5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run

Despite the fact that running has been part of my life for a while now, there are still days when I feel like I have to “force” myself to run.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE running.  I love the feeling of finishing a great run, the way it encourages me to set goals and crush them and most of all, how therapeutic it is.  That feeling of freedom is like nothing else I can describe. 

However, there are also days when I lay in bed and question why the heck I took up running in the first place.  With my schedule, it allows little to now time to sleep in (especially on the weekends), the 4:45 wake up call always comes to early and sometimes, no amount of daylight can encourage me to get out the door.  

That being said,  I rarely let those little voices of doubt in my head win.  Sure, there are times when I end up rearranging my schedule to make my running days work for me but mostly I stick to it and make it happen.  Not to brag but I actually tend to be a pretty self-motivating person, that could be just because I am goal driven or maybe because I’m a bit more A-Type than others.  

Whatever the case, I figured I’d share some of the tips that keep me going and stay motivated to run on a daily basis. 

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run

Buy a new pair of running shoes. 

This might sound cliché but whenever I drop a bunch of dough on running shoes, I tend to make the time and effort to actually take them out for a run.  I’m serious.  And any seasoned runner will tell you that a new pair of shoes will also help get them out the door even on the gloomiest of days. 

Make a motivating playlist. 

Seems kinda obvious but a kick-butt playlist really can be the key to help get your butt into gear.  I know that it’s true for me whenever I spend hours perfecting a playlist that it always encourages me to lace up and pound some pavement.  Maybe it’s because I’m a mom and crave the sound of something other than Dora on repeat but I’m gonna venture to guess that some new tunes will get you out the door too! 

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Find a running buddy. 

I used to be a lone-wolf runner.  I’d see all these insta-runners on the ‘gram talking about their running buddies and I’d silently smirk at the fact that I didn’t need anybody but me.  Well, a few years into my running journey and I found out how wrong I was.  As part of my studio I decided to start a running club and I have to say that they are the single most reason for motivating me to get on the door on a snowy Saturday morning.  Without them, I guarantee that most of my training miles would be spent on the treadmill which is honestly more punishment than pleasure after like 6 miles, ugh.

Set up a reward system. 

Another tip that might sound silly but I swear actually works, I think of my fuel as a reward system when I run.  For instance, on longer runs, I tend to fuel with two chew every two miles.  Those little mouthfuls of sweetness push me to get through one mile at a time.  

On a bigger scale,  I am ALWAYS thinking about food, what I am going to refuel with or that epsom salt bath with the glass of wine I get to celebrate with after a weekend long run.  Whatever your “poison” or pleasure, use it to remind yourself that the hard work is worth all the effort in the end. 

Sign up for a destination race.

Another big way to make yourself go for a run? Register for a destination race.  I don’t know about you but committing myself to run a race that involves time, money and travel certainly motivates me to run.  

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On the days that are dreary and cold, I remind myself that I will soon be racing in a place that is warmer, more scenic and worth all the effort I am putting in.  

One race in particular that has been on my radar is the Utah Valley Marathon in June.  Not only is the course incredibly breathtaking but it’s also designed to go gently downhill meaning you can take in the sights during the 26.2 mile journey. 

Marathon not your thing? They also offer a half marathon, 10k, 5k and kid’s run so that they entire family can enjoy the experience. 

While I probably won’t make it all the way out to Utah this year, the race is certainly on my bucket list given it’s fast, scenic route.  

If you happen to check it off your list before me, be sure to use my code FFM15 to save 15%! 

Utah Valley Marathon

Any tips or tricks that I missed? How to you motivate yourself to go for a run when you just aren’t feeling it? 


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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!


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Lisa @ Mile by Mile
Reply February 15, 2017

These are great tips! I also remind myself how it feels when I cant run, I try to shift my thinking to "I GET to run today" instead of thinking of it as something that I have to do.

Reply February 15, 2017

ahhhh I need this today as Im already scheming in my head how NOT do to my long long run/walk on monday.
I need a buddy AND SOME MUSIC.

Susie @ Suzlyfe
Reply February 15, 2017

Running in Utah would be awesome! I motivate myself by knowing I won't be able to do it much longer. Also, brunch.

angela @ happy fit mama
Reply February 15, 2017

Finding new running buddies have definitely motivated me to run different distances and terrain. It's so fun!

Reply February 15, 2017

I definitely need help with motivation. I'm so over winter!

jill conyers
Reply February 15, 2017

A race or a buddy (or both) always does the trick to kick my motivation in gear. That's for all workouts.

Have a great Wednesday Annmarie!

Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner
Reply February 15, 2017

For me, having my group for accountability and socialization is what gets me motivated. Seems like everyone is doing this Utah marathon!
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted...How To Get The Most From Your Spin ClassMy Profile

Kimberly G
Reply February 15, 2017

A new playlist always gets me pumped to run outside!

Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home
Reply February 15, 2017

I've finally succumbed to the run buddy thing and it's really great! I look forward to running with the group. It helps break up the monotony of training as well. Great tips here.

Reply February 15, 2017

Aw, I hope you make it to Utah! There will be so many bloggers there it will be like a blogging convention!

Great tips. New shoes are a great motivator for me. As is being injured...I can't wait to get out there and run again (though I wouldn't recommend that method to anyone)!
Debbie recently posted...Are you an Injured Runner? Here are 6 Tips to Stay Fit (and Sane)My Profile

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply February 15, 2017

Such great motivation! That Utah race looks gorgeous. My summer schedule is already way too busy, but this loooks like a great race to do sometime.

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
Reply February 15, 2017

That feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction after each run is what motivates me on days I don't want to run.

Michelle @ Fruition Fitness
Reply February 15, 2017

These are all great! Motivation is half the battle!!

Jen @ pretty little grub
Reply February 15, 2017

Great tips. One I would add is get a coach! Having accountability to a running coach really motivates me to get my workouts done.

Patricia @Sweet and Strong
Reply February 15, 2017

These are great tips. I love running with a buddy, I always find that I can run so much further when I have someone with me to talk to or motivate me. And I was literally thinking about maybe trying to do a destination race with my sisters. Any other destination suggestions?

Janelle @ Run With No Regrets
Reply February 15, 2017

These are all great ways to be motivated! I am on the fence about the Utah race...I love that photo of the course, it looks amazing!
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Reply February 15, 2017

#1 always works for me! or even just new gear... I've got to go run and test it out!

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply February 15, 2017

What I really need to do is make myself a training plan. I'm just making it up right now, so I have no motivation to stick to it - even though I have two half marathons coming up...

Reply February 15, 2017

Signing up for a race is a great way to stay motivated to run! I don't really have a problem with getting out for runs..it's the swims I struggle with. But my desire to not die during a triathlon is a really good motivator to get up and go ;)

Jamie King
Reply February 15, 2017

Great tips for run-spiration. I know I need them with all of this RAIN as of late!

Kimberly Hatting
Reply February 15, 2017

I used to do all of my runs solo, and it worked great. Then, a few years ago, a local friend and I started going to races together...which evolved into doing a lot of our training runs together. I still do a lot of running by myself, but the bulk of my long runs are with her now ;-)

Reply February 17, 2017

Great tips here! I find the playlist option helps me the most!

Atim at EffiFit
Reply February 18, 2017

Great tips! I like the one about signing up for a race.

PS I live in Utah! I hear good things about Utah Valley Marathon. Maybe there's a 5k at that race I can do :)

Mary Beth Jackson
Reply February 20, 2017

They are all great tips! I get up at the same time every morning so if it is not a running morning well that is a little extra coffee time to myself :)

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