Often, the hardest part of running is taking the first few steps out the door. In fact, sports psychologists have discussed the psychology of motivation at length, citing that motivation can be difficult because running is an energy-intensive exercise, historically reserved for evading danger or finding food. How can you find motivation to get out the door? Tried and true methods are discussed below.
Remind Yourself Why
Runners tend to fall into a trap of feeling as though they have to run every day, which can cause them to lose motivation. One way to avoid these feelings is to remind yourself daily why you run. Is it because you love it? Because you have a goal you want to reach? Or, perhaps it is because you simply feel great and more energized afterwards. Whatever your reason is, reminding yourself why you run can help improve your motivation.
Write Down Your Goals
If reminding yourself why you run is difficult, write down your goals and display them prominently in the house, such as on the bathroom mirror or on the refrigerator. In this way, you are continually reminded of your aspirations, which will make it more difficult to intentionally avoid working towards them.
Set Up a Reward System
When motivation is low, set up a system for which to reward yourself for completing your daily workout. One example is to assign a monetary value to each mile that you plan to run. This approach is especially useful on long run days when the motivation to start the run is limited. For instance, each mile can be worth $0.25. At the end of your run, add up how much money you banked, and then treat yourself to a reward, such as a special coffee. Another way is to set a goal for the week or month, such as accomplishing a certain number of runs for the week or a monthly mileage. If you reach your goal, give yourself a predetermined reward, such as an indulgence or a new pair of running socks.
Enlist a Training Partner
When all else fails, finding a running partner can drastically improve motivation. Look for someone who has similar goals and schedule as your own. If you are unable to find a running partner, look for running crews in your neighborhood to keep you motivated. Knowing that someone is counting on you to show up is a great boost to ensure you complete your workout!