Seek motivation first and the desire to run, and run successfully. Let’s take a look at several tips and techniques for you to obtain, maintain, and increase your motivation to run: set goals; utilize a training log; implement the buddy system; surround yourself with reminders; be creative with your workouts, set completion goals, not time goals, do more than run; visit a running store, occasionally enter a race, reward yourself when you succeed.
A great motivation technique is to set running goals so that you can monitor your progress on a weekly or monthly basis.
Listed below are some specific goals setting tips:
- Set aside a few minutes each day, or at least a few times each week, to relax and picture in your mind the runner you want to be. Picture yourself making a great training run or running the actual race. As you are creating that image, try to get other senses involved by trying to feel what it will feel like to achieve your goal or push through any obstacles you envision.
- Flood your mind with positive thoughts by talking to yourself every day. Tell yourself that you are a marathon runner, a sub-four hour marathoner, or whatever it is your goal might be. Our minds operate in the present so the more we tell ourselves something, even if it is not yet true, the faster our mind believes it and begins working now to make that affirmation a reality. Also, put an affirmation, race brochure, or inspiring quote somewhere you will see it every day like on your desk or bathroom mirror.
- Be aware of negative thoughts creeping into your mind. When you catch them, stop them cold in their tracks by telling yourself the opposite. For instance, if you catch yourself thinking you are tired during a run, tell yourself several times, with emphasis, that you feel great or feel strong. Do the same for any pain during a run. By telling yourself the opposite, you are diverting your focus from the negative to the positive. Surround yourself with positive, motivating things. Watching running movies is great for marathon motivation. Find something that connects with you emotionally and you will find that your intensity and desire will grow to where you don’t just want to achieve your goal, you have to achieve your goal.Take a step back and think about why you have set this monster goal for yourself and see yourself enjoying all the benefits you expect to have once you accomplish your goal.
- Be specific in order to stimulate your motivation, you need to be specific with your goal setting.
- Be specific to give your personal best in a target, set a goal to improve on your personal best further. Set a deadline for achieving your goal.
- Add a sense of urgency to your goal by adding a specific timeframe, your motivation will scramble! Set same time. An unrealistic goal will kill motivation but a goal that is too easily obtained will lead to boredom.
- Write and review your goals. Writing down your goals creates your roadmap to success. Although just the act of writing them down can set the process in motion, it is also extremely important to frequently review your goals. Remember, the more focused you are on your running goals the more likely you are to accomplish them.
- Develop a plan and work it. Develop a plan of action to achieve your running goals and then just do it! By taking the time to decide on the specific steps needed to achieve your goals, you increase your motivation and your chances of success. The final step is to get out there and work your plan.
- Utilize a training log Keep a training log of each run. Record times, distances, time of day, weather, your pulse rate, progress toward goals and any other statistic or aspect of your running you might find valuable. A training log allows you to monitor your progress and learn from your mistakes. Implement the buddy system Run with a compatible training partner or running group. A running club is a great place to find other runners who run as your pace.
- Surround yourself with reminders. Sustained motivation is key to achieving your potential. One way to keep your motivation high is to find out what fires you up, and then surround yourself with it. Examples include: posters, quotes, photos, inspiring literature, biographies of successful runners, running books, running magazines, and videos. Place them where you can see it every day.
- Set completion goals, not time goals because at some point, you just won’t be able to beat the clock any longer. To avoid discouragement and possibly even quitting the sport, cultivate new running goals. Decide to complete a specific number of races a year or to complete a longer distance race. Whatever you determine, keep your running fresh, challenging, and new by setting some non-time related goals.
- Be creative with your workouts. Doing the same workout day after day leads to boredom and burnout. Alter your workout routine by incorporating some or all of the following: leave your watch at home and run for the enjoyment of it without worrying about time goals; change the time of day you normally run. If you are a morning runner, switch to running in the evening and vice versa. Find some new running routes; alter the distance you normally run; challenge yourself by adding some speed or hill repeats to your workout. Being creative with your workout will add new life to your running.
- Do more than run To add a boost of motivation, incorporate some cross training in your workout routine. There are many other activities, other than running, that can increase your strength, flexibility, and aerobic conditioning. Mix in some cycling, swimming, in-line roller skating, hiking, cross-country skiing, or weight training. Just do it! Visit a running store Stop by a running store on a regular basis to pick up a race application, running accessory, new running magazine, or the latest running book.
- Your motivation to run will be lifted when you put yourself in an environment that supports your goals. Running stores thrive based on people like you who love to run. They are thrilled to answer your questions, give suggestions, and discuss your training.
- Occasionally enter a race Want to increase your motivation and feel the adrenaline of competition? Enter an occasional fun, local race. The spill-over effect will keep you motivated for weeks afterward and may even spur you on to enter even more races! Reward yourself when you succeed Rewards can be a powerful motivator. When you do succeed, make sure to do something nice for yourself.