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7 Tips to Keep Your Running Motivation on Track

·5 mins
training beginner

When starting your running journey, there will be some days it will be easy to go, and some others that will feel extremely difficult to lace your shoes and get out. So how can we consistently find the motivation to go for a run? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Motivations come and go, it can be tough to be consistent with your running schedule. Most of those tips can tackle what blocked you to find this will. It’s important to understand which one to apply the most, but you should try all of them to keep it interesting.

Set Realistic Goals #

It’s frequent to see runners with very ambitious goals. If you start your running journey, start with small goals that you can achieve easily, the speed and distance will come over time. What I mean here is that if it’s your first few runs, don’t try to run too much too fast, like setting up a mileage goal of 20km per week if you rarely cover 10km weekly.

Setting up smaller goals matching your fitness level, will get you a sense of accomplishment and help you stay motivated. Gradually increase the difficulty level of your goals as you improve. Taking weekly mileage as an example, if you want to increase, a good target can be 5% to 10% week-on-week, depending on your level.

Mix Your Running Routine #

Doing the same thing every day can get boring and cause you to lose motivation. Change up your running route or try a different type of workout to keep things interesting. Some days, I know exactly which route I want to run and I’m excited about it. Some other days, I just want to “get lost” and explore, I use Strava to map it for me or just make my own as it goes.

Find a Running Partner #

Having someone to run with you can make a huge difference in staying motivated. It will give you someone to talk to, and you can motivate each other when one of you is feeling low. A running partner can have form here. If none of your running friends are available, it can be listening to podcasts or music that keeps you in the same mindset.

Track Your Progress #

Keep track of your progress by using a fitness tracker or a journal. This will help you see how far you’ve come and motivate you to keep going. You’ll also be able to share your experiences with like-minded individuals who share similar goals and it can help you stay on track with your training.

I mentioned in the past that I use Strava, but any fitness tracker is fine, as long as you see over time your accomplishment. Nowadays, most apps have badges or similar rewards to highlight how far you’ve been.

Reward Yourself #

Set rewards for yourself when you achieve certain goals. This can be as simple as treating yourself to a movie or a nice meal. It will give you something to look forward to and help you stay motivated.

Keep in mind though that your reward has to be aligned with your goal: if you meant to run to be able to lose weight, a donut “post-run” isn’t the best way to achieve it. Rewards come in a lot of ways. A few friends of mine treat themselves by buying new sports gear, which then, they are excited to go out and try.

Join a Running Group #

Joining a running group can be a great way to stay motivated. It will give you a sense of community, and you’ll be able to share your experiences with others who have similar goals.

In my early days of running in 2014, when I was still in London, I didn’t think much of a running group until somebody invited me to one. The ability to meet and train with new people every week felt very refreshing. Over time, we signed up for the same running events and eventually trained together.

There are a lot of running crews out there. In Singapore, I got the chance to meet Purplelights, a local running crew welcoming foreigners and anybody to run, which changed my whole experience of Singapore altogether.

Don’t Give Up #

Running is hard work, and there will be times when you feel like giving up. Don’t let these moments get the best of you. Keep pushing yourself, and remember why you started in the first place.

Remember that everybody goes through this phase, so even the best runner you know can have a low moment, so if you think you are missing or they are just “stronger” that is not the case.

Additionally, if you start comparing yourself against other stronger runners, you might feel discouraged fast.

“They are so fast, they are going so far, I will never be able to do the same”.

Let me tell you this is just wrong, your running ability is defined by your mindset and your physical capabilities.

Even if you would like to compare, then you should in a positive way: “Wow, they are so fast, let me ask him/her question about how I can get there and follow them”.

Conclusion #

Throughout this list of tips, we see that the ups and downs are part of the running journey, so don’t give up the day you’ll feel not going out, and keep in mind [all the good things that comes from running]({{ ref ‘benefits-of-running’ }}).

Of course, those bits of advice have limits: you should always listen to your body, in case of illness or injury, don’t try to force it out, you have good reason to skip and rest.