The Best Running Motivation Tips For You To Boost Your runs

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. 

running motivation

If you tell yourself that you "can't do it", it's "too long", "too hard", "too far", then you are setting yourself up for tough times. 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 - new runners and even the most dedicated runners alike - 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 we start, I must show you the marathon mindset training plan:

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:

  • develop your "Why", your mission, vision, and goals
  • how to choose a running/race mantra
  • practice how to turn any doubts into positive statements
  • reflect on race conditions in order to reduce stress
  • how to make a long distance race such as the marathon more manageable
  • how to tap into past feelings of success
  • learn strategy for pain management
  • how to use modeling effectively
  • harness the power of positive affirmations in your running
  • AND more!

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! 

Quick tips to help you build and keep a positive attitude for your running:

Do it before you can think about it!

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. 


Running Motivation Think About It

Find a training schedule and stick to it

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 In:

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!

Running Motivation Training Schedule

Try some new routes

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.

Running Motivation New Route

Take an extra rest day

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! :) 

Running Motivation Rest Day

Find a running partner or join a running club

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.

Running Motivation Running Partner

Get a running coach

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.

Running Motivation Running Coach

Use a training log

 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. This is especially useful when you've had a rough day and don't even want to think about running.

Here's a Digital Running Log for Marathoners if you like to document from your device.

Here are some tips on what to track in your running log.

buy yourself some new running gear

What is more fun than trying out your new (if not necessarily needed) running gear.

It could be a new jacket, shirt, neck wrap, shoe lights, phone case, hydration belt, running chew or gel, energy drink, running shoes, even a smartphone app - the possibilities are endless!

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 ;).

Running Motivation New Gear

Set lofty long term goals

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!

Running Motivation Long Term Goals

Try a new running workout

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.

Are you getting enough sleep?

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!

best Ways + Tools to Boost Your Running Motivation!

Running Motivation Best Ways

Running Books:

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.

Running Motivation Reading Books

Running Movies:

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?

Running Motivation Running Movies

Running Quotes:

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

Mental Training: 

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.


Running music:

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.

Running Motivation Running Music

Running podcasts

There are many podcasts and audio-books out there that are free to listen to.

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.

Dealing with Over-training:

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?

Self-Talk and Imagery: 

 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 Tips for when your race isn't going well.

Use a running mantra

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! 

Here's a guide to finding and developing the right running mantra for you! 

Implement Motivational Strategies

4 Motivational Strategies to know/do before you begin marathon training

 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!

8 Things You Can Do to Renew Your Running Motivation

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!).

The Funniest Things Only Runners Would Understand

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!

Or lighten your mood reading these funny spectator race day signs.

9 Ways to help you increase your energy as a runner

Feeling on the lethargic side? That can be a big motivation drainer. I mean, who wants to run when they don't have energy?

Read the post to figure out the cause and get rejuvenated!

9 Easy Ways to Give Back as a Runner

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!

-And that about wraps up the many tips and tricks for boosting your motivation levels. Give them a try!

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