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Running motivation is needed on the days you're supposed to run, but you don't want to. Running can be repetitive and laborious, and you often don't see some of the improvements in time or weight loss results that you want to see for quite some time. 

It takes a lot of faith to keep running when you do not see the results that you want. These tips for running motivation are some simple things you can do to make sure that you start all of your runs excited, even if you wake up not wanting to do it at first. The beauty in the running comes from finding it in you to get started.  

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham

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Why You Need Running Motivation  

Running motivation is especially useful at the beginning of your running journey. Before your running is locked in as a habit, there will be plenty of days that you will not want to run. You will have every excuse not to. 

  • Body hurting 
  • Feeling Tired 
  • Other Things to Do 
  • Feeling Lazy 

You will have plenty of days that these excuses to come up, and if you're not strong enough to fight these excuses, you will miss a lot of your running days. You will never get in a good rhythm because you will lack the motivation to do so. 

The reward for being consistent and working hard to show up and not miss your workouts will eventually become a habit. Until you get to that point, you will need extrinsic motivation to help provide you with the drive to move your butt. 

6 Ways to Increase Running Motivation 

Set Your Workout Clothes Out 

One of the easiest ways to motivate yourself to run is to get some new running clothes you like and then set them out where you can see them before you go to sleep.

When you wake up and see your new clothes laid out, it will remind you that it's time to run and get you excited to sport your new clothes. 

Reward Yourself With a Special Treat 

Only consume your favorite snacks and recovery products after getting your run done. That means that you can't just open one when you feel like it.

The only way you get your tasty snacks and drinks is to get your workout done. This will provide you with the motivation to get off your butt. It also helps you to associate the pain of running with pleasure. 

Remember Your Reason for Running 

You started running for a reason. No one would do something so hard for no reason. You should hold on to that reason. Hold it tight and remember why you started on the days that you feel like giving up on it. 

If you started running to lose weight, for example, remember that and find reasons to support that choice. Look at the weight you have a loss or other people who have had a lot of success. 

Watch Your Favorite Workout Video 

There are a tonne motivational videos on YouTube that you can use to provide running motivation. The video does not need to be about running, but it just needs to speak in a motivational way. 

You can listen to the words of people like Tony Robbins, Les Brown and Eric Thomas to get yourself pumped up for your run. It's best to listen to these as you're getting ready to run, so you have the most motivation possible. 

Create a New Playlist 

Create a playlist with new songs for your next run. The thing about the days when you were younger, and you would burn a new CD for a road trip. It was one of the most exciting things that you could do. Its harder to do now in the digital world, but it can still be done. 

Make a list of songs that you are only allowed to listen to when its time to run. When you crave that music, the only way to get it is when you're running. 

Run to an Errand 

Use running as your means of transportation. It helps to make running much more practical. Instead of doing it for arbitrary reasons, you do it going forward because it helps you to get places faster.

6 More Ways to Increase Running Motivation 

Attack One of Your Favorite Workouts 

One of the best ways to get excited and motivated for your workout is to look forward to the workout yourself. Sometimes the best way to do that on days you don't want to run is to change the workout to a favorite. 

You can't do this all of the time, but if you can use it sparingly it can make a big difference in your motivation

Avoid Punishment 

Make skipping workouts cost you something. Maybe every time that you skip, you have to pay someone some money. Find something that you hate to give up and decide to let it go if you don't run. 

Some people do much better when they are avoiding punishment vs. trying to gain a reward. It's weird, but it's also true. 

Join a Running Group 

The best thing you can do if you're more of a social butterfly is joining a running group. It's a fun way to go about getting accountability. You are way less likely to miss your workouts if you know that a group of people are counting on you. 

Get a Running Coach 

A running coach will provide more accountability, but many times they are just for you. This is a great option for people who want to be pushed but like their runs to be more solo. 

 A running coach will make it easy for you because you don't need to think about how far to run or what your workout will be. They will spend time thinking about the details so that you can go and run. 

Playout the Consequences of Missing Workouts 

It's easy to do things that do not benefit you in the long run because you don't think about the consequences. People start smoking and don't think about their lungs in 30 years. No one thinks about what that donut will do to your stomach in enough time. 

Before you skip that running workout, think about the consequences. What will one missed workout mean? What will happen if you keep missing workouts? Feel the pain of your negative actions. 

Focus On The Parts of Running You Love

It's easy to point out and think of the crappy parts of running. What is much harder is thinking of the parts about running you love. I love how running frees my mind of all of the problems of the world. 

If you need motivation, meditate on the things that you love and push away all the things that you don't. You need one good reason to get started and not look back.

From Motivation to Running Habits 

The goal of all of this is for your running to become more a part of your routine. It needs to become an intrinsic motivation that is built into the fabric of who you are. The more you run, the less you should need videos and playlists to get you pumped up. There is nothing wrong with using these things, but the real motive to run should come from within. 

When running becomes a habit, it's just who you are. You don't think about if you're going to run or not. You know you are even if you don't want to because that's who you are. 

Tips for Building Running Habit

  1. Start Small and Easy
  2. Use a Habit Tracker
  3. Record workout details in a journal 
  4. Have an End Goal for your running 

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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