How to Keep on Keepin' on
I'll be honest, training for your first race is hard. If you're just starting out with running and training for a shorter distance, like a 5k (go Jessica!), it's hard. If you've been running for awhile and are training for a longer distance, like a half-marathon or a marathon it's hard.
Between choosing a race, a training plan, finding the time to train, and tracking your training it can feel a bit overwhelming. Everyone will face individual obstacles on the path to becoming a racing rock star but they one thing almost everyone will have to face during training, is a lack of motivation. Sometimes, you just don't want to run. No amount of cajoling, bribing or baked goods can make you run. But you've paid all that money and gotten this far, so what do you do when you can't seem to lace your running shoes up? Here are five things that might help:
1) Think about why you run
Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in training that you forget why you started running in the first place. I initially started running to get back into shape after too many late college nights, but running soon became much more than that. It was "me" time. Running helps me de-stress, clear my head and organize my day.
Now, I run to raise money for Team-in-Training while preparing for my first marathon. Whenever, I don't feel like going out for my runs, I think about what I'm running for- to help fund cancer research and prevent others from losing family and friends.
2) Remember that you will feel a zillion times better after you run
Seriously, I'm not lying to you. Your muscles might be tired, but you feel energized and ready to take on the world! You may even get lucky and find that elusive "runner's high." You won't forget it when you do.
3) Run with a friend
Honestly, there is very little that motivates me more to get moving than knowing someone is waiting for me to join them on a run. When I'm really struggling to get out the door calling a runner friend and making a running date will quickly solve that problem.
It can be hard to find people to run with at first, but there are plenty of places you can try. Local running stores often have running clubs with people that run at all paces. If you have a blog or Twitter put a call out to readers or followers in your area. Dailymile.com is another great resource (plus the people are amazingly friendly!)
4) Bribe yourself
I try to avoid bribing myself into running too often (otherwise I'd never need another reason to run), but sometimes it's all you can do. I usually bribe myself with the promise of new work-out clothes, but I have runner friends who bribe themselves with spa treatments, or race registrations. Wine is another popular option. Or margaritas. Or baked goods.
Find something that works for, so when those desperate times hit you can take the mature path and bribe yourself into getting out the door.
5) Remember that you paid cold hard cash for this race
Nothing motivates me more than reminding myself that I dropped money on a race. I hate feeling like I wasted money and once I've spent the cash I want to make sure I get the most out of the event. The only way to ensure that is to train.
None of these methods are full-proof and certainly won't work for everyone, everyday. If these suggestions don't work for you, no worries, there are plenty of other tricks out there for getting out the door. Just find a way to get out there and run!