Motivation to Run

Let’s face it, as much as we all love the idea of running, sometimes we need a little extra kick in the pants to get us out the door. Whether it be lack of motivation due to early runs, weather, or simply being burnt out, every run isn’t fun or easy. I don’t know about you, but I often lack motivation to run.

motivation to run

There are some days when my alarm goes off, and all I want to do is hit the snooze, roll over, and get a few more minutes of sleep before I have to start my day. But, time keeps on ticking whether I get up or not. Sometimes we all just need a little motivation.

I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me when I have one of those days that I just don’t feel like running. I try to keep in mind that I have never once regretted a run once I get going.

Motivational tips for “getting out there” even when you don’t feel like it:

1.   Pick a running mantra: One of my favorites is “you are stronger than you think.” Every time I want to quit, or not get out at all, I try to remember it’s usually mental.  I am stronger than I think I am. Find a great mantra (or borrow mine!) and repeat it to yourself when the going gets tough.

2.   Prepare ahead of time: One of the main reasons why people find themselves unmotivated to run is because they have to get up really early, or run after a long day at work. My advice for this is to be prepared. If it’s a morning run, lay everything out ahead of time, or even sleep in your running clothes. This makes it easy to get out the door in the morning (and you may get to sleep an extra few minutes with less prep time). If you have to run after work, go ahead and bring your running clothes and change immediately after you finish your job so you have no excuse. Leave a pair of running shoes in the trunk of your car. Have dinner ready ahead of time so you don’t have to spend a lot of fuss to get in some food before going on your run. You could even have a healthy snack in the car waiting for you. Plan, plan, and plan some more!

3.   Buy new clothes: If weather is causing your lack of motivation, make sure you have the proper gear to help combat the conditions. Layer well if it’s cold, or buy a fun new running jacket that you have been wanting. If it’s hot, maybe a cute new visor or moisture wicking top is what you need.


4.   Take a break: Feeling burnt out after a long training cycle? It may just be time to take a break. Usually after a week or two of no running, I am itching to go again. A week or two won’t make you lose all your fitness, but may be just what you need to get your running mojo back. It can also help to prevent injury, as your body could be telling you it NEEDS a break!

5.   Find accountability partners: Start a blog to keep you accountable, or run with some friends who are counting on you to show up and run with them. This way, you will be less likely to bail. Or, simply ask a friend to give you a little push and check up on you to make sure you are sticking to your plan.

No matter what method you use, be sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you are feeling extra sore or injured, take a day or two off just to be safe. Try to remember how lucky you are to have a healthy body that allows you to get you out the door, and keep on running!

QOTD: What is your best tip for having motivation to run?

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  1. My best tip is to take time off once it starts feeling forced. I spent the last 6 months on hiatus and now I am so excited to get back into it. I just signed up for a half-marathon in march! 🙂

  2. I totally agree with everything you said. Running is hard!! And sometimes I just don’t want to do it. For me, I try to remember how I feel after I run….The longer I run, the mor accomplished I feel. I try to bottle that feeling, and remember it during my run. It usually helps me get through it!

  3. My running mantra is “Will run for chocolate” – works like a charm! 🙂

  4. Running can be draining mentally. I stay motivated by getting new clothes and gear and signing up for fun races. I try to look for races that are not just appealing to me but my husband, family, and friends as well. I won’t want to skimp on the training if I know I have a race/goal coming up! 🙂

  5. Finding running partners has been one of the best things to happen for my training. Distance runs have been hard for me since it started getting cold, but my friends keep me going!

  6. I think that keeping track of my runs/mileage helps keep me motivated! I also really like to use mantras and LOVE my running friends!

  7. My motivation is running is such a huge stress release for me. When I wasn’t running, I wasn’t able to deal with every day stress on top of job stress. I’m in a much better place when I’m running. I do feel a little burnt out but my plan for next year is to find the fun 5K’s in the area and run those until I figure out what’s next.

  8. I think those are great tips!

    Mine is to take a break the second it feels like a chore and get back when you miss it. Running should be FUN 🙂

  9. Keeping it simple without adding any expectations to how my run should go or be 🙂

  10. Fantastic advice! I think sleeping in clothes is a great tip for winter. I like to tell people I’m going to run so I can’t later go and say I didn’t – I frequently curse myself for it!

  11. Running is hard! We need to find motivation anywhere we find it – rest, new clothes, buddies, accountability. Definitely!

  12. Great tips! I make running part of my routine. It’s the first thing I do every morning. And of course a new running skirt or outfit motivates me as well!!! 😉

  13. All great tips! I find that signing up for races helps keep me focused and motivated. When I’m able to keep my focus on a goal, I find it much easier to push myself out the door to go for a run.

  14. I think for me it just takes remembering how powerful and accomplished I feel after a run. I haven’t been in the running mode much for the last couple years, but I still have my phases. I definitely burned myself out after Dopey in 2014!

  15. Like you, I’ve never regretted a run once I got out there. For me, having races on the schedule is key. I love to race, so if I know I have something coming up it keeps me motivated to train for it! Right now I’m aiming for a 5k PR so I’ve signed up for several summer 5k’s to keep me going.

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