Staying motivated on long runs is definitely a challenge. I get bored just putting one foot in front of the other. The other day I was running on a treadmill (thanks frigid weather!) and when I hit the 5 mile mark I just lost all motivation to go on. My feet felt like lead bricks and my brain was just like annnd we’re done here. I managed to push through to get to my 6 mile goal, but it was awful. So I’ve put together a list of the best ways I have found to motivate myself to keep going mile after mile.
- Run with a friend: Now this is the best way I can motivate myself to hit the pavement. I try to run at least once a week with a friend. It keeps you motivated because no one wants to quit on their friends and it’s a great way to catch up during the week.
- Run outside: I always find it a bit easier to do long runs outside. The change of scenery makes up for those hills that inevitably sneak up on you. I like to run when the sun is just about to go down and I get to watch the sunset during my entire run. If you’re stuck in a rut of running the same ol’ route every time try finding a new trail or fun destination. For example, there is an art museum near my apartment that has awesome outdoor sculptures. Running is also a great way to explore a new city or a new neighborhood (just be sure to bring your phone in case you get lost…definitely not speaking from experience here 😉 ).
- Watch TV: If it is necessary to do your long run on a treadmill (thanks ice storms) this can make the miles a little bit easier. I have to admit this is a guilty pleasure of mine, but if you find a great show the miles seem to just fly by. If your gym doesn’t have WiFi, you can now download Netflix shows to your phone or tablet and bring them with you to the gym! Game changer! I like to watch motivating shows like Survivor or the Amazing Race while I’m running, because heck if they can do it, so can I. But any show with some good plot twists will make you forget about the miles and focus on something else. (Be careful watching cooking shows…they just make me hungry!)
- Create an awesome playlist: I definitely get stuck listening to the same old playlist every time I go for a run. I always have the best intentions to create a new one or add new songs, but I just never remember until I’m about to head out the door. Some of my current motivating favorites are: Warrior People by Nahko and Medicine for the People, Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce, Champagne Problems by Nick Jonas, Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya and anything by the Chainsmokers (I saw them live and they sucked so I want to not like them, but man do they have some catchy songs!).
- Plan ahead and set a goal: I definitely plan ahead for my long runs. It’s helpful for me to put my long run on my schedule as if it’s an appointment which tricks my brain into thinking I can’t back out. Also then I’ve saved the block of time so nothing can prevent me from taking the time to go run. If you set a mileage goal this can be super helpful too! If you say you are going to run 6 miles from the start that can help push you through that last mile and then you’ve completed a goal and get to feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
- Wear cute workout gear: I like to save some of my fun tanks for long runs so it’s a reward to wear them! Also then my brain associates them with long runs so when I throw one on I am mentally prepared to go for it. But seriously, what is the point of running if you aren’t wearing cute workout clothes?
Well, hopefully these six tips give you some motivation to run a few extra miles on your next run. Now go accomplish that running goal you set yourself!