Running & How to Stay Motivated

Article from Angela LaBorde

My best friend always asks why I run. My simple answer is, “I just love it.” But let’s face it, just because I love it doesn’t mean I feel like doing it every day. We’ve all been there after a stressful day at work or a long day with the kids. You’re tired, you have too many other things to do, and you just don’t feel like it. Whenever I have one of those days or weeks here’s what I do to help me stay motivated.

Put it in Perspective:

Try to look at the big picture, and tell yourself, “It’s just x amount of minutes.” For example, when I start thinking of everything I need to do, I tell myself,  “It’s just thirty minutes. You can do this! It’s thirty minutes of your whole day, and that is it.” I’ve never regretted going for a run. In fact, I always feel better after, and I’m glad I did it. 

Set Realistic Goals:

I have a two year old and a two month old. My goals look different than they did five years ago, and I’m okay with that. In fact, I like it. It’s been nice to embrace myself right where I’m at. Obviously after not having ran for nine months, I can’t expect to start out where I left off. I know I’m going to be busy each day with the kids, and things come up. I’ve decided to give myself a goal of 4-5 days a week of running. That way I can rest for two days, and I still have an achievable goal if I can’t make it out for a run one day. I’ve noticed once I started setting realistic goals that I can actually achieve, I’m much more motivated. 

Get in Shape: 

Running is not only good for you physically but also mentally and emotionally. Whenever I’m excited, I like to run. Whenever I’m stressed, I like to run. Whenever I’m upset, I like to run. You get the picture. Running helps me sort through my thoughts and emotions. Whenever I feel unmotivated, I stop and think about the benefits that running has. I know I need that time to get my body moving. I know it’s good for me. Next time you’re questioning whether or not to run, do it. I guarantee you’ll feel better than you did before. Also, give yourself grace. If you can’t go as far or run as long as you’d like, just do what you can for that day. Be proud that you did what you could in that moment. 

Sign Up for Races:

Another thing that helps me is signing up for races. When I have a specific race to work towards, it helps me keep my focus. When training for half marathons I had a schedule for each day of the week. I would think about how I needed to do my part every day in order to achieve the time I wanted for the race. Now, I’m planning to run the Crescent City Classic. I don’t have a set time in mind yet, but I do know I want to be in shape for it. I want to run farther each week than the week before. This helps me challenge myself to see what I can do. Sometimes when I’m out running, if I feel up to it, I’ll try to run faster each mile, just to see if I can do it. I find coming up with little challenges for myself helps push me to keep going. Having the Crescent City to work towards right now gives me something to look forward to. When I’m running I think about how every step, every mile, everyday is going to carry me through the race.

Remember Why You Started in the First Place:

Remembering why I started in the first place always helps remind me of my love for running. I think back to when I was a swimmer. Running was part of our dry land training. I’d race my teammates around the block, and I just loved the freedom I felt with each step. It’s that same freedom that has grown with me throughout my life. Whether you’ve been running for years, are just getting started, or are questioning whether or not it’s for you, TRY IT. Take it easy. You don’t have to run a certain pace or distance to be a runner. You just have to put your running shoes on, and get out there. You’ll be surprised at what you can do when you work at something every day. The next time you feel unmotivated remember why you started in the first place.

These are the tips that work for me. I’d love to hear what has worked for you and what helps keep you motivated too.

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