Are you in a motivation slump? Finding that “it’s good for my health! I’ll feel better for having done it!” isn’t quite the starter pistol that you need?
A little help can go a long way when you’re trying to get out the door. Here are three great motivators for getting back on track, and back on the track.
Add Some Story
Maybe your playlist has gotten boring and you can’t be bothered jazzing it up. It’s hard to stay inspired when you’re digging through your music library for the right tracks.
Try a different tactic: get an app that’ll keep you entertained as you run. There are plenty of choices out there. A favourite of mine is Zombies Run, but there are plenty of alternatives out there. You could even go Pokémon hunting if you’re into a bit of Pokémon Go, but it doesn’t have the narrative qualities of something like ZR.
The beauty of having a serialised story is that you’ll find yourself wanting to get back out the door to find out what happens next.
Podcasts are also an ideal way of keeping yourself entertained. They give you much greater variety than story-based running apps, but they tend not to be designed with running in mind, so they have less tailored functionality.
Make it an Adventure
Once you’ve run a route a hundred times, it tends to get stale. Every corner is expected, every hill the same old chore. Next time you’re going out, make a vow to yourself to turn right instead of left, or go straight on instead of turning back. Head out into the unknown. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” after all.
My favourite 10k route is through a spooky forest with a ruined building in the centre, and I’d never have found it if I didn’t wander off the path.
Go Early, Or Late
It’s always more fun to go running when it feels like you’re the only one out there, so go when nobody else is around. Head out and see the world before most people have woken up, or after they’ve gone to bed.
The experience is more meditative and contemplative when your route is free of people to bump into or vehicles to watch out for. It’s a much quieter world, free of social and work obligations.
Morning runs are especially great, setting you up for the day with a rush of endorphins and a feeling of having accomplished something before most people are even out of bed.
It’s much easier to go for a run in the morning when you prepare everything beforehand, so get your water bottle and running clothes laid out the night before.
So there you go: a few things to try if imagining the finish line is leaves you feeling exhausted rather than inspired. Now get going!