I have had some trouble lately getting out of bed to go running in the morning. I know some of the reasons- it’s cold, it’s dark….or, if I am running on the treadmill, I just can’t get excited about the monotony that awaits me. It’s not easy to stay motivated this time of year, I know. Getting out of your cozy warm bed in the morning is a challenge!
But it can be done! I have put together the following list of things to help you (and help myself) stay motivated throughout the winter.
1. New Workout Gear:
What can I say, I’m a sucker for new workout gear, but it gets me motivated to get out there and wear it! Check out my winter running essentials list, and invest in some fun new cold weather gear, and you will be inspired to test it all out on a run. Treat yourself to that new pair of Athleta tights you’ve been eyeing, but save them for a day that you really are having trouble getting motivated.
2. New Pair of Running Shoes:
This tip follows along with tip #1. I know when I received my new pair of Ravenna 5’s, I was excited to test them out. Buy a pair now, and keep them in the box until you need that extra motivation to get out the door. It works!
3. Run a new route:
Tuesday night, my friend Meggan joined me for a hilly 9 mile route. We started off with a usual lap of Lake Calhoun, but then we just ran around my neighborhood, picking roads that look hilly and doing a repeat or two on each one. The change of routine actually made the miles fly by, and before we knew it, we were at 9 miles! I didn’t realize I was in such a rut with running the lakes until I changed it up, and it made a world of a difference. So, tip #3, blaze a new path. I understand the appeal of running from your front door, but it can get a bit routine and boring. Get in your car and drive to a new trail. Your new-found motivation will make it worthwhile.
4. Leave the Garmin at home:
I shared a whole list of ways that your Garmin can actually be detrimental to your training (read it HERE) There really is something to be said for just RUNNING, with no knowledge of pace or even distance. Just go for a run for the joy of running. I usually do this when I bring Matilda along, and I let her set the pace, sniffing around as frequently as she’d like.
5. Sign up for a spring race:
There’s nothing more motivating than having a race on the horizon to get you out the door. I have the Flying Pig marathon in May, and it is definitely the reason why I tough out the cold on Saturday mornings. Locally, there are a TON of fun spring races you can register for: Goldy’s 10 Mile, the Get Lucky 7k or Half Marathon, the 100% Irish for a Day 10 mile, the Get in Gear 10k & half marathon, the Lake Minnetonka half marathon….the list goes on and on!
6. Set a challenging, (yet hopefully achievable) goal for that spring race:
Having something to work towards will drive you through the miles. I seriously have thought about posting a big “3:45” on top of my alarm clock, to keep reminding me of my goal for Flying Pig. I’m never going to achieve a 3:45 marathon by sleeping in and skipping my runs….
7. Join a run club or find a running buddy:
There’s nothing that keeps you accountable like a running buddy (or a group of running buddies in a club!) I know when I am meeting a friend for a morning run, I wouldn’t just be letting myself down if I cancel. That friend is counting on me to show up. Joining a running club can also keep you accountable, open up your social circle, make running fun, and make you faster! I dropped about 25 minutes off my marathon PR when I first joined the Calhoun Beach Running Club. Granted, I have been stuck there at 3:55’ish now for several marathons, but it definitely helped vs. when I was running alone.
8. Go to bed.
Or, better year, go to bed EARLY. It will be a whole lot easier to get up if you are well rested. And remember, for every mile you run each week, you should be adding a minute each night to your sleep. i.e. I am running about 40/miles a week, so I should be getting an extra 40 minutes of sleep each night!
9. Get a dog who likes to run:
Maybe get a Vizsla! They have so much energy and love to run. You’ll always have a reason to get out the door. Who can say no to this face?
10. Think about swimsuit season
…It will be here before you know it. The work you put in now will pay off when you strip down to that new bikini. We just booked a Caribbean vacation for March, and I’m not going to lie- knowing that I will be trouncing around in my bikini in just over a month has helped get me out the door many times already!
11.Book a massage.
Make the massage a reward to yourself only IF you run 4 days this week (or something along those lines).
12. Be grateful that you CAN run.
I just have to think back to my recent stress reaction, which kept me out of my Brooks for several weeks. I would have done anything to be able to run then, so I should take advantage of it now. I GET to run! Yay! I’m running!
13. Create a blog!
Everyone’s doing it, right? You don’t even have to be a good writer, trust me 🙂 Actually, putting it all out there on the intrawebs will keep you motivated. I (hopefully) have readers who are interested in how I perform, and putting my goals and training out there in a public forum keeps me accountable. And in turn, it keeps me motivated! I put it out there, and if I fail, you’re all going to know!
14. Remember: you’ll always feel better after a run than before it. So true.
So there you go- my 14 Motivational Tips to Keep You Running in 2014. I hope one of these helps motivate you!
Do you have any other tips? What gets you out the door? Please share in the comments!
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