I LOVE running. If you’re not a runner, I understand if you cringe at that statement. I get it. But hear me out on this one- if you try it out, and give it some time to become a habit, I promise you will love it, too. It may be a love-hate relationship, mine often is, but at least there will be a little love thrown into the mix.
Here are 5 ways to get motivated to start running- or motivate yourself to keep running.
This is a biggie. If you want to run well, and you want it to last, invest in a good pair of running shoes. I love to save money and snag a deal online- but not when it comes to running shoes. Visit a store that specializes in running (I’m a huge fan of Fleet Feet!), work one-on-one with an employee to find the perfect fit, and take them out on the sidewalk for a test run. Not once have I walked out of the store with the pair I would have chosen for myself, but they have yet to fail me. They will discuss previous and current injuries, measure your foot length and shape, and watch you walk/run to find the perfect fit. Worth every penny.
My current shoes- and favorite shoes ever- are the Saucony Triumph ISO (pictured above). I had never previously worn a heavily cushioned shoe, but I can’t go back now. I haven’t had knee pain (iliotibial band syndrome) since. Saucony has come out with a 2nd generation of these, so you can usually snag the originals like I have for < $100.
#2 WHAT TO WEAR
This one is fun. Find clothes that feel good and fit well, and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. My absolute favorite workout brands are Avia and Danskin- both extremely affordable and sold at Walmart. After trying out a few of their $10-15 sports bras, I threw out all of my overpriced ones and never looked back. I mostly wear these shorts, and a variety of tanks, t-shirts, jackets, etc. Even my favorite socks are Avia.
Knowing what to wear for the weather is also key. Nothing is worse than figuring out 5 minutes into your run that you are way overdressed. I found this image on Pinterest, and it is extremely helpful for those in-between seasons.
Don’t overlook your head. The right hat- lightweight and breathable- works well to block the sun and keep sweat out of your eyes. I’ve only found one thing that works better- the Bondi Band (10% off with code LOVETORUN). I tried one out at a race expo, and have bought a drawer-full since. The amount of sweat they soak up is crazy, and they DON’T MOVE. Trust me, I tried about 100 before I found Bondi Band and they all failed me (usually less than a mile into my run).
Don’t forget sunglasses. I wear these Oakleys (a gift from my husband after my first 13.1). Look for quality, polarized lenses, and snug glasses that won’t slide around while you move.
#3 NEW GEAR
Whether you are rewarding an accomplishment or trying to get out of a rut, go for new gear. Maybe you’ve always wanted bluetooth headphones or a GPS running watch. Splurge a little; after all, it’s an investment in your health 🙂
For Mother’s Day this year I received the Garmin Vivosmart HR (pictured above). I love love love it. It doesn’t have GPS (and is not considered a running watch) but I have found it surprisingly accurate on my runs. On my last 3 treadmill runs it has been spot on once, off by 0.1 mi once, and off by 0.2 mi once. Not bad. If I were training hard and working on my pace I couldn’t afford the variation, but for my daily running it’s great.
#4 CHANGE THE SCENERY
When I really don’t want to run or start getting bored with it, I go somewhere new. I find a new park or switch it up for a treadmill run, and it helps my motivation. Since I’m usually running with the kids they also love to explore a new park or area of town we’ve never been. Nashville has an amazing greenway system and so many beautiful parks to choose from. Sometimes just running the same route, but in the opposite direction, is enough to keep it interesting for me.
#5 FIND A BUDDY
Sometimes I love running alone with my thoughts, but it’s also fun to run with a buddy. Last year during #run2015 my husband and I, with kids in tow, ran every Saturday morning together. It quickly became the highlight of my week. We never stop talking when we run, so the miles add up without realizing it. If you don’t have any friends that run, try a local running group. Or join a 5k and strike up a conversation with a stranger!
#6 SIGN UP FOR A RACE
Signing up for a race can be a great way to stick with a running routine. If you’re new to running pick a race that gives you just enough time to train, but only if you start NOW. If you have already established a good habit of running, choose a race a few months out- I’ve found that helps to prevent me from slacking off or “taking a break” when the weather gets hot, life gets busy, etc. Or you can do like I did in #run2015, and sign up for one race every month for an entire year- I promise it will be impossible to stop with that much commitment! It was so much fun and the highlight of my year.
#7 JUST DO IT!
There are a million excuses for not running on any given day (and I’ve probably used them all), but I have never regretted a single run. Even the half marathons that left me beat and half dead improved me mentally and physically. Incorporate it into your routine and make it a habit so that you never question whether or not you feel like it. Set goals and reward yourself for your accomplishments, and most of all HAVE FUN.