First of all, you don’t have to feel like doing it. You just have to do it. The action comes before the feeling. If you wait to feel like it, you may be waiting a long time.
I get asked a lot: “How do you get motivated to run?” My answer is always the same. It’s kind of like sex experts say, “It’s only hard if you make it hard.”
Our brain has a story about everything. When we don’t feel like running, our monkey mind chatter has excuse-related stories: It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I’m too tired. I’m too busy. I’m too constipated. If we follow the story and let it run our world, we sabotage ourselves.
Excuse #49: I’d like to run, but my tights are giving me a wedgie.
If you are truly struggling to get out the door, try one or all of the following:
- Shut Up and Run. Did you think I’d start this list anywhere else? Stop being a baby. Provided you are not vomiting, wheezing, injured, or about to become injured, ditch the excuses for why you aren’t running and go do it. The longer you give your brain time to talk your body out of going for a run, the better the chances are you won’t do it. Don’t over-think things. Lace up your shoes and go.
- Take a Trip Down Memory Lane. Think of the last time you didn’t want to run but went anyway. Remember how you felt after the run. 99 out of 100 people say they feel better after a run and never regret having done it. Those are pretty good odds. The leftover person who did not feel better doesn’t count because they were probably lying.
- Make Contact. Call or text a friend or family member and tell them you are going running and you’ll let them know when you are done. Be specific. “I am going to run at 2:00 a.m. after last call at the bar and I will be done by 2:30 a.m.” This tactic is a good one when being accountable to just yourself is not enough.
- Plan a Meet Up. This is so obvious and overused it is boring. But, the reason I include it is that it works. Plan to meet someone or a group for your runs. This is one time when being the victim of peer pressure is very effective. People will hate you if you don’t show up and you’ll hate yourself.
- Spice It Up. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a couple of incentives to get out there. Let’s face it, even if you really love to do something, you can have off days. That’s why there are books like “Adding Spice in the Bedroom.” So – add some spice to your run. Put a few new tunes on your iPod. Plan a small reward for yourself once you finish the run (Cinnamon Dolce Latte perhaps?). Wear a new piece of running clothing.
- Change Your Attitude. Listen you whiner, you get to run. There are many people who can’t even walk. There are some people, like babies, who can’t even crawl. Take a look around: half the blogging world is injured. Be grateful you can get out there and stop your bitching. Not that I would know anything about being injured.
- Find Inspiration. When you are in a slump, quickly pick up a book/magazine or pull up a blog that motivates you. Some of my favorites are Matt Long’s book “The Long Run” and the blog, “Marc and Angel Hack Life.”
- Take 10. If all else fails, give yourself permission to head out for ten minutes and to turn around if you cannot take another step because you are just that unmotivated. Something physiologically and mentally happens when you start to run. This transformation is so powerful and immediate that you usually want to keep running. Odds are you will not turn for home after ten minutes, but if you do, at least know you tried. Then email me and I will berate you for a half hour (JK).
Got any tips to add to the list?
What blogs, books, magazines, websites do you find most inspiring? Please share because I think most people will find them inspiring too.