Running is great… but whether you are a beginner, an elite or somewhere in between, you will experience a lack of motivation at some point, where you feel that running just isn’t as rewarding as it was. If you are feeling a bit like that at the moment, try our 10 easy ways to get you back on track.
1. Buddy Up
Running with a friend is a great way to help you stay motivated.
“I never miss a run I’ve agreed to do with a friend,” says Emma, Runderwear’s Head of Marketing. “When I know my friend is waiting, I can’t let her down, so it’s easy to stay committed. Plus, I know the running chat is always good – that’s the beauty of running – if you go slow enough you can always enjoy a good natter as you go!”
2. Join a real-life run club
The running club is a great way to keep motivated and meet friends. "I first joined a running club, Charnwood AC, when I was 13 years old." says Rich, Runderwear's CEO. "I was struck by the togetherness of the club, considering running really is an individual sport. I came from a team sport background and was worried I would miss that but I couldn't be more wrong. I met friends for life and found a huge team spirit in the club, everyone wanted each other to achieve their own personal goals and celebrated them whatever those goals were"
3. Get a coach
Running coaches used to be reserved for the elites. Not anymore. Many recreational runners now use coaches, which are a great idea if your progress has plateaued, you are looking for a fresh perspective, you want to tackle a big goal like a marathon or you just want gain additional focus and momentum with your training.
Gill Bland, Runderwear Ambassador, is coached by Ben Barwick at Full Potential and she explains “the benefits of a coach will change as you go through your running life, a good coach will get to know your motivations and expand them. So, if you’re running to lose weight then a good coach will help with that but will also help you find other reasons to run.” Gill says she “can’t recommend having a coach highly enough, it’s an investment in yourself and so much better than a gym membership!”
4. Join Strava
Strava is a free social network primarily for runners and cyclists although you can also record many other activities on Strava such as hikes, swims and golf rounds! You can upload your runs or other activity, follow friends and other athletes, give kudos for good performances, leave comments, join clubs and complete Strava challenges.
As Nick Bester, Online coach and sub 2:30 Marathon runner is a fan of Strava, “What I love most about Strava is being able to track other runners. Nothing is more motivational than seeing the training other runners are doing that you know and are inspired by.”
5. Do a Strava Challenge!
Strava offers several types of challenges as a fun way to motivate yourself and accomplish a specific goal. Each month there are new and exciting challenges available for you to join and work towards along with thousands of other runners.
6. Enter a race
Training can be a whole lot easier when you know you have an event coming up.
“Entering a race definitely helps to stay motivated” says Jo Humphrey, a Runderwear Ambassador. “I love having a plan to work to, and on those days when I really don't feel like getting my run or workout in, the thought of an upcoming race helps me get out the door and get it done!”
She continues “Although running is about so much more than race times and distances, having performance targets and goals to work towards can also be a great motivator and helps me to stay consistent with my training throughout the year.”
Some race organisers, such as Runderwear’s event partner Maverick Races, have worked really hard to make sure their races are safe with staggered start times and new procedures.
However, with so many races cancelled in 2020, many race organisers have offered virtual options which will even include this years London marathon! Even if you’re running solo in a virtual race, it’s a great reason to stick to the structure of a training plan as well as something to look forward to and drive for.
7. Listen to something
More and more, runners are using headphones to drown out the distractions in their heads to push them through a run. That’s according to a 2016 survey conducted by Runner’s World, with 61 percent of runners polled saying they listen to something while on the run, and 82 percent of those runners jamming to their favorite music.
“Pick a song for each different race” says Nick Bester. “The song I have chosen for my marathon on the 4th of October is ‘Electrified’ by Lost Frequencies – evey time I listen to it, it gets me in the zone for that race.
8. Get running gear you love
When it comes to boosting motivation there’s a lot to be said for looking and feeling the part. Putting on a new piece of kit, or just your trusty old favourites, can really give you the confidence boost to get out on those days when you don’t feel like it.
Stuart Allen, a Runderwear Ambassador, says "the right kit can make all the difference to your run - it's important to get the right balance of function and comfort, something that Runderwear has achieved brilliantly. The right kit can turn a bad run into a great run!" Nick Bester agrees, “life is far too short to not run in comfort and clothes you love.”
9. Read a book on running (or watch a movie on it)
Running books can be excellent motivators.
Simon, Head of Digital at Runderwear, recently read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. The book tells the story of a hidden tribe of ultra runners and documents one of the greatest running races, featuring Scott Jurek and the famous Mexican Tarahumara runners across a 50 mile off-road course in Mexico. For Simon, it made him look at his nutrition pre-race and during his runs and has motivated him to look at potential ultra-marathons after completing his first marathon last year in the New Forest.
10. Remember your why
It’s important to think about why you run, and when you don’t feel like getting out there, your ‘why’ should help to motivate you. A Runners why is everything.
There are so many reasons to run. Some people run as a way to relieve the stresses of everyday life, some run to improve their mental health, some run to lose weight, others to achieve goals of running faster or completing a set distance.
“My Why is that running gives me Energy for Life!” says Bethan Taylor, ultra marathoner and Runderwear Ambassador. I use it as my one line that sums up why I run and I repeat it to myself or visualise it when the going gets tough, whether that's motivating myself to get out the door or during a tough race.”