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7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run

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It happens to all of us. Some days we just don’t feel like running. It might be because it’s early in the morning or the middle of winter. Or, maybe it’s because you simply are not motivated. First of all, know that this is completely normal! It’s true that not everyone is motivated everyday. Some days it might take a little extra work to get out the door. Here are seven strategies to motivate yourself to run on the days when it’s the last thing you want to do.

Woman in blue tank top and black shorts is standing outside. She is smiling and holding her arms up in the air.

7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run

1. Set a goal and share it with others

First, make a goal for yourself. No, it doesn’t have to be something earth shattering, like to run a marathon. For example, maybe you want to run three or four times a week or hit a certain number of weekly miles. Regardless, commit to your goal and write it down. Then, share your goal with others. Start with the people who you are closest to, like family, a significant other, or close friend.

Having a goal you’re actively working towards will motivate you to run and be a reason to get out the door.

2. Track your progress

As you work your way through training, keep track of your progress. This could be in a journal, a word doc, or on social media. After a run, make note of your highs, challenges you overcame, and how you felt. Documenting your progress is a great way to take a snapshot of each training run.

When you are having a hard time getting out to run, look back at your progress. Read through your entries and remind yourself how you feel during and after a run. Review your reflections, wins, and obstacles you overcame. Chances are, this will light a fire in you to get out there.

I have used the Believe Training Journal to record my training. It’s fun to look back on past accomplishments!

3. Find a running buddy

Next, team up with a friend, coworker, or someone from a local running group to run with. You can call this person your accountability buddy. Also, let them know that they are someone you will turn to for motivation to run. Have them hold you accountable for your training. Ask them to encourage you and pump you up for training sessions.

A woman in a red shirt and sunglasses is standing outside with a man in a blue shirt and sunglasses after finishing a run. They are smiling.

4. Block out time

Furthermore, look at your day as a whole and block time to get your run in. Personally, I like to view it as “me time” or an appointment – something that I wouldn’t cancel.

Otherwise, if you tell yourself, “I’ll run later if I find time”, then guess what? That will likely not work because most people don’t just find free time on their hands. You have to make the time.

As a result, this exercise will not only help you get your runs in, but ideally make running become a habit. Over time, hopefully you’ll start running at the same time everyday so it becomes part of your daily routine.

5. Think about your goals

This is a big one. Think about the running goal you’ve set for yourself. For instance, is it to run a race? If so, who do you want to be when you show up to the starting line? Do you want to be someone who has trained for the race and is prepared? Moreover, do you want to feel strong throughout? Cross the finish line feeling empowered and unstoppable?

Envision this future version of yourself and ask these questions. Know that every run you complete leading up to this goal is getting you closer to becoming a stronger version of yourself.

A woman with a blue shirt that says "Boston Strong" in yellow text is outside standing next to a body of water. She is smiling.

6. Use the 1-mile rule

Additionally, on days you are not feeling like running, start with just one mile. After the first mile, check in with yourself and see how you feel. If you are still not into it, then stop. However, there’s a high chance you will feel better because one of the hardest parts about running is simply getting out the door.

7. Listen to new music, a podcast or audiobook

Finally, do you have a favorite podcast or band? Are you excited to listen to your favorite author’s new book? Save these and only listen to them while you’re running. Certainly, this gives you something to look forward to and becomes an automatic highlight from your run.

A woman wearing a black tank top, navy blue shorts, and pink headphones is standing outside and smiling at the camera. She is stretching after just finishing a run

How to Motivate Yourself to Run Recap

In short, finding motivation to run can be difficult some days. But, using these seven strategies will help you find the strength within yourself to lace up and get out the door.

  • Set a goal and share it with others
  • Track your progress
  • Find a running buddy
  • Block out time
  • Think about your goals
  • Use the 1-mile rule
  • Listen to new music, a podcast or audiobook

I would love to help you reach your running goals. Click here to learn more about my run coaching services and please ask any questions using the form on my contact page.

Comment below:

How do you motivate yourself to run?

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