Do you know this feeling? You get up early in the morning for your weekly running routine. But instead of jumping energetically out of bed you have to drag yourself with an incredible amount of will power out of it. Then you look out of the window; it’s cold and the wind smashes raindrops onto the streets. So instead of running a marathon, you get back to your warm and comfortable bed. And even though you’re quite happy that you somehow managed to avoid today’s running exercise, there is still this nagging feeling. It’s the inner knowledge that you need to do something to overcome this nasty weaker self that sabotages all your running plans. This part of yourself that takes all your drive and energy, de-motivates you and leaves you stranded on the couch, instead of getting in shape.
You are not alone. Even the most ambitious runners among us are confronted with situations in which they feel unmotivated. In fact, they might struggle daily – just like you and me. But then they somehow manage to break through this negative spiral, get up and start running anyways. If they can do it then there must be a way for you to do it as well. And even though it seems impossible to become such a highly ambitious person at the moment, the steps for positive change can be taken without much effort. I’ve been in your position; felt the same hopelessness and lack of motivation, but I learned how to effectively break free from it. In the following I will show you exactly what I do to boost my running motivation. In fact, this is the very article that I get back to whenever I feel unmotivated to run. I will provide you the catalyst that helps you to transform sluggishness into pure running motivation.
How to Get Motivated to Run?
This article is separated into two parts. The first part focuses on what you can do to get quickly motivated to run. (Feel free to jump to this section if you are in need of a quick motivational boost). The second part, however, goes deeper than that and shows you what you can do on the long run to increase motivation to run and stay motivated to run for a long period of time. The second part is – if you excuse the pun – the extra mile that you can go. If you choose to do so, you will be rewarded at the end with a drive that is much deeper and a lot longer-lasting. But most important of all, this kind of motivation will emerge out of yourself, so that you no longer have to rely on external sources to get motivated to run. Equipped with this kind of motivation you will definitely know how to get motivated to run in the cold.
Quick Running Motivation Tips
Running motivation videos
If you need to get quickly motivated to run, say for instance within five minutes, then there’s nothing better than watching one or two highly motivational running videos. A video can inspire you and has the potential to spark your desire to exercise in a much quicker way than anything else. In the following I have prepared three inspirational running videos that can energize you quickly.
Here is the second motivational video for runners:
And finally, the last video:
I hope you enjoyed these videos. All three of them are made in a way that can help you to get energized quickly. Therefore, they should give you a quick boost whenever you are struggling with the question if you should go running or if you should rather stay at home.
Motivational running songs
The powerful effect of motivational running videos is unquestionable, but there is one main disadvantage: you cannot take them with you while you are outside doing your running workout. Luckily, there is another effective tool that you can use, when you need to get quickly into the mood of running. It’s nearly as powerful as visuals. But the great advantage is that you can take it with you, so that it maintains your motivation to run. I am, of course, talking about the motivating effect of music. In fact, music can have such an energizing effect on sportsmen that it is banned in various kinds of competitions. Luckily, you can still make use of the benefit of highly motivational running songs in your spare time. Your favorite songs do not only act as motivator, but they can also help you to enhance your endurance while running. While the brain is focused on the incoming signals of your music, its attention is drawn away from the physical stress and the de-motivating thoughts that emerge during a running session. In this sense, music does not only act as a quick catalyst, but also as a powerful agent that helps you to stay motivated while running.
In case you want to make use of inspirational music I have created a short list of motivational running songs. However, this playlist only serves as an indicator about the kind of music that is needed to elicit positive emotions that enhance your drive while you are working out.
Ennio Morricone – The Ecstasy of Gold
Spencer Davis Group – Keep on Running
Daft Punk – One More Time
Vangelis – Chariots of Fire
Kenny Loggins –Footloose
Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
Eminem – Loose yourself
Bill Conti – Gonna Fly Now
Queen – Don’t Stop Me now
Ron Goodwin – The Trap
50 Cent – Ready for war (Mayweather vs De La Hoya remix)
Van Halen – Jump
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
For further inspiration please consult the main article where you can find a huge playlist containing the Best Motivational Songs.
Motivational Running Quotes
So far we have covered the powerful effect of video and music, which both can help you to get excited for your exercise. The last tool that you can apply to quickly enhance your mood is again visual, but this time in the form of pictures of motivational quotes for runners. These pictures can be highly effective if you print them out and place them somewhere around your running shoes or cloth. They can give you the extra boost of running motivation that you need. If you like, you can also look over these images a couple of minutes before you go outside. This will give you another injection of pure excitement; this feeling that you have when you cannot wait for your daily running exercise to be started. I have compiled a gallery of motivational running quotes that you can find in the following link: Gallery of Motivational Quotes for Runners
Establishing long-lasting motivation for running
What is your goal?
Most people have a certain goal in mind, when they go out for their running routine. There are those who want to lose weight, others want to get physical exercise, and then there are those who just want to calm their mind down from a hectic day at work. Granted, having a certain goal in mind when you are exercising is great. The problem, however, is that these goals might not be stimulating enough. They are not the source of the pure running motivation that we are looking for. Losing weight is a great goal, but it will not get you running when it’s cold outside. Therefore, we need something that is much stronger than that. There must be some kind of a higher motive that gets you running and that keeps you running.
