I’m quite sure that there are people out there who never feel unmotivated or unexcited to get out there and pound the pavement. I’m also quite sure that I’m not one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run. I love the feeling I get when I’m done and I’ve accomplished my goals. I even enjoy the run itself, I always feel great. But, I’ll admit, sometimes it’s hard to get out the door. When this happens, I reach into my motivation toolbox&mdaash;a bunch of mental tricks—and grab something to help get me motivated and running. Here are a few of my favorites:
- I tell myself I’m only going to do half the workout. So, if the mileage for the day is six miles, I convince myself I’m only going to do three. Typically, by the time I get halfway, I want to finish the workout and I do the whole thing anyhow. The purpose is entirely to get me out the door and moving.
- I promise myself a reward after my workout. What can I say? I’m not above bribery—even with myself! Seriously, there is nothing better than a good treat after a hard run—it makes it all worthwhile! Why work so hard if you can’t enjoy those calories you just expended? Also, the reward doesn’t have to be food; sometimes it’s just a dip in the hot tub!
- I do something different—crosstrain. Sometimes, I just don’t have a good run in me and on these days, I just do something else. Maybe I swim, go to spin class, or get on an elliptical machine. Bottom-line, I do SOMETHING. And that’s always better than nothing.
- I think about people who are unable to get out and exercise. I often need to remind myself that being able to exercise is a priveledge and not everyone is so lucky. The thought of not being physically able to run or exercise is usually enough motivation to get my posterior off the couch.
- If all else fails, I look at this picture of myself. If this isn’t motivation, nothing is. Need I say more?
What motivates you to get out the door? What are the tools in your running toolbox that you pull out when you’re feeling less than excited about your upcoming workout? I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment and let me know your best self-motivational techniques!