No matter how determined you are to make running a regular part of your life, you’re guaranteed to struggle with your motivation from time to time. It’s the same with most types of physical activities – what begins as an exciting and enjoyable new venture quickly becomes dull and mundane.
The truth is: if you allow running to become a repetitive and primarily a solitary daily activity, the fun soon comes to an end. The question is: what can you do to maintain the motivation to stick to your running regime long-term?
1. Share the Experience
One of the best ways of maximising both enjoyment and motivation is to bring at least one other person along for the ride. Whether it’s providing support or bringing a little friendly rivalry into the mix, sharing the experience really can make all the difference. Consider running with a partner, or perhaps signing up with a local club to meet others with similar fitness and activity levels.
2. Set Goals and Targets
There’s nothing more motivating and generally satisfying than successfully achieving goals and targets. Something that’s only possible upon the establishment of goals and targets in the first place. As a runner, you could set your sights on covering 5k in x amount of time this month, increasing this to 7k next month, 10k the following month and so on. Always give yourself something specific to strive for, rather than simply running on a random basis.
3. Vary Your Regime
Try not to get stuck in the same cycle for too long. If you typically run around a local park you’ve visited a thousand times before, why not head somewhere new? If running in a gym doesn’t fill you with inspiration, why not get out and about? The change of scenery can be a fantastic way of maintaining motivation.
4. Take Time Out to Relax
Pushing yourself too hard is a guaranteed recipe for a poor motivation and potential injury. Even if you feel like you should be doing more, it’s important to take plenty of time out to relax. Along with maintaining motivation, time out is essential for giving your body sufficient time to repair and strengthen itself for your next run.
5. Reward Yourself
Irrespective of whether you successfully achieve your goals, you must consistently reward yourself for the positive efforts you make. Think ahead of time about the rewards and self-indulgences that are most likely to inspire you to stick to your running regime. Whatever it takes to keep you up and active, it can only be a good thing!