5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run
Since leaving the Florida sunshine behind and moving to NYC I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned not to make eye contact with people on the subway (trust me on this one). I’ve learned to avoid Trader Joe’s on Sunday (lines are like something you would experience at Disney World). I’ve learned what black ice is (it is evil, that’s what it is). I’ve also learned that getting out to run when it is really cold is really tough.
One of the challenges I’ve faced since being dropped in the middle of the Concrete Jungle is learning how to motivate myself to get out and run (or get out at all) when it is freezing outside…or worse…below freezing. Extreme cold wasn’t a problem I had very often while living at the beach. While I actually don’t mind running in the cold (I mean, I don’t like the feel of 10 degrees, but I can work with 30 degrees), I do find it significantly harder to make myself get out the door when temps are low. In addition, I’ve also got to forgo sleep to get my run in somedays and that requires a heck of a lot of motivation these days since I have a newborn.
So, today I thought I would share some of my tips for getting out of the house to run or exercise when it is just plain hard (i.e. really cold or really early in the morning).
**Note: I am not advocating running when conditions are dangerous (i.e. black ice, heavy snow, etc) – I’m just talking about running when you know you should, but you don’t necessarily want to.**
1. Make a new playlist.
I get so excited when I have new music to run to. Take time to buy new tunes and compile a rockin’ playlist. I also enjoy listening to podcasts or sermons from some of my favorite pastors and using my run as a time to pray and reflect. Having something to look forward to – whether it be music to jam out to or a sermon to meditate on – will help get you excited for your workout and its harder to skip something when you’re kind of excited about it.
2. Buy something new!
Shopping is the answer to all your problems. Okay, maybe not all your problems but it can help in the motivation department. Purchase some new piece of fitness gear to get you excited about exercising. It could be a new Garmin watch…a new running jacket…new shoes…a new headband…whatever gets you excited to get out the door.
P.S. If you have that silly expensive and crazy awesome Garmin watch, please leave a comment telling me all about it. I don’t have it so I’ll live vicariously through you.
3. Tell a friend! Or better yet, bring a friend!
Having some accountability can help keep you on track. Dragging a friend along with you is even better because misery loves company, right? 😉 On the nights when I tell Dave before bed that I’m going to get up and run I feel more inclined to actually get up and run because I vocalized it to another person. While I don’t run with a running partner anymore, I do run with Ob and I feel like I’ll let her down if we don’t get out the door somedays because she needs the exercise. I know she’s a dog, but we still motivate each other. And Dave encourages me to meet my exercise goals when he knows about them…hence, I say to you, “tell a friend!”
4. Visualize it!
Picture your run! Mental rehearsal is just as important as physical practice. Before going to bed, picture your run for the following morning. Map out in your mind where you will go. Imagine how good you will feel once you get into a groove and you’re rocking out to the new music you downloaded. Mind over matter, friends!
5. Remind yourself how good it feels after it is over!
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes with completing a workout or run before the sun comes up. I personally love having such an important part of my day checked off my to-do list before my body even has time to process what it is doing. I also love walking back to our apartment after finishing a run through the park and seeing everyone on the streets all bundled up and I’m sweating, warm and smiling because one of the harder parts of my day is already over.
*Bonus tip* You could also bake cookies and then eat them all by yourself. This usually gets me out of bed and into my running shoes.
I’m sure if you’ve read any fitness blogs or fitness magazines then you’ve read these tips before (with the exception of the last one – that may be a CnC original), but there’s a reason for that. They work! 🙂
What are YOUR tips for getting out to run and exercise when you know you should but you don’t necessarily want to?
I also think signing up for races or participating in group fitness programs (Les Mills, Soul Cycle, Spinning, Physique 57, Bikram yoga) are great ways to stay motivated during the winter months!