If you’re new to running, feel like you are not making any progress, or just lack motivation, you’re not alone. Anyone who says they have never felt demotivated or lacked drive to hit the pavement and run isn’t being honest with themselves.
It’s totally fine to feel these emotions, and completely normal. What makes the difference is what you choose to do about it, and how you find ways to motivate yourself in the future.
Goals are undeniably the best motivating factor when it comes to self-improvement. You can measure and see any improvements and give yourself a reason to push harder – by setting realistic but difficult goals.
You need to find goals that work for you. Looking at the wider picture it’s an individual process. You will have to hold yourself accountable, and be the one pushing yourself (unless you have running partners of course).
To get you started, here are some suggestions that will help you with setting motivational running goals that work. So you can push and motivate yourself to reach new personal bests, and have more fun doing so.
Aim to Run Further Without Stopping
To become better at running and improve your fitness you need to push a little harder all the time. Use visual markers or record how far you can run without stopping. Then aim to beat this distance every time you go for a run. You don’t have to beat it by a mile each time, just push yourself to beat it.
Record Your Fastest Mile
This is a common goal shared among runners and a great benchmark to track improvements. Record your fastest mile. Then in a month, two months, whatever time you are comfortable with, see if you can beat your best time.
Compete in a Race
People push themselves harder when other people are also holding them accountable. This is the feeling you will get from registering to run a competitive race. I’m not suggesting you aim to win the race, although that would be nice. Just aim to give it 100%, that’s all you can ask of yourself.
Aim to Lose a Certain Amount of Weight in a Time Period
Fitness and weight loss are the main reasons people run. So set yourself a realistic and healthy goal to lose a certain amount of weight in a defined timespan. This is a great way to measure improvement, and you’ll feel and look great at the end of it. Remember to always keep well hydrated while running though.
Find a Running Partner
As previously mentioned, having someone else help with accountability is a huge motivating factor. You don’t want to let down your running partner, right? So turn up on the scheduled days, and keep up with them. Ideally, you will run with some of an equal level, and you will push each other.
Identify Why You Enjoy Running
If you’re out there running, you enjoy it. It’s easy to forget what it is that you enjoy about running, so think about it. Use this as a motivation, whether it’s being outdoors, or feeling fitter, whatever it is. Do more of what you enjoy and it will feel less of a chore and more of a fun pastime.
Change up the Scenery
Running the same paths and seeing the same sights all the time can be very demotivating. Find some interesting running trials and head off in the opposite direction next time you got for a fun. New scenery will keep you mentally more alert and make the run more interesting.
Set a Mix of Little and Large Goals
Little goals give you that sense of achievement on a regular basis that keeps you motivated. Larger goals can take a long time to achieve and it’s easy to go off track. So set a mix of both, the smaller wins will help you keep an eye on the main prize.
Hopefully some of these ideas will prove useful in helping you become a more motivated runner and someone who is constantly improving. Running should be fun, while helping you improve your fitness, allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors, and giving you some time to de-stress.