Pheidippides, maybe the best known running courier of Ancient Greece, had such a higher motive. Legend has it that he ran approximately 150 miles to deliver important messages from Marathon to Athens, in only two days. One of these messages was a request for help when the Persians attacked Greece. Another example of a runner with an excellent leitmotif is Dean Karnazes, the ultramarathon runner who ran 50 marathons in 50 days to raise donations for his charity.
These two examples show us what can be achieved, if there is a higher purpose associated with one’s running exercises. And while you do not have to become a running courier, you will still highly benefit, if you set yourself a motivational goal that contains a higher purpose that is worth striving for. Even if this “higher purpose” is just the simple idea that you want to increase your life span through running regularly, so that you will be one day able to be a great and healthy grandparent to your grandchildren. And if all this doesn’t work out, you can still imagine that there is some kind of secret mechanism at work that will cause the end of the world, if you do not run regularly. Running for the survival of humanity seems a good motivation to run regularly, right?
I hope you get my point. Look for something that motivates you so much that it will make you want to run, even if it’s cold and raining outside. If it is for a higher purpose, for instance running for charity, then all the better.
Leave behind the familiar paths
Running can become quite monotonous, if you always take the same route. Similarly, running in circles can become quite tiring as well. You never get to see anything new, as you are always taking the same paths. Mix your running routine up a little bit, by taking a new route that provides you with new experiences. Go explore the park that is nearby, or run a route that takes you to different sights of your city. If your regular workout session becomes an adventurous trip, your motivation will drastically increase.
When I switched my running route from running in circles around a football field to a huge park, I noticed that my monthly mileage increased dramatically. That was because I started to go on “adventure trips”, during which I tried to explore the whole park. And while I was busy exploring ever new routes through the park, my mind was totally distracted so that running seemed a lot easier. The essence of leaving behind the familiar paths is that you avoid taking the same route always and always again. That way you create excitement for your next running exercise and this helps you to stay motivated for running, even if the weather is not good.
Do you have a running partner? Running together, or even in a group, is an excellent approach to get motivated to run. Your partner can push you whenever you feel a lack of motivation, and similarly, you can also push your partner whenever de-motivation starts to arise. That way, you no longer need to know how to get motivated to run, because you will feel instead an obligation to your partner – the obligation to run with your partner at the fixed time. But don’t make the mistake to think that your running partner needs to be a friend or relative. Just try to join an existing running group or get in touch with the fellow runners that you meet regularly.
Running motivation – A thing of perception
Whether you are motivated to exercise or not depends also on your perception. Some people struggle with getting motivated to run in the cold, others have a hard time going outside for an exercise when it’s raining. But this problem arises out of the perception of the runner. Running in the cold might not be regarded as comfortable, and the same holds true for running while it’s raining. However, the runner that is able to transform the negative connotations that are associated with these weather conditions into positive ones, increases the joy of running. So instead of being terrified of the rain, one can also enjoy the feeling of being in nature, while raindrops fall down on you. Every runner, who has experienced the joy of running in the rain, knows how alive one feels during such an exercise.
Just get up and run
You have come to this article because you want to know how to get motivated to run. Granted, there are techniques that help you to get energized for your workout. But there is a much easier way that sounds rather simple (and a little bit dull), which does not require any Motivational Techniques. Unfortunately, many do not see the great potential of it, because of its simplicity. Consider it from this perspective: did it ever happen to you that you got up, tied your running shoes, went outside and ran for a couple of yards only to stop abruptly, canceling your workout? I guess it has never happened, except in the case of injuries of course. I know from my own experience that it may be difficult to get up and start running. But once I have managed to overcome this obstacle, I will not stop my workout. Therefore, we can identify this phase as the critical moment that must be overcome, no matter what. And it so happens that this critical moment can be overcome simply by taking action and by just getting up and by just starting to run.
Inspiration and excitement
I noticed something very interesting, when I was doing research about the benefits of taking cold showers. Even though I had never taken cold showers, I became tremendously excited about the subject the more I learned about it and quickly proceeded to take all the necessary steps to what’s taking cold showers. What I want to emphasize with this point is that you can quickly boost your running motivation, if you can get somehow inspired and excited about running. If you take yourself some time to concern yourself with running in general and success stories in particular, then this inspiration will increase your desire to run. No matter if you find this inspiration on websites, blogs, books or magazines, it will help you to get motivated to run. Also, inspiration will increase your excitement about your upcoming running workout. Therefore, instead of postponing the exercise, because of a lack of motivation, you might even get so excited that you cannot wait until you can finally start running.
Something that is very helpful to incite this excitement is to occupy yourself daily with running. This doesn’t have to be long or time intensive. But it should be long enough, say five minutes, so that it reignites the spark of motivation and excitement about running.
And if you want to go so far as to watch a movie to boost your running motivation here is a suggestion:
“WATCH THIS “Chariots of Fire” In this stirring 1981 Oscar winner for Best Picture, two British athletes prepare for and compete in the 1924 summer Olympics. For bonus motivation, download the famous Vangelis theme to listen to on tomorrow’s run.”
– Runner’s World, Tips to get you motivated to run
I hope you enjoyed today’s article on how to get motivated to run. What is it that helps you to get excited to do your workout week after week?
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Image credit: Spacial