How to keep motivated during training
Everyone has days when they just don’t feel like getting out to run – days when the sofa, or the pub, seem much more tempting. But if you’re preparing for a race, or simply looking to stay fit and healthy, then it's important to try to find ways to stay motivated to ensure your running stays on track. The next time you struggle to get out of the door, consider our 10 top motivation tips…
Set a goal
Having a target in mind for each run, even if it is just to complete the whole thing without walking, will deliver a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s running a bit further or faster than last time, or just reaching a certain point along your route, hitting a goal on every run will help to you stay motivated as you work towards a bigger goal, such as finishing your first 5K race.
Run with friends
You can’t underestimate the social side of running; it is one of the most common reasons why people start and carry on doing it. Running with friends, colleagues or a local running club can make sessions feel easier and more enjoyable.
Keep track of your progress
Completing a training log, or using an online service to keep a record of your runs, can really help to motivate you to continue. By looking back at previous entries, you’ll remind yourself how far you've come, which is sure to encourage you to keep up the great work.
Remember the health benefits
Don’t forget that running is good for you! Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness or lose some weight, running gives back what you put into it. It’s also a great stress buster thanks to the feel-good endorphins produced during exercise.
Do it for a good cause
Raising money for charity when you enter a race is sure to give you a huge motivation boost, as you know that your running effort will be supporting a good cause.
Mix it up
Why not inject some variety into your running sessions by trying something different? Running hill repeats, completing a track session and signing up for a trail race are all great options. You could even simply run somewhere new to freshen up your routine.
Avoid the ‘all or nothing’ approach
If you’re short on time or really not feeling up to a long session, just go for a shorter or easier run for however long you feel you can spare. As running author Dr George Sheehan once said: “Have you ever felt worse after a run?”
Look to other runners for inspiration
Which athletes do you most look up to? Many big-name runners have written books about their amazing exploits and how they pushed themselves to achieve greatness. Read about someone who has inspired you to see what you can take from their lives into your own training.
Have something to look forward to
A treat of some kind at the end of your run is a great way to keep you motivated and ensure you give your best until the end. It could be a good meal, sitting down to watch your favourite TV show or finishing your run somewhere with a great view. You could even book yourself a sports massage or reward yourself with some new running gear...