Running On Empty: Tips On How To Stay Motivated In Running

Even the most dedicated runners can sometimes find it difficult to stay motivated…

Running is an excellent form of exercise that can help keep your body and mind healthy. However, even the most dedicated runners can sometimes find it difficult to stay motivated and interested in their running routine. Whether you’re trying to improve your fitness level, training for a race, or simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to find ways to keep your running routine fresh and exciting. 

I started running in the spring of 2021. At that time, I had not ran anything more than a fever since high school. At 300lbs, I had plenty of excuses as to why, bad knees, out of shape, and even believing how bad it would be on my knees. But, I pushed myself a little every day, from running for thirty seconds and walking a couple of minutes to pushing to run a full mile. It was slow, on purpose, and kept me from getting injured too quickly and helped with motivation, as I saw improvements all the time.

In this post, we’ll explore some tips for staying motivated and interested in your running routine, including setting goals, mixing up your route or terrain, incorporating strength training, and connecting with other runners. With these tips, you’ll be able to stay energized and enjoy the many benefits of running for years to come.

How to make running a habit and part of your lifestyle

When I added running to my routine, it came on the natural progression of what else can I do to increase my cardio and lose weight. I was nervous about it at first, for many reasons. I had not even thought about running, since high school, I have had knee issues since childhood, and I was just really out of shape. I also grew up with the myth that running is bad for you and can make arthritis worse, I know… misinformation. I knew that it would be beneficial for lowering my blood pressure, increasing my cardio health, and would help with weight loss. I didn’t know how to stay motivated. That I learned on my own.

Making running a habit and part of your lifestyle can be challenging, but it’s definitely worth it. One of the best ways to make running a habit is to start small and set achievable goals. Since I wasn’t a runner and was not in shape to run, I started with lower running times. While I was out walking, I would run for one minute and walk for a minute. I only pushed as much as I could handle. As I got better, rest time decreased and run time increased. Then I started pushing my distances. Remember, as you increase distance only do so by roughly 10% at a time. 

Another way to make running a habit is to find a running partner or a running group. Having someone to run with can be a great motivator, and it can also make running more enjoyable. You can also join a running club or sign up for a running event to meet other runners and stay motivated.

It’s also important to make running a part of your daily routine. Try to schedule your runs at the same time every day, so it becomes a habit. You can also use running as a way to commute to work or run errands, which can save you time and help you stay active.

Finally, it’s important to remember that running is not just a physical activity, but also a mental one. Try to focus on the positive aspects of running, such as the sense of achievement and the endorphins that come with it. You can also use visualization techniques to imagine yourself achieving your running goals, which can help you stay motivated and interested in your running routine. By making running a habit and part of your lifestyle, you can achieve your running goals and enjoy the many benefits of this great exercise.

Understanding the importance of motivation in running

Motivation is the driving force behind any successful running routine. It’s what gets you out of bed early in the morning, puts your shoes on, and gets you out the door. But what happens when your motivation starts to wane? It’s natural for motivation to ebb and flow, but you need to understand the importance of motivation in running, and how to maintain it.

One way to stay motivated is to set achievable goals. Goals give you something to work towards and a sense of accomplishment once you’ve achieved them. It’s important to set goals that are specific, measurable, and realistic. For example, instead of setting a goal to “run faster,” set a goal to “run a 5k in under 30 minutes by the end of the month.”

Another way to stay motivated is to mix up your routine. Running the same route every day can get boring, and your body can become accustomed to the routine and stop responding to the workout. Try running on different surfaces, such as grass or sand, or adding in hills or stairs to your route. You could also try running with a friend or joining a running club to add a social element to your routine and keep things interesting.

Lastly, celebrate your successes. It’s important to acknowledge when you’ve achieved a goal or hit a milestone. This can be as simple as treating yourself to a massage or buying a new piece of running gear. Celebrating your successes will keep you motivated and give you the confidence to tackle your next goal.

