Hey guys! I think that (at least here in the midwest) spring has finally begun to arrive. I love running in spring because it’s not too hot, but also not freezing cold. Even with the right weather, a tricky thing about running (long runs in particular) is that often there is nothing to do for the entire run, which makes it feel like forever. For today’s post, I’m gonna share my top 10 ideas for staying motivated on those looong runs!
1. Avoid the treadmill. Ugh, the treadmill. I know, sometimes it’s the only option, and yes, it does have some benefits (no weather/dark problems or safety concerns), but honestly, if you can, run outside. It’s a great excuse to get out of the house, be by yourself, and usually it’s pretty peaceful. (it’s also a great way to get tan 👍)
2. Remember why you’re doing this. Whatever I’m doing, I always like going back to the why behind it. Why are you doing this? Maybe it’s to train for cross country, to run a 5k, to run a marathon, to get outside, to improve your PR, etc. Going back to your why is INCREDIBLY motivational!
3. Find a running buddy. Have a friend that enjoy’s running too? Invite them to go on runs with you! It’s a great way to catch up and spend time together, without spending money or a ton of extra time. And you’re a lot less likely to skip your run if you have to call someone to cancel on them.
4. Pick a scenic route. A scenic route looks totally different for everyone! For me a scenic route looks like running through a cute downtown or a fancy neighborhood or a trail through the woods. I don’t particularly like running laps at a local park or running through the country in the middle of nowhere. Change up where you run! Maybe one day run through the downtown, the next day do a trail run, etc.
5. Set mini goals for yourself throughout your run. Ahh, I love doing this! If you’ve run a set route before, you probably will remember mini “landmarks” throughout the route. Maybe one part is super sunny and the other part is shady, or there is a cute house along the way. Focus on just getting to those landmarks, then get to the next one and the next one. Before you know it, you’ll be done with the run!
6. Make up stories about random people. Okay, so this might sound (and even be) a little strange, but honestly, it works so well. It works best when running through a place where you’ll see other people. Basically just find an interesting person and start making up a story about them. (of course, you can’t expect that the story is true or anything XD) If you’re a writer, this could be a great way to get inspiration for your writing.
7. Pray. I’ve done this before, and actually one of my friends was just telling me how she does this and it’s just sooo great! I love listening to worship music while I run, and even saying “thank you” for the scenery or the weather. It’s a really peaceful thing to do and also passes the time really well.
8. Explore new places. If there is a neighborhood or park or someplace else you’ve been wanting to visit, why not go running in it? This is a great idea if you’re considering buying a house in a particular neighborhood or if there is a new place you want to visit, but just haven’t had a chance.
9. Just put one foot in front of the other. To be completely honest, sometimes this is all you can do. Your legs hurt, you’re tired and you really just want to stop. For me, it starts happening right before the midway point. Then once I start to realize that the fastest way to get back is just to keep running, it’s usually okay for a while. Then, it kicks back in right before I can see the finish line. And then when I can see the finish line, we’re all good. But it’s those moments where you really just have to keep going. You know what, I’ve never, ever regretted just keeping going, but I always regret stopping when I know I could do more.
10. Go slow. Alright, so this really only applies to distance runners, but honestly it’s so true! I mean why are you running this race? I mean, maybe it’s to improve your PR, but more likely it’s just to run a particular distance. Most beginner (and even some advanced) marathoners aren’t trying to win. In fact, they don’t even care who wins (unless it would happen to be them XD) they really just want to finish. So don’t worry about going slow. Once you’ve reached a good distance you can try to start improving your time.
I hope you guys enjoyed those running tips & enjoy running season! I’d love to hear, are you running track/cross country this year? Or are you planning to focus on mud runs?