I’m sure you’ve had plenty of days when you’ve struggle to put your trainers on and get out the door, especially when it’s cold and wet outside and your feeling exhausted. This is when you need some of that stored up ‘running motivation’ to give you that extra push out the door.
When looking at motivation it’s important we understand what it actually means, so here’s a definition for you, ‘A motive is the basis for energy and direction of behaviour where the athlete requires both movement and mental skill to reach a goal’. When we go out for a run there are multiple factors driving our motivation to run, which I’m now going to discuss.
We all love to have a goal, something to aim at which will keep you focused and determined until the bitter end. Short term goals are crucial in the build up to achieving a long term goal, think of them as stepping stones to the big event. Your short and long term goals must be realistic and achievable, this is very important to maintain motivation. Having a plan to achieve your goals is also very important, you can then be more focused on your short term goals, like your next run or training session. This prevents you from feeling overwhelmed and allows you to put all your energy into that days training.
If you’re struggling to find the motivation to run at the moment here’s some great reasons to keep going. The main benefit of running regularly is the effect it has on your physical health and well-being. Running will help make your bones and ligaments stronger, maintain skeletal muscle mass and cognitive function, improve lung function, and decreases the likelihood of getting neurological or health problems later in life.
If that’s not enough, two more massive benefits of running are weight loss and stress relief. Running is a great way to drop a few pounds, and it allows you to have the occasional treat and not feel too guilty about it. But the biggest one for your overall health is stress relief, stress is often referred to as the killer due to the effect it has on your body. It lowers your immune system, slows healing, decreases bone density and muscle mass, increases inflammation, blood pressure, and fat levels. Running will combat stress and leave you feeling better all round due to the release of endorphins you get from it.
Lets not forget one of the most important reasons why we run… because it’s FUN. Here’s some great ways to keep your running fun; make it sociable by running with friends or joining a club/group, vary your training, give yourself achievable goals, volunteer at local races or parkrun, coaching or helping others to run.
So whether you’ve just started or been running for year it’s always good to remind yourself why you do it, and how to keep your ‘running motivation’ going.