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10 Motivational Hacks to Run When You Don't Feel Like It

I wake up and don't feel like running most of the time. Honestly, I often dread it. Then why in the world do I do it? I run because I crave the feeling I get afterward.

My chest feels open, and my mind feels clear. I love the way my entire body feels flooded with energy and strength and how young it keeps me. I've been a runner for over 30+ years. I've dabbled in other fitness areas such as tennis, yoga, CrossFit, and Beachbody workouts. I always come back to running. I love the meditative simplicity of the natural movement, especially when outdoors.

To get over my initial dread to go for a run, I've learned a few hacks over the years. Here are ten of my favorite.

  1. Create a post-run routine that you look forward to after each run: When I get back from my runs, I love a hot cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast. I make sure that I run early enough to have time to do this.

  2. Find a running partner: I am always the most consistent running when I have a partner to hold me accountable. I found this especially important on those dark, cold, or rainy days. Some of my favorite runs are the ones that I showed up for my partner despite the snow or rain. It is honestly refreshing, and you can get some great pics!

  3. Identify your reason for running: When you know WHY you want to run, it helps remind you when you don't feel like going. I find it helpful to write these reasons down as they are VERY easy to forget when you are in a dreadful mood.

  4. Save your favorite audible book or podcast just for your run: This is one of my favorite hacks, especially when you run alone. I love saving a good book ONLY for my run times. I look forward to pressing play, making it much easier to get my feet out the door.

  5. Run somewhere pretty: I am blessed to live two blocks from Lake Michigan as my regular route is along the shoreline of this gorgeous body of water. I look forward to the various colors of the sunrise and truly feel the power and grace of nature. However, even this gets old for me. It's incredible how much more spring I have in my step when I treat myself to a new place.

  6. Sign up for a race: Sign up and pay for it right away when you decide to do a race. Get that date on your calendar and make a plan. Knowing that you have this on your schedule helps you get your feet out there on those dark days.

  7. Follow a training plan: I'm a list maker and a "crosser offer." I LOVE having a printed calendar with my running program written on it. There is a ton of satisfaction in drawing a big red "X" across the box when I complete a run. I know, it's the little things.

  8. Reward yourself for running: Is there anyone out there that doesn't like gifts? Maybe, but I don't know a single human that doesn't. My favorite thing to do is pick out some new running gear and tell myself that I can have it after achieving a specific goal. I also like the idea of putting $1 in a jar after every run. Then, when you decide you want a little gift, you've got some cash just for you!

  9. Get running gear you love: This MAY be repeating the last hack. But...come on, there are SO many cute running clothes and "things" out there. You can never have too many running shoes, socks or leggings!

  10. Mind Tricks: I left this for last because sometimes it's hard to explain. Let me give you an example. So, today my training plan says to run 4 miles. It is one mile longer than my last run. I break it apart into 1 mile +3 miles. Once I get mile one in, then I'm just doing the same 3-mile run I already did earlier this week. Easy peezy! I've got MANY more crazy mental tricks up my sleeve. I'm sure you can create a few of your own.

There you go! I hope this helps you get out for your next run. You've got this! Your mind and body WILL thank you!

Happy Running!




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