Let me tell you a secret: all runners have trouble getting motivated. Especially in the cold, dark winter months. We all have those moments of discouragement, lack of energy, and just the whole “this is hard” mentality.
But, there are a few things you can do to trick yourself into getting moving when you don’t want to. Here are my five favorites.
1. Put on Your Clothes
Sometimes, changing clothes is half the battle. I have two strategies for this.
If I’m running in the morning, I’ll sleep in my clothes if I think I’m going to have a problem getting up. This is especially helpful when it’s cold. No one wants to change out of their nice warm pajamas into some cold spandex pants. If you sleep in your clothes they are already warm, and if it’s really cold you can put on more clothes. It’s a win-win.
More than once I have vegged out on my bed after work, and dreaded getting back up and going for a run. So now, I change into my running clothes as soon as I get home, which usually guilts me into running. (This also confuses my dog because he thinks he gets to come too. Which he does, sometimes.)
2. Meet a Friend
Make plans to meet up with someone for a run every now and then. You’ll feel like a jerk if you make plans and then blow them off, and vice versa. Having the accountability can make or break a run.
3. Commit to One Mile
No matter where you are on your running journey, you can commit to running one mile. That’s 15 minutes max. If you don’t feel like running, commit to a quick mile. If you still want to stop, go ahead, at least you’ve done something. But, chances are once the first mile funk passes you’ll want to keep going. This is a trick I use a lot and usually end up doing at least one more mile.
4. Treat Yo Self
Pick something you really want to do, and use it as a reward for getting off your butt. For instance, I don’t let myself read for the day until I go running. You can choose Netflix, a relaxing bath, whatever suits your lifestyle. I would recommend staying away from food as a reward, though, unless you use something healthy like a protein smoothie.
5. Challenge Yourself
Sometimes the reason you don’t want to run is just because you have reached a plateau. Shake it up by running a new route, setting a weird or unusual goal, or even just signing up for a race. Do whatever it takes to shake up your routine. Running is supposed to be fun, getting bored is the worst thing that can happen!
Do you have any tips on staying motivated? Let me know in the comments!