I have officially committed myself to running a half marathon before my 30th birthday Essentially that leaves me just 10 months to go from total couch potato to running/jogging/walking 13.1 miles without collapsing. Preferably without crying as well, but I’m flexible on that one.
I managed to get started with my ‘training’, but I’m struggling with how I will stay motivated. I mean, I could go run, or I could stay on the couch watching episodes of the Twilight Zone on Netflix and eating popcorn. I’ve been in this position before — on the starting line, setting a goal for myself and thinking I can do it, but I’ve always failed.
I don’t want to fail again.
This time around I am making a list of all the reasons I want to succeed and how I can keep myself motivated. Hopefully some of these ideas can give you the motivation you need to keep going as well!
- Get involved with a local running club. A good place to start is your local gym/rec center. Often times local running groups also have a Facebook page for members to communicate.
- Find a running buddy (or two). Pretty much everything is more fun with a friend. Unless you really love the solitude of running by yourself, having a running buddy is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Plus it gives you someone to talk to on a longer run.
- Make a list of all of the reasons you are doing this. Hang this list somewhere that you can see it every day, so any time you question lacing up your shoes for a run or try to pull the covers over your head to sleep in, you can remember all the reasons why. For me, my list looks like this:
- My mental health
- My physical health
- My (future) children – I want to set a good example for my kids on the importance of physical fitness. I also want to be able to stay active for them!
- My husband – I want to motivate him to get in shape too.
- Bragging rights – Running a half marathon (or any race) is a big deal. Not everyone can do it.
- “I told you so” – For all of those naysayers in your life who think you can’t accomplish it.
- Financial investment — race entry fees aren’t cheap, so once I’ve signed up I’ve got to go!
- Set goals and reward yourself for meeting them. For me, being able to run a 5K without walking will be a huge accomplishment. When I complete that, I am going to treat myself to something I want, probably a new pair of jeans that actually fits well and flatters my form.
- Buy the appropriate gear. Make sure you have a good set of running shoes, clothing, socks, etc. If you try to run in your old pair of sneakers your feet are going to hurt and you aren’t going to want to run anymore. You don’t need to splurge on a $100 pair of shoes right away, but make sure your clothing is comfortable and won’t cause you pain!
What other ways do you suggest for keeping motivated?