Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guest Post: Need Some Motivation To Run?

Hello Gourmet Runner readers! I’m Rachael and I blog over at Happy Healthy Runner about my adventures in running, marriage and life. I was thrilled when Vanessa reached out for guest posting and I recently received an email from an old friend asking how I stay motivated to run, which I thought would make a good post. I’m also navigating my way through training for my first two marathons, so staying motivated through the grueling weeks of marathon training is definitely important. Because let’s be real, some days you just don’t want to run. 
The Lovely Rachel at a recent race!
1. Write it down. 
I am a notorious list maker. I make lists for daily tasks. I make lists for weekly tasks. I even make lists for lists sometimes. I am pretty much lost without my planner. But as tied I as I am to my planner (and yes, I still use the old-school, “write it down” way, there is no list on my phone because I would just never open it), having it written down holds me accountable. I almost feel guilty when I write down something and then don’t cross it off, and I get extreme satisfaction for marking a big fat line through a “task” on my list. And that’s one way that I look at my scheduled runs – a task that I have to get done that I happen to enjoy 90% of the time.

2. Do it first thing
My workouts happen first thing in the morning. I pretty much roll out of bed and into my workout clothes (which I leave conveniently laid out and ready in my bathroom every day) and get out the door (or on the treadmill) without even giving myself time to think about it. That way I’m refreshed and ready to face the day once my workout is over, I can already cross something off my list, and I’ve started my day off on a positive note. It’s not always easy to get up and go in the mornings, but I try and remind myself how great I’m going to feel after to motivate myself. Plus, there’s something magical about seeing the sun rise while you’re running.

    3. Cross train
I think cross-training is arguably one of the most important factors of training. As runners, I think we  tend to get caught up in only running, and cross-training plays such a big role in keeping physically fit while still giving your body a break from the stress running puts on it. And even though I hate some forms of cross-training (such as the elliptical), I still try and get in one good cross-training day a week (and a few strength-training days, gotta keep those muscles in tip-top shape!) to keep my body in good form.

    4.Take rest days
I hate the idea of taking rest days. I love to be active, I love to get my blood pumping, and I love to get in a good sweat session. But I learned the hard way how important rest days are – not just physically, but mentally. Your body needs some time to recover, and so does your mind. Nothing rejuvenates me quite as well as a good rest day. 

    5. Sign up for races
Even though I’m hardcore into marathon training right now, I still sign up for local 5 or 10k’s once a month. It gives me something to look forward to and gives me a run that isn’t a scheduled training run. Instead of worrying about if I’m hitting my goal or tempo pace, I run fast and hard. Nothing gets my blood pumping and my motivation going like a good race, and I think it’s important to continue to race throughout your training.

    6.Read blogs
Whenever I really don’t want to run, I go read some of my favorite blogs and within 5 minutes have usually laced up and left the house. The blog community is such an awesome forum for motivation. Plus I post my weekly workout schedule on my blog, and I hate doing weekly workout recaps and not hitting the workouts that I said I would do. 

Hopefully these things will help you out like they do me! And when all else fails, I buy myself new running clothes (looking cute when you run is a major mood booster)! 
What do you do to stay motivated?

If you don't follow Rachel yet, shame on you! Head over to Happy Healthy Runner and show her some love!


  1. I definitely needed this list - I'm a running newbie and I have such a terrible tendency to burn myself out by doing too much too soon, and this is such a great reminder on how to pace yourself and stay motivated. Also, love both your blogs!!!

  2. Great guest post!! I loved it. I also read blogs when I'm not feeling motivated. I was just emailing with another runner about this too.. when I am traveling (especially over the summer) I take running books/mags with me to stay motivated to run while I'm on my trip. I'm actually expecting two books next week before I leave for the lake for 5 days :)

  3. Reading other running blogs is definitely a bog motivator for me especially when others are sharing their accomplishments and PR's with ...and I am feeling lazy!! Once I read the shoes are on and I'm gone!

  4. yay awesome! Love rachael, she's mah girl!

  5. Great suggestions!!! The blog community is a great motivator!

  6. Cross training for sure helps :) Great tips!

  7. I do agree with reading blogs, reading other peoples workouts really inspire me to want to be better and stronger!

  8. awesome guest post...LOVE her suggestions!!! I like the reminder to take rest days...I always feel SO guilty taking days off, but something they are needed!!