10 Best Ways to Stay Motivated for Running

Committing to a running program is not a commitment to be taken lightly. Committing to a running program takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Whether you are training for your first 5k or looking to take the plunge from half marathoner to full marathoner, there are going to be times when your motivation appears to be lacking. Read more of the 10 best ways to stay motivated for running.

All runners would agree that there are going to be days where you’d much rather sleep or hang out with friends than go for a run. There may also be days where aches and pains have got you completely discouraged. On off-days, you may be able to think of hundred of reasons why you should throw in the towel. However, we’ve come up with the 10 best ways to keep you motivated for running.

10 Best Ways to Stay Motivated for Running

1. Sign-up for a race as early as possible
Whether you are eyeing a particular 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon, you should sign-up for the race, as soon you are able to register. By doing so, you have made an early and financial commitment to a particular event as Most race entrance fees are non-refundable. You now have no excuses to finish what you’ve set out to accomplish.

2. Create a running blog
You may be thinking you don’t have time for this, but a running blog can help to keep you accountable for your runs, track your progress and possibly even help to inspire other runners out there surfing the web for motivation. Even if you only post once a week, aim to post your weekly mileage, any accomplishments you’ve achieved and how you are feeling as you go through your training process. By publishing blog posts, you may also start a following of complete strangers who are in need of some running motivation. You can help motivate people you don’t even know while working to achieve your running goals.

Motivated for Running

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid /

3. Switch up your running terrain
With shins that are aching as the result of shin splints, staying motivated to run can be extremely difficult. Opt to get yourself off of the pavement a day or two per week and head to a local track, mountain trail or a dirt road. Your lower body will thank you and your eyes are likely to enjoy the change of scenery as well. A change of scenery can often do wonders to your motivation when you have something new and exciting to explore.

4. Buy yourself a new pair of running shoes
With a nice, new, shiny pair of running shoes, you are more likely to feel much more motivated to want to go and try them out. Even if you aren’t quite ready to replace your current running shoes (remember, you should replace your running shoes every 250-300 miles depending on the type of running shoes you have), it can’t hurt to invest in a new pair when you are in desperate need of motivation. Keep your new running shoes in a box and save them for a day when you are in desperate need of running motivation – perhaps on a day you are scheduled for a long run and you just are not feeling it. If you’re in the market for a new pair of running shoes, you can read some of our reviews here.

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5. Stop timing yourself each time you go out for a run
When you stop looking at your watch and just go for it, you are much more likely to enjoy yourself as you run. Running becomes much more enjoyable when you are not worried about beating yesterdays time. Leave the house without your watch and see if you notice the difference.

6. Have a good go-to playlist on your MP3 player or smartphone
A great playlist can be extremely motivating on days when you just don’t have the motivation to run. Create a playlist that is as long as your longest scheduled run. Your long runs are likely to seem less tedious when you are listening to music you really enjoy. Create a playlist that is upbeat and fun. You may opt to create a playlist filled with current music or to switch things up, you may want to select songs that you used to enjoy when you were younger as old music can bring back good memories.

7. Wear a pedometer when you run
Instead of counting your distances in miles, opt to keep track of your distance in steps from time to time. A 5 mile run is going to sound much more impressive in steps than it is in actual mileage.

8. Pay yourself for a run well done
Take a jar and make it your running mileage jar. Set an amount of money you are going to give yourself for each mile you run. At the end of the week, count how many miles you have ran and place the money in the jar. At the end of the month, count up your money and reward yourself with something you’ve been wanting – perhaps you’ve been eyeing a new running watch, a new pair of shoes or would just like to relax with a sports massage after all of the hard work you have been putting into your training sessions.

9. Run for a cause
If running just because you enjoy it isn’t good enough reason anymore, try running for a cause you really support. Select a charity and run a race for that specific charity. Have your friends, family and co-workers rally behind you in support by making donations. What are you passionate about? Perhaps, a charity that helps children in need? Maybe you know someone fighting cancer and would like to support that cause. Are you an animal lover? Make it your goal to run in support of a local animal shelter. The point is if you’re running for a cause, you’re more likely to be motivated to keep on running.

10. Just start running
If you’re in the mind-set that you just don’t feel like even making one trip around the block or around the track, just suit up and get out there and run. Chances are once you get started you won’t just stop after one loop around the track or one trip around the neighbourhood. Sometimes all you need to get going is to get started. Lace up your running shoes and expect the unexpected.

How do you keep motivated when running? Share your comments or questions below.