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Running Motivation: 4 Tips on Staying Consistent

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Tired girl in bed

Have you seen the statistic that by February, MOST people (around 80%) have given up on their New Year’s resolutions? It’s real and I can certainly believe it.

I’ve been that person, so many times. I’ve made the generic resolutions of running more or being more consistent with running in my day-to-day life. If you can relate, you understand how difficult it can be to make running motivation last past the initial excitement of setting a goal.

But I’ve got a secret. Running motivation is NOT the thing that makes you a successful runner!

The biggest difference between people who integrate running into their day-to-day life and those that keep starting and stopping is CONSISTENCY and DISCIPLINE, not running motivation.

Trust me, no one is motivated all the time. Not me, a running coach, not Olympic runners, NO ONE! The key to accomplishing your running goals is to stay consistent when the running motivation isn’t showing up.

Here are four techniques on staying consistent with your running goals when the running motivation just isn’t there:

1. PLAN – And I don’t mean one day at a time. Make sure you have specifics on what your training days look like a week or two ahead of time.

For example, the forecast shows thunderstorms on your run day. Have a plan in place if the forecast is accurate such as using a treadmill (at home if you have one or at the gym). If you don’t have access to a safe place inside with a treadmill, you can think about moving your run to another day to ensure your safety as well as getting that run completed.

Man outside in rain with umbrella

Outside of weather, consider your work schedule, travel/vacation, meetings, personal commitments, and anything else that’s on your schedule so that you’re able to stay as consistent as possible and have back-up plans ready to go when needed.

If you struggle with creating your own training plan, or you just don’t have the time to do it, I offer a customized 90-day training plan specific to YOU. Click here to see if it’s a good fit for you.

2. IMAGERY – This is personally one of my favorite techniques. This gets you out of your body for a moment and into your head!

Close your eyes and imagine yourself when your run is complete. Think of the feelings that embody you at the end of the run: it could be accomplishment in the speed or length of the run, pride that you ran today when you wanted to sleep-in or anything else that comes up for you. Imagine the feeling, from your surroundings to the emotions.

You can do this from your bed or even during your run when you’re feeling your running motivation sink.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY – It’s early in the year and I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of people sharing their resolutions on social media. Sharing your goal with someone (or everyone) is a good first step towards accountability.

Group of runnres from the back

Running with a friend or finding a running buddy is another way – as you’re less likely to cancel if you know someone else is waiting on you! The BEST way to stay accountable to your running goals is to work with a running coach like myself.

One of the biggest things I help my clients with is to create momentum through consistency by; overcoming motivation fluctuations and limiting beliefs so you can get out of your own way and find joy in the process of becoming a runner!

If you’re curious about what it would look like to work with a running coach, book a free introductory call to get to know me and how I can help you here.

4. REMEMBER YOUR WHY – Why are you running? Who and what do you run for?

Maybe it’s to maintain your health, to show your children the importance of self-care, or maybe you want to beat your previous race time and set a personal record.

Regardless of the reason, write it down! Put it on a post-it and display it where you’ll read it often and when you need it. Make it the background to your computer. Write it in your journal and revisit it often. This will allow you to remember your WHY when you feel like quitting, or your running motivation isn’t there.

“Success comes when we wake up every day in that never-ending pursuit of WHY we do what we do.” Start with Why (Simon Sinek)

If you’re struggling with running motivation, remember that you’re not alone. These four techniques can help you maintain consistency and meet your running goals despite motivation fluctuations.

As a running coach, working through motivation fluctuations and maintaining consistency is a big part of the work I do with runners.

If you’re finding it difficult to fit running into your busy schedule and want the accountability and community of like-minded runners on the same journey as you, join the Joyful Running Challenge where we find joy in running so that you can create the consistency you’re looking for!

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