Last week, I pretty much finished my cross-country season which is really sad, and honestly, I’m not ready for it to be over! How did it go so fast?! I didn’t have the best season running-wise – I only PR’d once – but I feel like I grew a lot and became a better teammate/leader overall which I’m happy about! But now that the season is mostly over, I’m looking forward to (and dreading) doing some fall and winter training. One of the reasons I’m dreading it is because running, (long runs in particular) is that often there is nothing to do for the entire run, which makes it feel like forever. For today’s post, I’m gonna share my top 9 ideas for staying motivated on those looong runs!
Listen to music or a book while you run. Music is so helpful to keep you motivated and energized while you workout! For longer runs, I also like listening to audiobooks because you can focus more on them than you can on music, but both can be great and get you through those tough runs!
Set mini goals for yourself throughout your run. Ahh, I love doing this! If you’ve run a set route before, you probably will remember mini “landmarks” throughout the route. Maybe one part is super sunny and the other part is shady, or there is a cute house along the way. Focus on just getting to those landmarks, then get to the next one and the next one. Before you know it, you’ll be done with the run!
Explore new places. (Aka don’t be like me and run the same route 90% of the time) If there is a neighborhood or park or someplace else you’ve been wanting to visit, why not go running in it? This is a great idea if you’re considering buying a house in a particular neighborhood or if there is a new place you want to visit, but just haven’t had a chance.
Pray. I’ve done this before, and actually one of my friends was just telling me how she does this and it’s just so great! I love listening to worship music while I run, and even saying “thank you” for the scenery or the weather. It’s a really peaceful thing to do and also passes the time really well and you can spend time with God while getting a workout in.
Go slow. Alright, so this really only applies to distance runners, but honestly, it’s so true! I mean why are you running this race? I mean, maybe it’s to improve your PR, but more likely it’s just to run a particular distance. Most beginner (and even some advanced) marathoners aren’t trying to win. In fact, they don’t even care who wins (unless it would happen to be them. XD) they really just want to finish. So don’t worry about going slow. Once you’ve reached a good distance you can try to start improving your time.
Find a running buddy. Have a friend that enjoys running too? Invite them to go on runs with you! It’s a great way to catch up and spend time together, without spending money or a ton of extra time. And you’re a lot less likely to skip your run if you have to call someone to cancel them. (If you’re on a track or xc team, you can also message friends/teammates from there and see if they want to run with you!)
Run to somewhere. I find that I’m way more motivated if I have a set place that I need to run to reach the distance I want, and I’m likely to run faster to get there, and once I hit the turn around point, it goes way faster and before you know it, you’re back where you started and you got your distance!
Remember why you’re doing this. Whatever I’m doing, I always like going back to the why behind it. Why are you doing this? Maybe it’s to train for cross country, to run a 5k, to run a marathon, to get outside, to improve your PR, etc. Going back to your why is incredibly motivational!
Just put one foot in front of the other. To be completely honest, sometimes this is all you can do. Your legs hurt, you’re tired, and you really just want to stop. For me, it starts happening right before the midway point. Then once I start to realize that the fastest way to get back is just to keep running, it’s usually okay for a while. Then, it kicks back in right before I can see the finish line. And then when I can see the finish line, we’re all good. But it’s those moments where you really just have to keep going. You know what, I’ve never, ever regretted just keeping going, but I always regret stopping when I know I could do more.
now, it’s your turn!
What is your favorite way to exercise? Do you like long runs? What are some tips you have for pushing yourself and getting those long runs in? Let’s chat in the comments!