A great motivation technique is to set running goals for yourself so that you can monitor your progress on a weekly or monthly basis. As you are able to see your progress, your enthusiasm for running will soar.
Listed below are some specific goals setting tips:
In order to stimulate your motivation, you need to be specific with your goal setting. Instead of saying you are going to set a personal best in a 10K road race, set a goal to improve on your personal best by 15 seconds in the next six months.
Complacency and an attitude of “I’ll work on that later” will set in if your deadline for achieving your goal is not defined. Add a sense of urgency to your goal by adding a specific time frame and watch your motivation skyrocket!
Your running goals should be achievable and challenging at the same time. An unrealistic goal will kill motivation but a goal that is too easily obtained will lead to boredom.
Writing down your goals creates your road map to success. Although just the act of writing them down can set the process in motion, it is also extremely important to frequently review your goals. Remember, the more focused you are on your running goals the more likely you are to accomplish them.
Develop a plan of action to achieve your running goals and then just do it! By taking the time to decide on the specific steps needed to achieve your goals, you increase your motivation and your chances of success. The final step is to get out there and work your plan.
Keep a training log of each run. Record times, distances, time of day, weather, your pulse rate, progress toward goals and any other statistic or aspect of your running you might find valuable. A training log allows you to monitor your progress and learn from your mistakes. Many runners regularly review their training logs to look at the work they’ve done in the past to provide motivation for the future.
Run with a compatible training partner or running group. Finding others to run with, makes time fly, provides accountability, builds friendships, and provides mutual motivation on those days when you or your partner(s) just “don’t feel like it.”
Sustained motivation is key to achieving your potential. One way to keep your motivation high is to find out what fires you up, and then surround yourself with it. Examples include: posters, quotes, photos, inspiring literature, biographies of successful runners, running books, running magazines, and videos. Place your “mental stimuli” where you can see it every day. Remember, as a man thinks, so he is.
Doing the same workout day after day leads to boredom and burnout. Alter your workout routine by incorporating some or all of the following:
Challenge yourself by adding some speed or hill repeats to your workout.
Being creative with your workout will add new life to your running.
At some point, you just won’t be able to beat the clock any longer. All runners eventually reach the point where they aren’t going to get any faster. To avoid discouragement and possibly even quitting the sport, cultivate new running goals. Decide to complete a specific number of races a year or to complete a longer distance race. Whatever you determine, keep your running fresh, challenging, and new by setting some non-time related goals.
To add a boost of motivation, incorporate some cross training in your workout routine. There are many other activities, other than running, that can increase your strength, flexibility, and aerobic conditioning. Mix in some cycling, swimming, in-line roller skating, hiking, cross-country skiing, or weight training.
Stop by a running store on a regular basis to pick up a race application, running accessory, new running magazine, or the latest running book. Your motivation to run will be lifted when you put yourself in an environment that supports your goals. Running stores thrive on people who love to run. They are thrilled to answer your questions, give suggestions, and discuss your training.
Want to increase your motivation and feel the adrenaline of competition? Enter an occasional fun, local race. The spill-over effect will keep you motivated for weeks afterward and may even spur you on to enter even more races!
Rewards can be a powerful motivator. When you do succeed, make sure to do something nice for yourself. Many runners who have reached their goal treat themselves to some tangible reward: a new running shirt, a sports watch, a meal at a nice restaurant, or a special trip. The ideas are limited only by your imagination.
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