Get Out the Door!

Posted by Filed Under: Inspiration & Motivation

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. If all else fails, I look at this picture of myself. If this isn’t motivation, nothing is. Need I say more?Me_Fat_and_Thin

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!

  1. Lissa on November 7th at 10:10 am

    I like these suggestions a lot, and I often use them. Well, minus the picture idea–I didn’t take pictures at my biggest. Similarly to that, though, I think about how much better my asthma and stamina will be as I improve.

    One of my motivators for exercising in general is uninterruptable music time: this alone can be enough to get me out of (a warm) bed in the (cold) morning and out of the house, since I usually keep a well-crafted mix on my music player.

  2. Adeel on November 7th at 11:06 am

    I also use music to get myself outside, but by playing enough music that I feel like going for a run.

    Mostly it’s a matter of thinking of how much fun it is to go for a run versus the comfort of staying inside.

  3. jank on November 7th at 1:01 pm

    The picture thing works for me. Likewise, knowing that my pants are still baggy, and wanting to keep them that way…

  4. thodarumm on November 7th at 1:21 pm

    Congrats.. your pic looks amazing. Great job!
    I use number 4 a lot. I use it a lot for many things in life, feeling grateful for all the things I have helps me put things in perspective and move on with a smile and a lot of hope.

  5. Mark Iocchelli on November 7th at 3:04 pm

    That’s an astounding accomplishment to lose all that weight, Aaron. Wow! Way to go!!

  6. Anne on November 7th at 3:17 pm

    Yes, I’m impressed at the weight loss too. My incentive sometimes is to escape before my husband starts scrutinizing our checkbook. Then I hope he’s ‘cooled down’ before I do.

  7. Aaron Engelsrud on November 7th at 4:59 pm

    Thanks for all the positive comments. Losing all of my weight has been, short of getting married and having kids, the single best thing that I have accomplished in my life.

    Thanks again!


  8. Meg on November 8th at 5:49 pm

    I need to print this and staple it to my forehead. I have zero motivation and in fact have only run a couple times since fall set in… Can you be a runner if you only run on weekends? That’s my new plan.

  9. Dawn - Pink Chick on November 9th at 7:01 pm

    Wow! What a transformation. What motivated me when I first got back into it was health. I was terribly out of shape. My hubby’s grandfather was ill but was in his 90’s and up until then had been golfing 4-5 times a week. I knew if I did not do something I would not make it to his age and still be enjoying life.

    I still need to loose weight but I am a lot healthier.

    The other thing that motivates me is others. Its that “challenge” thing. If he/she can do that, why can’t I?

    I recently watched an Ironman competition. Wow, there were athletes of all shapes sizes and ages that made it. Funny some of my friends watched and went, no way. I watch and inside I said “someday!”

  10. New Post at! at on November 14th at 1:20 pm

    […] You can the whole thing here. […]

  11. Dave Burke Running in Vermont : Being a Thankful Runner on Thanksgiving Day on November 23rd at 5:18 pm

    […] There was a great post on the Running Network the other day on motivating reasons to get out the door.  One of the reasons listed had to do with being thankful that you were physically able to run.  “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 privilege and not everyone is so lucky.” […]