As I’ve discussed previously, last year I really had a hit and miss relationship with running. I struggled to get into a routine. But recently I’ve been getting back into it, slowly but surely I’ve been picking my mileage up. So how did I get motivated to run again?
Sadly I lost my running buddy and Dr W isn’t big time into running so only occasionally joins me running. So this year I’ve had to motivate myself. Cue a lot of internet time researching motivational tips (and wading through un-motivational BS) to get myself out and motivated to run again. So what worked for me?
#1 – Just go out!
This basically sums up everything I read. If you want to run, even with some hesitation in your brain, just get out! I started out small, in January my aim was one run a week, a couple of km to start, then slowly building. I would make sure I congratulated myself and I didn’t push myself to do it on a set day. Towards the end of the month I picked up the comfort in running again that I had experienced in the past. I started attending my local Parkrun, which I have found so encouraging. Everyone is so friendly. I’m now doing between 2-3 runs a week, some long and some only a couple of km. But you know what, I’m happy to just get out!
#2 – Go on a shopping spree
Yup, new kit. New kit always works for me. I recently got some The North Face* kit (the kit I’m wearing in the photos) and I felt the bomb when I went out for my latest Parkrun. My secretly quiet goal of 2018 was to run a sub 30min Parkrun in 2018. And you know what reader? I’ve managed 2 now! Focusing on shorter runs has actually really paid off when it comes to speed. I am running the fastest I have ever done in my long and bumpy running career. New kit acts like ‘Go Faster Stripes’ I swear!
#3 – Rest
What have I learnt more than anything? Running is tiring. Running with a full time job is exhausting. Running with a commute is crippling. Sometimes you just need to rest. I have given myself rest days when I’d planned to run and basically the rest day helped more than pushing myself for a run. Remember to rest, sleep helps your body recover.
#4 – When you’re ready schedule
I knew I was happy to run a couple of km without stopping, hence why I didn’t embark on C25k this time round. I also find those programs a bit too regimented and often get behind if I take rest days when not scheduled and then not hitting the schedule is massively unmotivating for me. When I’d managed to get to two runs a week I look at these plans to come up with a rough plan for my week based on this. Again I try not to get too bogged down with set days for things, I aim for three runs a week and put a big tick next to them when I’ve done them. It means I can switch up my runs a bit if I don’t fancy intervals and just want a short tempo run instead. My general aim is to slowly build my distances so I can run 10k in September.
#5 – Parkrun
I honestly can’t recommend Parkrun more. It has been a lovely experience meeting and running with others at the weekend. It’s a supportive place even if you can’t run the whole 5k and that’s a worry of yours, you’ll never be last as there’s always a team of tail walkers. Have a look on their website and give your local run a go! Also if you don’t fancy a paper barcode, you can get a barcode wristband like my one from Parkrun Barcode (not affiliate just helpful).
So tell me readers, how do you get motivated to run or exercise again? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. * PR sample featured from Simply Hike. As ever all words, photos and opinions are my own.