No, you don’t have to trudgingly run along and get so bored you want to stop. That happens to me, especially if I am on a treadmill. So admit it, it is one of the things keeping you from pulling on those clothes, lacing up the shoes and going.
Hopefully these 3 ideas will help get you motivated to get out the door and run! And maybe you won’t be as bored.
1. Change things up! (really, there are several ways here)
You can do this by running a different route than your usual or going to a completely different place. A group of my athletes one summer got tired of running the same trail every other day so they asked if it would be alright to run it backwards (it was a loop). It was totally ok with me and I was giving them props for thinking creatively to make their runs more interesting.
That reminds me – loops are also motivating because you can’t turn around when you want and go home (well, I guess technically you could) but it is much more in our mindset to complete the loop. Pick one out that forces you to complete it and is within a range that you can run the entire thing.
Finally change how fast you are running. I have to do this on a treadmill. I hate treadmill running because literally I am running nowhere and there is nothing to look at (usually). I almost always run what is called a fartlek on a treadmill and if I am tired of my neighborhood, I do it there too. Basically after you warm up, start changing your speed – go faster for 30 seconds, then slower for 1 minute and do it several times in a row. It is also a great way to get in shape fast – only be aware of your own abilities and where you are in building your base.
2. Look ahead!
Find a landmark ahead of you and challenge yourself to get there. Then when you reach it, find a new landmark. This is a great motivational tool to run further too. If you feel like stopping look ahead – keep your eyes up, not down.
While you are looking ahead, look around. Take in the view and notice the small things you normally wouldn’t notice. Or if you are visiting somewhere take in the scenery.
3. Listen to a podcast, music, or book. ‘Nough said.
4. Let your mind wander.
This is my favorite, and my go to technique. I had athletes that would make up stories in their heads, outline and write essays, conjugate French verbs (ok, that was me in college), do math problems.
I love to let my mind wander creatively and I come up with a ton of ideas while running and usually I have time to even plan them out or evaluate them. When I get home I write some of them down. It is a wonderful creative exercise.
Use the time to reflect on a problem at work in a relationship. Create your ideal world. I have a friend that prays as she runs, she claims it is one of the few times by herself to be able to do it, and I’ve found it is the perfect time to reflect and be with God as well. Let your mind wander and create ideas you can act on.
5. Find a Buddy!
Talk with a running buddy. I like to talk about food, apparently. If my runners were struggling and quiet and I was running with them, I talked about the food I ate last night or that nice big, juicy, absolutely melt in your mouth steak my dad makes us on occasion. Yes his steaks were famous among my athletes only because I talk about them all the time. After the run I would always ask them to notice how much easier the run seemed when we were gabbing away. You don’t have to have in depth conversations, even silly stuff counts.
Also, if you want more motivation, you might want to follow my Pin Board ‘Run’!