Running is a great way to burn calories and increase your aerobic fitness. But let's face it. If you run regularly for months on end, your motivation can dwindle, and you won't get as much out of your workout. If you run marathons, it's even more important to keep your running motivation high. Here are some running tips that'll help you stay motivated so you can push yourself harder when you're out on the road or track.
To stay motivated, turn a blank notebook into a running log. When you run, record how long you ran, the time it took, distance and other parameters such as your heart rate and weight. Use it to monitor your progress and see how far you've come. Another option is to use online sites such as dailymile.com to keep a running log and map your running routes. The advantage to using an online site is you can compete with other online runners. How motivational is that?
Join a local runner's club, and meet up with other runners for regular runs. Running with other people can be inspiring and you'll benefit from their advice and motivational tips. It's hard to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep when your running buddies are waiting for you to take a 5 mile run by the lake. You can find running clubs in your area by checking with a local sporting goods store or searching online.
It's easy to get bored and lose your motivation when you're running the same route every day. Choose a new route, and give your brain new sites and sounds to focus on during your run. It'll reinvigorate and reignite your running motivation. There are sites online where you can map out a route in your area along with the mileage. If you usually run in your neighborhood, drive to another neighborhood or to a park or running trail. The new sites, the sounds and the smells will make it feel like you're doing something entirely new.
Find a local race and train for it. This is one of the best ways to shake out of a running slump. You don't have to run a marathon, start with a 5K or 10K, and work up to a marathon. Even better, train for a charity run where your running benefits others.
Read running and fitness magazines to find running motivation tips that have worked for others. These magazines are full of testimonials and before-and-after pictures that will inspire you to keep pounding the pavement. Learn about the science of running too. It's more motivating when you understand exactly what's happening to your body when you take a run.
Cross training gives your head a break by reducing boredom. It'll also make you a stronger runner, balance your training and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Add twice weekly strength training to your routine, and vary your cardio by doing another aerobic activity once or twice a week. Some options include spin cycling, swimming, working out with kettlebells, working out on the elliptical machine and cross-country skiing. These activities will all get your heart rate up and give you a mental break from running.
Keep a running log, vary your running route and cross-train once or twice a week. These are some of the best ways to stay motivated and become a stronger runner. Whatever you do, keep running.