How To Keep Motivated to Run

By Rick Morris

Motivation is the driving force behind the success of every training program. Here are some tips to keep motivated to run everyday.

Set Goals

Having a goal to work toward will give you a reason to find time for your work out. The absence of a goal will inevitably lead to poor quality workouts and skipped workouts. Goals are either long term or short term. You should have both. A short-term goal will give you a more measurable and near objective to work toward. A long term’s goal will give you a major and important achievement to look forward to.

Short term goals can range from 1 day up to several months. A long term goal is usually at least several months away, but can be as long as a year. Examples of short term goals are extending your long run by two miles or adding one quality workout per week. Examples of a long term goal could be to improve your 10K time by one minute or finishing a marathon.

Plan Ahead

Plan your workouts at least a week ahead. With proper planning, you will have a specific goal for each session. This will make each workout a quality session. Aimless workouts with no purpose tend to be sloppy, low quality sessions. With prior planning you are more apt to find time for your workouts.

No Strick Schedules

You should plan your workouts ahead, but don’t set a strict schedule. Allow yourself flexibility. Something unforeseen may come up, such as a surprise appointment, illness, bad weather or social/work commitments. These kind of unexpected events pop up all of the time. Allow yourself to adjust you workout schedule around these other events in your life. If your schedule is too strict, you will end up sacrificing either your workout or the social/work events in your life. If you start sacrificing either, you are dooming your program to failure.

Commit Everyday

Make it a habit to commit to excellence everyday. Dedicate yourself to being the best you can everyday. When excellence becomes a habit, you will take the steps necessary to achieve you goals. You daily workouts need to become a part of your day. You would not even consider missing brushing your teeth or bathing. Think of your training schedule, just as you do these other parts of your daily routine.

Keep a Log

Keep a daily record of your workouts. In the log, make a note of what you did, where you did it, how much or how long you did it and how you felt. At the end of the week, summarize the gains you made toward your goal. By keeping a log of this type, you will see the progress you are making and will see how much your are improving. This positive feedback will keep you going. If you are not improving as much as you think you should, the log will show where you need to make changes.

Keep it Fresh

There is no surer way to become bored with your running that to do the same run day after day. Vary the type of workout you do each day to keep motivated to run. Rotate your workouts between easy runs, long runs, lactate threshold workouts, speed workouts and hill runs. Also try to vary your running route frequently.

Vary Your Running Terrain

Another great way to keep motivated to run is to vary your running terrain. Vary your running terrain between roads, urban trails, park trails and if possible, trail running. Not only will your running stay fresh but you will see new sights everyday.