When someone asked me the other day my mile-threshold for feeling good on a run, the point when I feel like I can just keep running, I didn’t have a set answer. Some days it’s one mile, other days it’s two or three, and sometimes, I never find it on a run. Runners, you know and love that feeling when everything falls into place; you find your cadence and rhythm, your legs glide along smoothly, and you feel as though you could run forever. Though, there are those days that it just doesn’t happen; your legs are heavy as lead, you struggle to catch your breath, and you feel like you’re running through molasses. You question why you’re even doing this and long for it to just end. Oh, the joys of running!
I can’t always count on the best feeling run, yet I still put in the effort to get outside and put one foot in front of the other; what then do I use for motivation?
Just a quick note, that this is a list of things, that after time, I’ve found works for me. I encourage you all to find your own source(s) of inspiration that motivates you to move forward. Sometimes these motivations to run can seem strange or silly, but if you’re still running, who’s to say they’re wrong?
My Motivation to Run
Goals. I typically set goals the week or day of a run, mostly in mileage. I tell myself I’m going to finish 3 or 5 miles before I can come home. I can’t say I’m the most self-disciplined person, so there are times I have to be militant with myself. And even if I take a lot of breaks or walk a bit, I still complete the goal. Boom.
This May, I’m running the Gixo 5K / 10K Race and in July, I’ll be running the Hood 25K Trail Race. My goals are to run and finish both before I can sit back and enjoy post-race margaritas after the Gixo 5K/10K and cider and lake time after the Hood 25K. Goals can be so arbitrary, but so worth it! #margaritamotivation
Runner’s high. It’s a beautiful thing if you ask me. My endorphins and mood are at an all-time high. I feel sweaty, accomplished, and even restored. Again, even if I slow down my pace, walk, or take breaks, I still feel that runner’s high by the end.
Speaking of slowing down, if you’re comparing yourself to all your speedy runner friends online or in real life, just read this note to “slow runners” instead because your pace does not determine whether or not you are a runner. Slower runners will feel the same effects, good and bad, as speedy runners. No shame in the slow game!
Looking for more benefits of running? Runner’s high isn’t the only benefit that will motivate you to run.
Carbs. Yep, carbs motivate me to run. They’re necessary as my running fuel, AND they taste so damn good after a long run. I always have ‘heart eyes’ for bread, ice cream, pizza, and potatoes and even more so after a run. And yes, I will indulge a little.
And sometimes a lot.
The weather. It rains at least 100 days a year in Portland, OR, not including all the grey days, so the moment the sun comes out, I immediately head for the door. If you’ve ever watched Portlandia, you have a slight idea of how we react when the sun finally comes out in Portland. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE has a smile on their face as they head to the park and waterfront, and it feels like the population doubled overnight. Hmm…
The social component. Possibly my biggest motivation to run (after carbs, duh) is running with friends. Ever since I started running again with my favorite Flex & Flow runners, I won’t miss out on a run date. It’s social AND sweat time. The miles just fly by when I’m chatting with a friend on a run. And whether we’re catching up, venting, talking about food, or running in silence, these run dates always bring me closer to a person.
I recently joined the virtual run club on the Gixo app and even though I’m technically running by myself, the coach is cheering me on and sending all the helpful run tips as I log my miles. I can also chat with fellow runners while I get after it. And at the end of class, we send around photos of our run spots and enjoy the runners’ views from all over the country, and sometimes, all over the world.
Competition. I’m all for a little friendly competition, especially if it’s a competition with myself. Problem is, it’s hard for me to compete with myself without any instruction or discipline. Bring on the Gixo coaches. From speedwork to endurance runs, the Gixo app and coaches set a goal pace for you to work towards based on your run pace. The app tells you when you’re behind your goal, and if you’re competitive like me, you push it even harder when you hear that. It’s always a challenge and it always motivates me to keep coming back to crush more goals.
Need even more motivation to run? Join me and so many others for the FREE Gixo 5K / 10K race training program and the Gixo 5K / 10K on May 5. It’s a perfect, supported, coached way to get moving, and keep moving! If you’re in Portland, OR, join me and the Flex & Flow runners on race day!
This post was sponsored by Gixo. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all the brands that support the Sweat Pink community!