Lost your running mojo? Here are our top 10 tips for motivating yourself to run
Put your kit on
Getting your running kit on helps put you in a running frame of mind and the chances are, once you've got it on you'll feel too guilty to take it off again without having gone for a run!
A flicker of motivation can easily be snuffed out if going for a run entails rifling through the laundry basket for some clean kit and a 20-minute search for your watch. Have your kit laid out ready and you'll be able to seize the moment.
Make it a mission
Give your run a purpose or destination by combining it with a local errand, such as posting a letter or picking up some milk. If you’ve got to go out anyway…
Just do it
Sometimes, we spend so long agonizing about whether or not to go running that we could have been and come back by the time we've reached the end of our deliberations! So just get up and go before your brain starts lining up the pros and cons.
Run with Friends
Arrange to go for a run with a friend or club mate and you are far less likely to cancel and let them down than if you pledge to run alone. Joining a running club gives you the same sense of accountability – not to mention lots of new routes to try and buddies to run with.
Plan a reward
Give yourself something to look forward to after you've completed a run. You could even keep a mileage jar, putting in a pound for every mile you complete and spending the money on a treat at the end of each month.
Researchers have found that when we think about exercise, we tend to focus our minds on the first bit – that 'toxic ten minutes' when we're huffing and puffing and it feels really hard. In a study published in the journal Health Psychology, exercisers who were taught to 'remember' how much they'd enjoyed previous workouts not only increased their intention to exercise again, but also looked forward to their future workouts more.
Have a goal
Goals – whether they are race finish lines or a desire to lose half a stone – give you something to aim for, a reason to lace up those trainers. They also give your training purpose and structure – each run plays a part in the overall plan and can't just be skipped because you aren't in the mood!
Imagine the consequences
Picture yourself not going. How will you feel later on? Guilty? Irritated? Stressed? Now visualize yourself coming back from a run feeling pleased with yourself, re-energised and proud of your dedication and commitment.
It's easier mentally to be running towards home than away from it, so get your partner or a friend to drop you off a few miles away and run back. That way, there's no chickening out!
Enter an event – and keep your training focus
Research shows that by entering an event you are far more likely to stick to a training regime and therefore increase your general health and wellbeing.
Having entered an event, you have made a commitment to yourself to be ready to take part on a specific date in the future. This focus gives a purpose to your training and makes it easier to get up and out of the door.