Some days the repetitive motion of running can be meditative, but on others, it can be downright monotonous. Stale routines can lead to a loss of enthusiasm and cause you to bail out before reaching your goals. Many runners become less enchanted with their program from time to time, but focusing on the boredom can easily derail your efforts. Instead, change your mindset or distract yourself to stay motivated.
Set specific daily and weekly running goals, and map out a plan for reaching them. Working toward something with a purpose can help you to get motivated on those days when your heart and spirit just aren’t into it. Remember when you’re thinking of calling it quits early in your run that meeting today’s goals will allow you to reach tomorrow’s goals.
Change your running surface or route. Running on the same surface, such as track or a treadmill, week after week can become boring. Apply the same type of thinking to your route; following the same path or routine all the time can reduce the thrill and hamper your enthusiasm. Run outside once a week if you are primarily a treadmill exerciser; hit the local track, beach or park path.
Break your runs up, mentally, into small chunks. It’s likely going to be a tough session if you become bored or unmotivated in the first mile or 10 minutes, for example, of your run, especially if your goal is five, 10 or more miles. Cutting your run into small sections and focusing on one at a time can help you break through the monotony. Rather than thinking you have nine miles left to go, focus on just the mile you are currently running.
Ask a friend to be your running partner; along with keeping you company, a running partner can help you to stay motivated and on track with your running program. Choose a friend that enjoys running, has a schedule that matches yours and possesses a similar fitness level. A positive can-do attitude may also come in handy for those extra tough days when you have trouble even lacing up your sneakers.
Listen to your favorite energy-inducing music on your smart phone or portable audio player. Inspiring or high-energy songs can motivate you to keep going rather than throw in the towel. Consider also listening to motivational books, your favorite podcast or possibly the audio portion of your favorite TV show to keep yourself entertained. Stay aware of your surrounding area when wearing earphones.
Warm up at the start of your run and leave time to cool down and stretch at the end to protect your muscles; sore or tight muscles can add to a loss of enthusiasm.
Consult with your physician before starting or intensifying a running program.