One question I'm asked frequently is, how do you get yourself to run so much? I usually just say, "I don't know" but that's not the truth. The truth is that it's hard but my smart and rationale brain knows that the hard will pay off in the end. That doesn't mean it comes naturally -- no sirreee.
So, how do you motivate yourself when running is the last thing you want to do? There are several things and it took me years to get them down. But, I promise, the end result -- heck, the middle result -- of a run is always worth it.
My 7 Rituals For Running When You Are Unmotivated
1. Put on your running clothes. If you do nothing else, this action will probably be the make or break of your running success for the day. Make no promises to yourself. You don't have to run if you put them on -- but just do it -- put them on.
2. Drink a glass of ice water. I know that tired, sluggish feeling. I had it today. The one where you feel like walking up a flight of stairs would be like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is only temporary. I promise. Drinking a glass of ice water will help to start unthawing your sluggishness.
3. Splash water on your face. I do it every morning to wake up whether I'm running or not. It's a great idea for when you need some pump in your spirit to get out the door.
4. Start moving. I like to to do side twists. First of all, they feel good on your back and if you're like me, you imagine them toning the sides of your abs. Do like 25 and your blood will start pumping.
5. Stretch. Do some butterfly stretches, calf raises or other easy, no heavy breathing, or even comfortable stretches that your body likes. No pressure here, right?
6. Make a new playlist. Your playlist is old news, get a new one! I often realize I haven't downloaded any of the latest Top 40 music so I got to the Top 40 and find the songs I've been loving on the radio but haven't yet added. I then download & make a great playlist.
7. Think long term. Rationally consider how the run will be beneficial for you immediately and for the rest of the day. Energy levels stay high and endorphins soar in a way nothing else can make them. Promise yourself you only have to run one mile and walk the rest. Guarunteed you will want to run more!
I wanted to prove that I DO have these feelings! Sometimes when I get up in the morning I wonder how I do it so often. And on Saturdays or Sundays, it's harder because I often hang around until I "feel" like running -- which often never comes. It's not about burning calories (though that's an added benefit) -- it's about breathing, believing and reaching your optimal place for the day.
I always have the idea to do a video when I'm sitting in my pajamas without make up on. I've gotta get these ideas once I look a little more awake & alive but for now...bear with me :)
After this video, I ran through my rituals and got myself outside. To be honest, even once I was outside, I struggled. It was starting to rain and I wasn't sure I could stomach a long 7 on the treadmill. I walked back to the house for a minute. No, this was not going to stop me.
I opened my apartment's gate and took my first stride. No pressure, no speed needs, just a slow gallop. Three miles in, when "Suddenly I See" came on, I was speeding around corners and loving the cold weather which now felt glorious. So worth it.
It's the same feeling you have after you sit around all day waiting for the best cleaning company NYC has to offer to just show up and clean your whole house while you watch. Then once you get over that fantasy and just clean you feel incredibly accomplished looking around such a clean house!