As much as I love running, talking about running, reading about running, and anything else that has to do with running, I do have a problem staying motivated to run when I don’t have a race on my schedule.
Now, I don’t mean that I lose all motivation to run, but the odds of me going for a 10+ miler when I don’t have any pressing reason to run that far are a lot less when I’m not prepping for a race.
And that is the exact reason that I always try to have a race on my calendar. But let’s be honest, between work, family, and other obligations, always having a race to chase isn’t always practical.
So today, I want to offer a couple of suggestions that I use for staying motivated to run even when I don’t have a race on the calendar.
My Tricks for Staying Motivated to Run When I Don’t Have a Race Scheduled
- Time Off/Cross Train: I know this doesn’t quite sound like the kind of advice to help you keep running when you’re not feeling motivated, but I want to address the problem from a slightly different angle. Sometimes, taking a break from running will help you rekindle the spark that helps you get out of bed at 4:30 on a Saturday morning to go for a long run before the rest of the family wakes up, even though you don’t have a race to be preparing for. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder, and a little time away from running isn’t the worst thing. But don’t just veg out, make sure you’re doing some cross training as well to maintain your cardio levels so you’re ready when you hit the pavement again.
- Run with Others: If you’re not already running with other people, I can’t recommend running with others enough! It’s a great way to help you get out of bed at 4:30 on a Saturday morning to go for a long run, because you know others are going to be waiting for you. Plus, having others to help push you to run farther/faster/do different types of workouts is a great way to keep things fresh as well.
- Work with a Running Coach: There are so many benefits of working with a running coach, and the accountability factor is a huge one! Knowing that you’re paying someone to tell you what to do/check up on you after the fact can be a great motivating factor. And working with a coach doesn’t have to be a big expense either! At the moment this post goes live, I’m putting together a group that I’ll be calling the Coterie, which will be a very unique training group, that will be able to provide many of the same benefits of working one-on-one with a virtual coach at a fraction of the price. (If you’d like more details on the Coterie, please send me a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP.)
- Sign Up for a Race: To me, this is the most obvious answer. Races are way more fun than just training, but I also understand that running too many races can get a bit pricey. But remember, you don’t have to just sign up for “big” races. Many cities and towns regularly have local races, and even a 5k or 10k on the calendar can help you get out of bed at 4:30 on a Saturday morning to get your run in for the day.
This is just a small list of options for staying motivated to run, especially if you don’t have a race on the calendar.
But I know there are other means of motivation out there, and I’d love to hear what motivates you to keep running when you don’t have a race to look forward to! Do me a favor, and add your tips/tricks into the comments at the bottom of the post!
And feel free to press play below, where I’ll be adding a little more info to this post in today’s quick tip podcast episode.
This Quick Tip episode is sponsored by the Runner Problems: Plantar Fasciitis video series. Click here to get an A-to-Z look at Plantar Fasciitis, including how to alleviate the symptoms and make sure they never come back again!