Run Motivation


Here's the motivation I use before and during runs. It may not work for everybody.

Before a run, I don't think much about how far I'm going to run. My goal at that moment is to just put shoes on and walk out the door. That's pretty easy to do, right?

During a run, during the parts where I'm tired, I used to just keep telling myself, "almost there" repeatedly. Every left step or every other left step. And, that helps.

But, I've found some more self-motivating words that I also like to use:

  • "You're better than that!"
  • "I'm just starting.."
  • And, imagining that I have a "ghost runner" that keeps a constant pace

When I tell myself, "you're better than that", I also like to try to "shake off" the tiredness. And, I think of ways that doing the exercise will help me in the future and would have helped in the past. This method has probably helped the most for short distances. For me, it wasn't the best for longer distances because I would get too motivated and try to out-run my body. I do have an exuberant amount of willpower where I can/have out-run my body physically, and not just mentally giving up.

If running alone (or with others), what works okay is imagining you have a "ghost runner" who runs at your speed, but never slows down. As I did this on a solo run, I sometimes "saw" my ghost runner get ahead of me which motivated me to try harder, just like a real running partner would do. If you have done solo and non-solo runs before and run better with the group run, then the ghost runner helps you remember how you would run non-solo and hopefully also encourage you to keep up with yourself.

Now to explain the "I'm just getting started.." line. This is probably the most useful method overall that I have used.

For the first few steps of a run, I always feel good. I know that there is a long ways to go, but I don't worry about that. When I tell myself that "I'm just getting started, there are still two more miles to go", there may really only be half a mile left, but that doesn't matter. Somehow, by saying that, my body just relaxes a lot and running becomes smooth/easy again, like at the beginning of a run. It's almost like a "runner's high", but it feels a little different. It's more of a tranquility/serenity feeling rather than just the motivational high. It's a lot more sustainable than the "You're better than that" method which arguably works too well for me.

Where others may get demotivated at any glimpse of defeat, I relish the opportunity to mustard the strength the ketchup to my goal and devour it! ;D

ps - I like reflecting at the end of my posts. And, many of them start off with "wow, I only expected to write a few sentence, and not an entire essay!" This blog post was no exception. ;)