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Keep the Pace: How to Maintain Your Running Motivation

Running motivation - the secret guide

Running motivation, it is more than a simple sport or physical activity—it’s a mindset and a lifestyle. Just ask any runner, from the casual weekend jogger to the dedicated marathon competitor. However, maintaining your running motivation can be challenging. We all have those days when the thought of lacing up those trainers and heading out for a run seems a Herculean task. But fear not! Here are some practical tips and strategies to keep your running motivation high and your feet hitting the pavement.

Set Goals, Not Limits

Goal setting is a key component to maintaining motivation in any endeavor. In running, this could be as simple as running a certain distance or achieving a specific time.

“Goals give you something tangible to work towards,” says noted running expert, George Charles. “It’s important to have both short-term and long-term goals. The short-term goals give you the quick wins that keep you motivated in the day-to-day, while the long-term goals keep your eyes on the prize for the future.”

Remember, these goals should be achievable and realistic to your current fitness level. The trick is to aim for a goal that pushes you but doesn’t overwhelm or discourage you.

Variety is the Secret of Maintaining Running Motivation

Doing the same running route day in, day out can quickly become monotonous and sap your motivation. To keep things fresh, try varying your routes. Explore different neighborhoods, parks, or trails. Not only will this make your runs more interesting, it will also challenge your body in new ways, improving your overall fitness and performance.

Find a Running Buddy or Join a Running Group

Running can sometimes be a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a running buddy or joining a local running group can make your runs more enjoyable and less like a chore. They can offer encouragement, camaraderie, and a bit of friendly competition. Running with others can also provide accountability – it’s harder to skip a run when you know someone is waiting for you.

Mix Up Your Training

Running is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy, but it shouldn’t be your only form of exercise. Adding cross-training activities such as swimming, cycling, or strength training to your routine can help prevent burnout and overuse injuries.

“Cross-training not only improves overall fitness, but it also helps to prevent injury by balancing the body’s muscle groups,” says Personal Trainer, Josh James. “Additionally, it provides a mental break from running, which can help to maintain motivation over the long term.”

Use Technology to Your Advantage

There’s a multitude of fitness and running apps out there that can help to keep you motivated. Some offer coaching and training plans, while others provide data and insights on your pace, distance, and heart rate. You can also use these apps to set goals and track your progress over time.

Apple iPhone, the best running tracking device
Apple iPhone, the best running tracking device

Reward Yourself

Everyone loves a reward, and runners are no different. It’s important to acknowledge your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Ran an extra mile this week? Treat yourself to that book you’ve been eyeing. Beat your personal record? How about a relaxing massage? These rewards provide positive reinforcement, making you more likely to want to continue running.

Lost Your Running Motivation? Remember Why You Started

Sometimes, when you’re struggling to keep your running motivation, it’s helpful to take a step back and remember why you started running in the first place. Whether it was to improve your health, challenge yourself, or just enjoy some time outdoors, reconnecting with your initial motivation can help reignite your passion for running.

Running is a journey, and like any journey, it’s not always easy. There will be days when motivation wanes and the call of the couch

Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and completed an olympic length triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.

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