Levels of running motivation are constantly in flux, sometimes people are so motivated that they tend to overtrain. Whilst, when things are not going so well, runners often struggle to motivate themselves to get out the door. I suspect most of you can relate to this! So here is a list of running motivation that often helps you to get out of the door.
Running Buddies are a huge factor
Group runs in your city, or running buddies are a large part of your motivation. Whether they are a couch to 5K runner or a seasoned runner, there has been much research done on what makes a good running buddy.
However, often or not your running buddies are a driving force for not only training but motivates you to improve and do better. Not all running buddies are equal and this is entirely dependent on your needs for motivation, being a runner and so forth.
Friends often move away from aiming for distances as they know they can complete them. There are others who aim for beating their previous time on a 5K, a new personal record. When you are further along in your running journey, you may need to add a new dimension to your training. Perhaps a different running buddy can help you achieve that personal record.
To sum things up your motivational running buddy will depend on what you are trying to achieve either physically or mentally – they need to be a good fit!
Online running forums for Motivation
Running forums is a place where like-minded people can share and support each other. Particularly good when your running buddies are not available and you need some inspiration, motivation or just plain advice. The online running communities a safe place to air your innermost concerns as no-one knows you and you are not likely to meet them!
Many Facebook groups are health and well being orientated. Often you will find knowledgeable runners that have has written running training programs.
Despite some of these Facebook groups being a health and well-being site, there are a lot of runners on these sites. If you are looking for a more dedicated runner Facebook group a quick search can help you in the right direction.
Forums get used in several ways to provide motivation such as a photo of the rain pounding down with a caption do I go running in this? Immediately members of the group start answering with images of the run they were on or had been on, in the rain. Stating, how much fun it was and encouraging them to take the plunge. Each member gives or takes from the group what they want or need.
Many runners get inspired by how the members are genuinely supportive and how they celebrate each other’s wins and commiserate losses but are there with advice and a “do not give up” followed by their story for motivation to carry on.
One member wrote I cannot seem to find the motivation today, totally fallen off the Wagon. Within minutes there were messages of support and inspiration to help them get straight back on that Wagon.
I would highly recommend Facebook running groups and running forums as a source of motivation. It will definitely keep you motivated and inspired.
New running kit day
There is nothing quite like a brand new running kit! Many runners are shopaholics and a magpie when it comes to running clothing and shoes.
Taking the time to ponder the latest selection of winter running wear or sports tech, before making your purchase and rush home with it. Soon you will be itching to try out whatever bit of running kit or tech you have bought.
Make buying that kit worthwhile. If you have paid the money, you need to prove that it was a necessity, and the only way to do that is run. So without a doubt, a new kit is a massive motivator for lots of runners. That new Garmin watch will certainly do the trick, as did with a new set of running shoes.
The more you run the more you will see your shape change. People often lose weight running and develop muscle. While you may not have the most defined muscles, there is most certainly definition on its way. Your body getting leaner and fitter is an amazing motivator, especially when it’s all happening without you having to be on some recommended diet.
Seeing changes in your body even something seemingly so insignificant to others can be massive for you. It is a reminder of what you are doing, why you are doing it and the reward you are getting for it. This most definitely helps you to get out for a run immediately.
Weather is a major part of running
Weather is a much loved, topic of conversation and no more so than running.
Wind– Running against wind means you need to work harder. So this is even more satisfying when you complete your run on the windiest of days. Feeling the increased heart rate rise means the harder you are working and more calories are burning. Helping you to a leaner fitter body.
While wind behind you doesn’t give the same intensity, its there to give you a helping hand during those easy recovery runs. This is often a perfect opportunity to keep your heart rate down and enjoy the scenery.
Rain – Running in the rain makes you feel like a child again. You can almost remember your mother saying, ‘come out of the rain you silly child’. Running in the rain gives you the motivation that your serious about your training and your running fitness!
Cold – During the cold winter months, it’s typically lovely and quiet so you have the footpaths to your self again. Giving you time to think and refresh your mind outside of work. Thinking about that warm shower when you get home is often enough motivation to pull you through the hardest of weather conditions.
Snow – Running in the snow is something magical. Hearing the crunch of snow under your feet and seeing the reflection of light during those dark winter days.
Sun – There is nothing quite like running on a sunny day. The sun beating down on you – yes it’s hot, yes you sweat but you cannot help but enjoy it.
Best Time of day to run for motivation
A real motivator and a real deal-breaker for most people.
Some aren’t a morning person and others certainly not late evening. Finding out, and very early on, what time of the day you enjoy most running will help motivate you.
To stay motivated your running needs to be timed with my natural circadian rhythm. Otherwise quite frankly most people give up after a month. So definitely need to find a running time that works with you, not against you.
Non runners can be a really strong motivator
There is something seriously addictive to being the fit one. When your friends or colleagues are saying “What, your running home after work?, you must be mad” “I don’t know where you find the time or the energy” “You ran how far?”.
Turning your identity around from being the couch potato to that person you said you hated, but secretly admired for being ‘fit’ is kind of addictive! It makes you want to live up to their expectations of you and confirm their opinion that yes I am one of those exercise bunnies I always thought I would never be!!
Don’t mistake this for the friends who pat you on the back because they know how hard you have worked. One is about being seen to have a new identity the other is having your hard work recognized and congratulated. In one, you are the fit runner and in the other your still trying to be.
Once you are recognized for being a fit runner you begin to accept and admit your identity has changed from couch potato to fitness slave and what a psychological high that gives you. You have no intention of going backward so if that is not motivation what is!
Daily Stress can affect your running motivation
Stress can be your biggest motivator to run. We all have those days when you have had your buttons pushed and your frustrated, annoyed, angry, stressed. Often or not, people tend to keep their emotion locked up and on the down-low. You get home, take it out on your partner, the cat, or some poor unsuspecting inanimate object. You start on the wine, chocolate and any comfort food you can lay your hands on.
Running helps stress and calms most people. Running seems to take the energy out of the stress. Like meditation, concentrating on pounding your feet on the ground will help to release that pent up energy.
When you get home you will be somewhat partially de-stressed and not swinging from the lampshades. Running will also help you to gain perspective…….never a bad thing!
I think all of the reasons above are more than enough to help motivate you out the door. Simple things as these may help with motivation, a dedicated running coach can help improve not just your fitness but your motivation too.