Keith’s Tip: With all of these tips, here are a couple that will help much more. First, set your running kit by the door the night before. Your shoes, shirt and pants(shorts). That way, you see them the next morning and you start to get in the mindset. Second, I know that you aren’t going to feel like running every day and that’s okay.  Just try running for ten minutes, that’s it. Get out there and run and if by the end of ten minutes you still aren’t feeling it, pack it in for that sessions. Just remember, don’t miss more than two sessions in a row.

Common reasons why runners may lose motivation

Running is an excellent form of exercise that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, but it can be challenging to stay motivated and interested in a running routine. There are many reasons why runners may lose motivation and interest in running, and some of the most common ones include boredom, lack of progress, and physical fatigue.

Boredom is a common reason why runners may lose motivation. Running can be repetitive and monotonous, especially if you are running the same route or distance every day. It’s essential to keep things interesting by changing up your route, incorporating new terrain or scenery, or running with a friend or group.

Another common reason why runners may lose motivation is a lack of progress. It can be discouraging to feel like you’re not improving, especially if you’re training for a specific goal or race. To combat this, it’s important to set achievable goals and track your progress. Celebrate small victories along the way, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you have an off day or week.

Physical fatigue is also a common reason why runners may lose motivation. Overtraining or pushing yourself too hard can lead to burnout, injury, or illness. It’s essential to listen to your body and take rest days when needed. Incorporating cross-training or strength training into your routine can also help prevent injury and improve overall fitness. For me, I run three days a week, two days for strength training. On the weekends, Saturday is often filled with a hike and Sunday is for resting.

By understanding the common reasons why runners may lose motivation and interest, you can take steps to prevent burnout and stay motivated in your running routine. With a little creativity, goal-setting, and self-care, you can keep running fun and exciting for years to come.

Tips for staying motivated during your running routine

Staying motivated during your running routine is key to achieving your fitness goals. Here are some tips to keep you going:

1. Set achievable goals: Setting achievable goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated. Start small and then add more challenging goals as you progress. As you get better you can increase your speed or distance. Remember, if you are increasing distance to, also, do it in small steps. Only increase by roughly 10% at a time.

2. Find a running partner: Having someone to run with can be a great motivator. You can encourage each other and push each other to reach your goals. Check for local running groups to help keep you motivated or create your own.

3. Change up your routine: Doing the same thing every day can get boring. Change it up by exploring different routes, running at different times of the day, or incorporating different types of runs (such as hill runs or interval training). Switching things up not only allows for difference scenery and conditions but it has the added side effect of using different muscle groups. Running hills, for example, will cause you to use your muscles differently and have a different effect on exertion for cardio. Remember that your body will adapt to the same routine, over and over, and you will start to see a reduction in progress – whether weight loss, muscle growth, or improvised cardio fitness.

4. Reward yourself: Setting up a reward system can give you something to look forward to. For example, treat yourself to a massage, a new pair of running shoes, or a healthy meal after reaching a certain goal.

5. Keep a running journal: Keeping a journal can help you track your progress, set goals, and stay motivated. Write down your achievements, challenges, and anything else that motivates you.

By following these tips, you will be able to stay motivated and interested in your running routine. Remember, staying consistent and committed is key to achieving your fitness goals.

Encouragement to keep running on full

In conclusion, running is not only a great way to stay fit and healthy, but it can also be a fun and rewarding experience. By following the tips and advice outlined in this post, you can stay motivated and interested in your running routine, even when you feel like you’re running on empty.

Remember to set realistic goals, mix up your routine, and find a running buddy or group for support and accountability. Don’t forget to take care of your body with proper nutrition, hydration, and rest, and listen to your body to avoid injury.

Most importantly, don’t give up. Running can be challenging, but the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction you’ll feel after a run is incomparable. Keep pushing yourself, and remember that every step, no matter how small, is progress.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, keep running on full and enjoy the many benefits that come with this amazing form of exercise. You got this!

What ways have kept you motivated in your running habit? What works for you and what doesn’t? What is the driving force behind your motivation? If you haven’t started running yet, would any of these tips get you motivated? Let me know in the comments below. Who knows, the things that got you to maintain your running habit may be what someone else needs to get up that hill, sorry bad pun. 


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