So you’re thinking about taking up running? Whether it was a New Year’s resolution and you’re just getting started on it or you need a simple form of exercising in your life. Well done, for making that first step and acting on it! I know it can take a lot just to get started on making a new habit and actually enjoying it. Everyone has the question, though, how in the world do you motivate yourself to run and actually stick with it for more than a week? How to get motivation for running? Running is definitely for the dedicated and we’re here to help you out.
1. Setting a Goal
What do you want to accomplish? Start with a small goal, not something like, I want to run 300 miles in one month’s time. You may be able to do that, don’t get me wrong, but you don’t want to set your sights that high. You would hate to make that goal and then not end up achieving it.
It would be better to set goals that achievable and are time-boxed. Do you want to run for 30 minutes without stopping? Do you want to run a mile in 10 minutes? You need to set a goal for yourself and write it down somewhere that you’ll see it every day to remind yourself.
Small victories will keep you motivated and sustain inspiration to keep on going. Once you have completed your initial goal then you can start raising the bar and start thinking about bigger goals. Would you like to run that 300 miles per month – write it down. Do you want to run all around your city in a certain amount of time – write that one down. Goals are very important to keep you motivated because it is defining your target – what you are trying to achieve every time you are out there with your running shoes on.
2. Lay Your Clothing Out
Whether you want to run in the morning or after work, set your clothing out the night before. Pick out an outfit that will be suitable for the weather, if running outside, and gather up your gear and set it all together in one place that you will immediately see the following day. Seeing it the next day will make it that much harder to quit on yourself with that daunting pile of clothes staring right back at you.
3. Get Fitbit or a Running App
Having a Fitbit (or something like it) will track your steps. Did you run 4,000 steps on your run yesterday? How about going for 4,200 steps today? The smartwatch, like Apple Watch, will let you compete with your friends and family. You can see how far they ran on their run and you can try to beat that. Competing is always a great motivator.
You don’t need to buy a fancy wristband too, there are some other cool alternatives out there. A mobile app will do just as good. Some apps will track where you ran with a red line. How about taking that red line and making it go further on today’s run? Or running a certain route to make that red line into a picture.
Some of these will even let you post to social media to show everyone how good you are doing! You can make running fun too! Having a log of your running with help you to look back on your activity record, see how much progress you’ve made and you will ultimately want to keep getting better. The website Daily Burn has ranked each running app and what you can expect out of each.
4. Set a Good Playlist
Set an awesome playlist you want to listen while you run. Songs that get you pumped up and excited to do something. Don’t put on the new Adele (sorry, Adele fans) even though it’s fantastic, it’s not really the type of music that will get you going.
5. Run with Someone!
Running doesn’t have to be a mood killer of your day. Try running with someone. Grab your best friend and run together. Reward yourselves after the good run over some treat, like a smoothie. Do you have a dog? You can knock two chores out in one by taking your dog on your run with you! Your pet will love to get outside with you every day and soon will be looking forward to spending that time with you. You don’t want to let your pet down, do you?
6. Habits Take 66 Days to Form
Tired of actually having to motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning and go for a run? Tired of saying this will pay off? You will eventually learn to love running. Habits will not just form in the first week. It takes the time to progress and after about 66 days, it will just be programmed in your head that you need to get out for that run. Of course, some people may take longer or less, but 66 is the average.
7. Your Health is Important
Exercise is medicine, it makes you happier and you live longer. Jennifer Van Allen stated on Runners World that running can prevent multiple things. Everything from heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and much more. The facts in this article are interesting and should motivate you even more. Ironically enough, running will strengthen your knees and bones up too. You hear a lot that running is bad for your joints and you will feel it by the time you get older, but that’s not true. Science has even proven it. Running can also help prevent cancer and if that isn’t motivating enough, running actually adds years to your life. Yes, years! When you start exercising, you live longer.
8. Create a Reward System
Did you beat those steps every day this month? Did you run for an hour and beat your goal like you wrote down? Give yourself a reward! Pedicure, that new shirt, a video game etc. Some people need to have rewards to keep doing something. It’s not a bad thing, just don’t overdo it. I would go by biweekly or monthly.
9. Motivate Others!
Now that you have your new healthy lifestyle down, it’s time to motivate others around you. It will make you feel good to say, “look, I did it! I motivated myself and now I can’t imagine my life without running.” It’s time to put others out there and do some good in the lives of people you love.