How to Keep Your Running Motivation Up While Training for a Race

3 min read Chris Zibutis

Chris Zibutis
Written by
Chris Zibutis
Head Running Coach - that one person on earth who loves interval runs 🥵

Getting out for a run can be a mental battle. Some days, you just don’t feel like it. But there are things you can do to make this whole internal struggle less of a battle. You can get your run done with or without running motivation.

In this article, we explore how you can motivation to run, no matter what!

Mental Preparation: Is It Necessary? 

You’ve probably heard it before: mental preparation is just as necessary as physical preparation. If you believe you are going to perform horribly, you probably will. If you think you’ll succeed and hit a personal best, you will likely do it—or at least get pretty dang close!

Mentally preparing for a race is just as important as all the training that takes place. You want to feel confident and excited to start so you would be able to go the distance.

If you ever feel you might not want to go for a run, or “maybe” you will, there’s a great chance that you won’t. Visualize and plan this event mentally so that you can make it happen when the time comes. 

Many coaches and elite athletes use visualization to help them prepare for the next big competition. When you can imagine the victory, it’s more likely to occur in real life. Plus, you can’t always count on the spur of the moment feelings. 

So, how can you stay motivated?

Maintaining Running Motivation

Here’s the thing: you can’t always rely on motivation. It won’t always be there. But you can rely on your self-discipline and willpower. It means saying or writing down that you’re going to do something and following through with it. It sounds easy enough, but it’s something many of us find very difficult to implement. Luckily, we have a few helpful tips!

TIP #1: Start With a Plan.

Planning usually means it fits in your schedule, and thus, it’s more likely to happen. We recommend penciling in those runs and sticking to your plan as much as you can. It can ensure you stay on track every step of the way throughout your training.

TIP #2: Run With Others or Run With a Goal in Mind.

Running with others holds you accountable. They are going, so why shouldn’t you? If this isn’t possible, try running with a goal in mind. Working towards something can be incredibly motivating and can also help you stick to your plan when motivation is failing you.

TIP #3: Share Your Plans With Family and Friends.

Sharing your plan gives you accountability. What if your co-workers ask how your Saturday run was? What if your family sees you not following through on your promises to yourself? You’ll be more likely to head out on that run if you let others know about your plans beforehand.

TIP #4: Have a Disaster Recovery Plan.

We get it. Life happens. Some days, you just can’t control when everything starts going wrong. Emergencies happen and are, unfortunately, often unavoidable. It’s essential to have a back-up disaster recovery plan. If you don’t get out on that run on Saturday, when will you do? Plan it! Decide if you will go on Sunday or Monday instead. 

TIP #5: Cross-Train.

Don’t feel like running? Why not cross-train instead? Perform a quick 20-minute HIIT session or head to the gym and pump out some iron. These aspects are also important when it comes to training for that next race.

TIP #6: Listen to Your Body.

Don’t push yourself beyond what it’s capable of. You don’t want to burn out. Listening to your body is a great way to avoid this. If you’re feeling tired, don’t try to muster up the motivation. Take a day off. 

Key Takeaways

Running motivation won’t always be there for you, but you can find ways to maintain discipline. When all else fails, it also pays to have a back-up plan. You’ve got this! 

Key Takeaways:

  • Mentally prepare for each race.
  • Plan out your training on your calendar.
  • Tell others of your plan to increase accountability.
  • Have a back-up plan to use when needed.
  • If you don’t feel like running, cross-train instead.
  • Always listen to your body!

Start running today

Sometimes, simply knowing how to train is not enough. You need a personalized running program and some expert guidance to get you over the hard parts. Take a 60-second quiz and meet your personal running assistant.

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