo workouts, etc.
  8. Race: Registering for an upcoming race is another great way to entice you out of your bed for the early morning run. Paying for an event makes it feel real, and you might feel more obligated to run.
  9. ReadPick up a book about running. What better way to become inspired than reading about running greats? Here is an article about the Best Running Books.
  10. Rest: Honoring the rest day is essential for physical and mental wellness. Running (or any workout) too many days in a row can lead to burnout. Remember, your body also needs rest!
  11. Set GoalsAlthough only some people thrive on having clear goals, it does help many people to keep motivated. Your goal can be as simple as “run three days each week” or to follow a training schedule that takes you to race day.
  12. 10 Minutes: Someone told me about the 10-minute test early in my running. Lace-up your running shoes and head out for just 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes you feel great, keep heading out and decide how far to run. At the 10-minute point, if you simply aren’t feeling it, turn around and go home. Then, you got at least 20 minutes of running in!
  13. Vary Your Route: New routes make new scenery, which is very refreshing. Adding trail running to my workouts added just the adventure I was looking for when running started to get boring.

Should You Run If You Don’t Feel Like It?

Missing a workout or two will not derail your fitness. However, if you skip out on your run day after day, you will lose fitness.

Do you have goals you are working to reach?

Then yes, you should run even if you don’t feel like it. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you aren’t feeling like running:

  • Why don’t you want to?
  • Are you hurt?
  • Are you tired?
  • Is the weather bad?
  • How many days since you have had a rest day?
  • Can you motivate yourself for just 20 minutes?

These questions are important to answer honestly. If you are hurt or sore, you may need an easy day, a non-impact cardio day, or a rest day. If the weather is bad, perhaps some treadmill running would be a good option for you. Have you gone weeks without a rest day? Maybe that is precisely what your body needs.

If you are deep in marathon training, you are tired and sore, and the workout slated for the day is an easy four miler, the rest you take today will be a game changer for you. However, know that you can’t consistently skip workouts and stay focused on your goal.

As mentioned, one of my favorite motivation tips is to set out to run just 10 minutes. Usually, I end up feeling great and keep running. It is a rare day when I’m just not “feeling it” and turn around after the 10 minutes are up.

What Is the Best Advice to Motivate Running Beginners?

  • Start Slow and Gradual: Begin with short, manageable distances or durations. Avoid overdoing it in the early stages to prevent injuries and burnout.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals that align with your current fitness level and lifestyle. This could be as simple as running for 10 minutes without stopping or completing a specific distance.
  • Find Your Why: Identify your personal reasons for running. Whether it’s for health, stress relief, or a specific achievement, understanding your motivation can keep you going.
  • Establish a Routine: Consistency is key. Try to run at the same times on set days of the week. This helps to establish running as a regular part of your life.
  • Celebrate Small Victories: Acknowledge and celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Each run, each extra minute, or each extra mile is a step forward.
  • Get the Right Gear: Invest in a good pair of running shoes and comfortable cloth

What Is the Best Motivational Hack for Maintaining a Consistent Running Routine?

The best motivational hack to a consistent running routine is to find a plan and follow it with a friend or running group.

Having accountability partners helps keep you looking ahead and moving forward.

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