Running motivation is something that all runners need at some point or another.
Running is, of course, very physical, but as you start running longer and longer distances it becomes more and more of a mental sport.
The body follows what the mind thinks.
If you tell yourself that you "can't do it", it's "too long", "too hard", "too far", then your body will follow suit and begin to shut down.
This is why it is imperative to focus on the mental aspects of running.
Without being motivated, without teaching your mind how to handle the miles, how to talk to yourself and how to stay inspired it can be very difficult at times to continue with your training, long run, race or whatever you are experiencing at the moment.
Luckily, there are so many tricks and tools, mind games and mental training exercises that we as runners can employ in order to keep our running motivation and our mind fresh.
In this section of the site we will post things that can help you as a runner find new inspiration and keep marathon training (or your running routine in general) new and exciting.
Before I share the motivational tips and tools below, I want to show you my marathon mindset training plan!
Here are some of the prompts and techniques that you will be learning throughout the weeks that are packed into this 20 Week Mindset Training Plan for Marathoners:
Check out all the details to this 20 Week Mindset Training Plan for Marathoners right here.
Alright! Now let's talk about all of the quick tips and tools on how to keep your running motivation fresh!
If you there is any way possible for you to get a morning run in, you will find that you will look more positively at running.
Instead of dreading a run all day that you don't feel like doing, you will be so happy that got it done first thing and will view it in a positive light!
Here are some tips to making the early mornings when you run just a little bit easier so that you don't hit that darn snooze button!
I understand that not everyone can make early morning runs work. If this is the case you need to create good habits around your running and how you initiate going out for a run so that it is something you make happen on autopilot.
If you are haphazardly going out for a run every now and then and have no clear goal in mind, you will more than likely find yourself eventually with a lack of motivation.
Find a training schedule and follow it!
Here are some training schedules you might be interested:
I always love to print them out (all my training plans which you can find in the links above are printable ;) and hang up a physical copy that I can visibly cross out the training days that I've accomplished. That visible tracker can have such a positive impact!
This is a fun way to become motivated to run.
I find that driving to a new trailhead, running around a lake, mapping out a new city route can breath fresh life into your running.
Make it a goal to try a new running route once a month.
That change of scenery can make a huge difference in your mindset.
Sometimes, especially if you are training for a long distance race, your body and mind can become worn out with the increasing miles and running days.
Give yourself a break. Take an extra rest day that week. Skip your cross training workout. Don't do anything running related except perhaps sitting and watching the Spirit of the Marathon movie! :)
When you can't count on motivation to get you through a run, lean on a friend or fellow runner.
Knowing that someone else will be there at a certain time to run your miles with you can really help your mindset.
Many cities have a local running group that can lend much-needed encouragement but if not, you could always start your own or find a group of training partners.
Even if another runner is running more or less miles than you are, jumping in and running a few miles together can lift that mental load.
Running friends make the best friends!
That shared running community can not only bring so many joys on social side but also make you a better runner.
It can be exhausting making your own calls, setting your own schedule, analyzing your runs and training.
Having an outside pair of eyes that tells you what to do and has the knowledge and experience to see things that you might not see can make achieving those running goals so much easier and even less mentally exhausting.
If you don't feel the need for a running coach, you could hire a personal trainer if you wanted to focus more on the strength and conditioning side of your training. Meeting up with a personal trainer can help give you a new, fresh perspective.
Tracking your runs and workouts inside of a training log can bring you so much motivation to keep going!
There is something so satisfying about documenting all of your hard work and being able to refer back to it when you need to.
Here's a Digital Running Log for Marathoners if you like to document from your device.
What is more fun than trying out your new (if not necessarily needed) running gear.
Have fun and treat yourself to a new tool every once in awhile. You might find something that you actually can't run without (like a FlipBelt ;).
Setting long-term goals can really help you to stay accountable and motivated. Some long term goals you might think about are:
Setting long term goals is one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated to run. Set a long term running goal for yourself, write it out, and put it somewhere you see everyday!
If you find yourself always doing the same style of runs, look into switching up one of your runs each week and try a new running workout.
Try a new treadmill workout, try tempo runs, try interval workouts, try some new strength training moves, try a new cross training workout, just get a little bit out of your comfort zone and do something different.
Ask yourself if you've been getting enough sleep.
Lack of sleep can be one of those major factors that keeps you from "feeling" energized and ready to run.
If possible, track your sleep (smart watches are great for this!), set up a night time routine for yourself so that you are able to get enough good quality sleep.
Also remember that anytime you are building mileage or starting a new training program, your body has the natural tendency to need more sleep.
Give it that extra sleep for both your physical (it's one of the best ways to be active on the injury prevention front!) and mental health!
Reading a story that talks about a runner that overcomes some difficulty, or defeats the odds, really puts you into the perspective of their life and how they dealt with some common (and not so common) problems.
Check out the link above for a list of some of the most inspiring stories.
A movie is a great way to get a quick dose of inspiration.
I like to watch an inspiring running movie before a big race to really get my pysch up.
Some of my favorites are listed here. What should I add to this list?
Sometimes all you need to hear are the insightful words of another.
There are some sites out there that will send you a running quote every day like this running quote app.
My favorite marathon quotes are listed on this page.
Here's another list of my favorite quotes for runners.
Too many runners ignore the mental aspect of running even though it is one of the most important parts!
Even if you don't believe in "that hocus-pocus thinking stuff" look at mental training for what it is: a huge self-confidence booster.
If you are running a marathon then consider using the 20 Week Mental Training Plan for Marathoners.
Listening to some of your favorite music can really help you to cover the miles fast.
Pick what’s right for you. It doesn’t have to upbeat and fast. Sometimes more pensive music helps you delve into some deep thoughts.
There are many podcasts and audio-books out there that are free to listen too.
This is a great way to spend a long run.
Don’t limit yourself to just running genre’s, look for inspirational talks, TED talks, motivational speeches, whatever helps you to put those miles behind you.
Over-training is one of the most common training mistakes endurance runners make and it can be a huge blow to your motivational level.
Do you know how to recognize the signs, symptoms, effects and the solution to this common problem?
These can be incredibly valuable tools if you teach your brain how to use them. They can be especially useful during a race or a stressful run.
These techniques are powerful and are ones that are included in my marathon mental training plan.
Running mantras help you to keep a positive attitude flowing during your runs by using a single word or short phrase that helps to keep your head in the game!
At some point during marathon training you will find yourself digging deep for some marathon motivation.
Here are 4 strategies to put in place before your well runs dry!
It’s nice to feel that excitement in our running and it can be sad when we just aren’t feeling it.
So here are 8 things that I like to do to help bring back my motivation (#5 is my go-to and most effective tip!).
Sometimes, a good laugh is all we need to breathe fresh air into our running.
Here are some of the funniest running memes, jokes, and quotes that will put a smile on your face!
You don’t need a lot of time, friends, or money to make a difference!
Here are 9 easy ways to give back to your running world and create a better life not only for yourself but for others!
Giving back always gives you a motivational booster!
You don’t need a lot of time, friends, or money to make a difference!
Here are 9 easy ways to give back to your running world! Giving back always gives you a motivational booster!
Running for Wellness has 25 Simple Running Motivation Tips To Get You Moving that you might find beneficial and motivating! Check them out at the link above! :)
I'll send you my free 24 Hour Timeline Checklist of Things You Should Do After a Long Run when you sign up!