I have admitted I don't love running, but there are some things
about running that are fun! Fun can be a great motivator. I love making friends
and running buddies are great friends. Racing, even when you are slow, can be
exhilarating especially at the end. Feeling accomplished after a long run or completing a training schedule in preparation for your first half marathon is especially fun. Even during a difficult run, there can be moments of fun. Focusing on the fun stuff can keep you going when the going gets tough, or in other words, when you don't feel the motivation to run.
I cannot say enough about the value of a running buddy. Running buddies encourage us to run when we would rather sit, to keep going when we would rather stop and to laugh when the situation seems dire. They commiserate over lost toenails and worn out running shoes. Running buddies indulge our desire to talk about food - a lot! They join us for a three mile run during a blizzard and accompany us on big adventures like the Grand Teton Relay. They are our cheerleaders. As they share our misery they become our community - our family. Running buddies are fun and they make us smile.
Racing is fun and if you want to be committed to a regular running schedule simply register for a race. A paid race registration is second only to a running buddy when it comes to motivation. Download a training plan for a 5K, 10K, or half marathon and observe your satisfaction as you do the workouts then cross them off as completed. Don't forget to record your time! You may even find yourself looking forward to each training challenge.
Watch the t-shirts and finisher medals pile up as you find new challenges and races to test your endurance and fitness levels.
Motivation through Personal Satisfaction
Much of your running experience will be driven by personal satisfaction. Only your running buddies will understand what it means to cut ten seconds off your last six mile run. Remember, the entire running community is your friend. That's a lot of support, but your neighbor and even some family members may stare at you with glazed over eyes as you brag about your latest feat. Fortunately, you will feel enough satisfaction that it won't matter much who else doesn't understand. Besides, you can always reach out to another runner. You'll need to be prepared, however, to give them equal time to brag.
Enjoy comparing your workouts on your MapMyRun app, marking the workouts off on your training schedule, and rearranging your race medals by distance, year, size of medal, and so on. It feels good, even fun, to do something that challenges your physical and mental self. Personal satisfaction may be the only running motivation you need!
What better motivation than to know you are doing something that may prolong your life and make it more enjoyable along the way? I'm a granny and its the best job I've ever had! I want to enjoy it for many years to come!
Why do you run? Please share your motivation tips in the comments below.