Running is Mental

In my mind – no pun intended – running is a mental game. You have to first decide to go, then you have to decide to put on your shoes and then decide to walk out the door.  It seems like a lot of work just to get going. At times, this is the hardest part.

Once you get out the door, you have no choice but to move forward. Read on for seven great tips to get you moving and to help you stay motivated!

Runner with the Sun

Running is Mental: How to Get Moving

1. Run in the Moment

Don’t think about how long it is to the end. Ask yourself how you are feeling that minute. Do your legs hurt – yes, maybe, but enough to stop? Are you breathing heavy – so much so that you need to stop? Try slowing down first or walking quickly for a few minutes.

2. Start Small

Don’t try to run a marathon your first day. Start with something smaller such as 5 or 10 minutes – or five or six blocks. Keep at this for at least a week as you build your confidence and mental capacity. If it too easy by the end of the week – great – add some distance or time to your run.

3. Pump Yourself Up Before Your Run

If you have a hard time getting started, do something that makes your mind feel alive and gets you ready to go. For me, it’s music. I put on my running or dancing music and it makes me want to move. That gives me that little bit of motivation I need on days that I just don’t feel like going.

4. Run Through the Pain

It’s key to continue on, even if you are having a little pain. When you first get moving, you will feel more pain as your muscles adjust to the new routine. For me, day three is always the hardest as I’m sore from my first two days of running. Even though I recommend running through a little pain, if it’s intense pain, stop right away and see your doctor as soon as possible.

5. Run for Yourself

Running for an upcoming event makes it a short term effort. Typically, most people stop running if they are only running for a specific event or reason. Do you want to lose 10 pounds or want to just run in an upcoming race with friends? These might be great short term motivators, but won’t help you maintain for a long time. Run for yourself – for long term reasons

6. Talk to a Friend for Motivation

If you find that running on your own is too difficult, then find a friend to help you get started. Find someone that is in the same place as you so you can motivate each other. Challenge them to run on their own when your schedules don’t match.

You can also discuss your goals with a non-running friend that would agree to helping you stay motivated. Talk to them daily or weekly about your goals and accomplishments. They can help you keep going, congratulate you on your successes, and give you the energy you need to stay motivated.

After running for a period of time, you will find that you will need to rely on others less and less. Running itself will be a motivator. However, you should still plan to meet up with friends every week or month in order to continue to make it a fun activity. Plus, it’s so much healthier than meeting up with friends for dinner and drinks all the time.

7. Stop Making Excuses

This one can be easy or hard. The point here is to just get out there and do it!

Be easy on yourself when you get started. If you can only run a block, just run a block. It’s okay, we all started there. If you can only walk quickly for a block or two, do that for a while before you start running. The point is to just get started – no matter what that means.

The more you run, the more you will love it. You will get addicted to running fast if you strengthen your mind around your running plan. You will become your own motivator to get moving and, who knows, maybe you will encourage others to do the same!

I love running, but my motivation wasn’t always there. Now, I can’t wait to go for a run.

What has been your experience with running? How did you get started? Please add your comments below to help others get started too!

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