10 Tips to motivate yourself to run and stick to it

It happens very often, more times than I’d like to count. I promise myself I will train this time regularly and then I get lazy after a few months, typical…  I started running 4 years ago, a little after arriving in Berlin. My boyfriend (addicted to running) convinced me to join a group of girls to run the marathon a few months later, they gave me a training plan and that’s how it all started.

After the marathon, I hated this sport so much that it stopped completely for a few months. And that’s when my love and hate relationship with running started.

After all these years, I’ve learned to appreciate this sport more and more. I haven’t yet reached a perfect point where I’m completely passionate about the idea, but I’m sure that with time I’ll have less trouble with training.

In addition to that, these tips are not just for running, but for other types of sports as well:  gym, cross fit, cycling, swimming, yoga, you name it. These tips are for people who, like me, find it very difficult to start training. We love the idea with all our heart, but there’s always an excuse to make it up.

So don’t worry, here are 10 tips to motivate you to run when you don’t feel like it and stick to it.

1. Become a morning runner

The most important thing is that if you run first thing in the morning, you won’t have excuses for not doing it later and you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment. It also has a positive impact on your health by increasing brain activity and endorphins.  Who doesn’t like to feel active throughout the day?

2. Just do it, don’t think

I know, I know, it’s very obvious. But if you don’t let your brain think for too long you won’t have to make excuses.

The best way to follow this advice is to prepare your clothes the night before, so when you get up in the morning all you have to do is wash your face, put on your clothes and go out.

3. Set a goal

If you have a measurable goal, it’s much easier to stay motivated. You can sign up for a race, you’ll see that when you see people cheering for you and crossing the finish line, you’ll do it again and again, it’s just so much fun.

But if you want to keep it simple and free, join a running group or club. You will always have people helping you keep your motivation high. 

4. Follow a training plan

If you’ve a training plan, it’ll help you progress slowly, without injury. It also comes in handy for beginners, as it’ll help you not to run out of breath after 5 minutes. 

5. Find someone to train with

Exercising is much easier when you have someone to do it with. You can make new friends, become more sociable, and even make it a routine. For example, what I often do is run with a friend on Sundays and then have breakfast together. I’m always looking forward to that day!

Finding a partner in crime makes running a social activity, which makes it more interesting to stick to.

6. Listen to music/podcasts

I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of motivation when I’m listening to something while training. Listening to fast-paced music for fast runs helps a lot, first to follow the music with your strides and believe you’re an action movie, second to not listen to your breath while you’re giving it your best effort. But what I really love and it helps me a lot when I’m running longer and slower runs is listening to podcasts. It’s so interesting (running alone for an hour can get boring sometimes) and I also learn a lot. That’s what I call multitasking. 

7. Wear cool running clothes

I don’t know why, but it’s true. I never paid attention to the clothes I was wearing for training. But since I started dressing better, I felt more powerful when I was running. It’s that simple, if you look good, you feel good.

My tip to make it cheap and sustainable is to buy it second hand, many people do not dare to do it for hygiene but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Just buy things that are in good condition.

8. Try different sports

Diversity is very important if you’re a person who, like me, gets bored very easily always training the same thing. You can try going to group classes, like yoga, spinning or Pilates. Furthermore, joining the gym or training strength regularly at home will help build muscle, improve your health, reduce the risk of injury and also improve your running performance. 

9. Don’t forget to warm up/cool down and stretch

A 10-minute warm-up before or after running helps keep your muscles from getting tight and decreases the risk of injury. In addition to all that technical information, warming up helps me a lot to motivate myself. Listen to a rocking playlist while warming up and everything will be a lot smoother.

Stretching after running will help your muscles expand again and loosen up.

10. Reward yourself for running

Training any kind of sports can be hard at times but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun sometimes. Remember that you train because you love how you feel, healthy and fit and not because you want to torture yourself. If you feel like your muscles need a little break maybe you can give you a treat and get a massage or go to a spa if you’re feeling fancy. Get new clothes that will make you feel happy or go out some time and eat a pizza with your new running friends. Carbo loading party, I heard?!

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