I admit it – some days I just want to crawl back in bed rather than put on 5000 layers and head out the door or find a way to run indoors. I’m tired of grey skies and icy paths and running an entire run without ever getting warm. Intellectually, I KNOW that winter will end and in a few short months I’ll be cursing the heat, but right now it feels like it will be cold forever.
So, for Tuesdays on the Run today, Patty, April, and I want to talk motivation. How do you keep it when the weather sucks, and life is getting in the way, and you really just want to crawl back in bed? As a bonus, we have Ashley from TwynMawrMom cohosting. Make sure you head over to her blog and see what she has to say. Meanwhile, here are my tips for keeping motivated when the urge to hibernate is strong.
- Remember your “why” – It doesn’t necessarily have to be your “why” for running, just your “why” for this particular run. Perhaps it’s a key run in your training plan or you have a particular outfit you want to wear. Whatever. I’m a firm believer that anything can be a great motivator if that’s what works for you in that moment.
- Harness the doubters in your life – We all have them. Use them. If the thought of proving them wrong gets you out the door, you win.
- Break the workout into pieces – The thought of running 64 laps on an indoor track did not excite me at all. So, I broke each mile into 16 half laps and focused on running a steady pace for each half lap. At the end of each mile, I let myself stop and get a drink of nuun as a reward. This broke up my workout into approximately 10 minute chunks and each time I knew I could manage 1o minutes. Tell yourself you are only have to run for x minutes, but keep doing x minutes as many times as it takes to hit your goal.
- Dial a friend – Get a friend to run part or all of your workout with you. Or if they can’t, use a headset and chat with them while you are running. As long as you aren’t working on speedwork, this will let you get a workout in and catch up with a friend.
- Dress to impress – Put on a cute outfit and go work out someplace where you’ll be seen. Sometimes feeling good about yourself is all the motivation you need to treat your body well.
- Treat yourself – I’ve been known to run an entire run fantasizing about the decadent snack I’m going to have afterwards. I’m like “ooh, I’m going to go get my favorite Thai, wait, no, pizza, no, Starbucks, no, I’ll have…” Oddly enough, by the time I’m done running, I’m just as happy with a healthy meal 90% of the time
- Find a mantra – My favorite to get me out the door is “Suck it up, buttercup”. Once I’m running, I have all sorts of random things I say to myself – “Just keep pickin’ ’em up and puttin’ ’em down”, “You only have to have one more block in you” (repeat endlessly LOL), “you got this”, etc. Sometimes I even sing “Bottles of beer on the wall”. I know, I’m weird. We all have our quirks.
- Run for bragging rights – Sometimes, being able to say “yeah, I’m bada$$, I did it” is enough to get me out the door (don’t make stupid or dangerous choices just to be a bada$$ though). Other times, knowing that what I’m training for is pretty bada$$ makes even the most mundane run feel important. Those mundane runs are the building blocks of bada$$, after all.
- Just do it – Sometimes nothing is going to make you *want* to exercise. Most of us have those days when the thought of putting on our running shoes and getting out there seems insurmountable. We’ve pulled out all of our motivators and we still just don’t want to do it. Just go. Get in that first 10 minutes. 9 times out of 10, if you can get out the door and get moving (or get on the treadmill or jump in the pool…), you’ll finish your workout. And if you don’t, well, something is better than nothing and at least you gave it the old college try. Tomorrow is another day.
Sometime in the next 3 days, I need to run two half marathons, which means I need to dig deep and find my motivation and get myself out there. I may not love it, but I will do it. And someday, the weather will be pleasant again and I’ll actually run because I want to.
[inlinkz_linkup id=497297 mode=1]
45 thoughts on “Tips to get moving when your motivation has left the building…”
Great advice!! Sometimes thinking of the haters can be a motivator lol, I know it is when I’m at work LMAO!
Haha! It’s all about dressing for success, right? Good luck on those 2 halfs! I can’t wait to hear all about it.
Great tips! It has been SO difficult for me to stay motivated this winter, but honestly signing up for winter races has been the only thing keeping me running. Otherwise I would just be doing other gym stuff!
I love the bit about dressing for success! Sometimes that’s all I need, is to actually put on my running gear! It helps me WANT to get out the door, I also LOVE thinking about someone seeing me in my cute running gear…silly? Maybe, but it works! I was so excited this Saturday to run my long run on a new route in my new Champion bright neon yellow jacket. It works, dressing to impress! 🙂
I have been pretty good about getting myself on the treadmill this winter but I have not been able to motivate myself to run outside. It’s been so cold (-25 with wind chill today) and we have so much snow that it’s not worth it to me to risk frostbite or a twisted ankle. I’m dreaming of April! These are great tips. I especially love dreaming of a decadent reward for powering through 🙂
As I’m now on day #7 of being off of work because of snow, this was a great post! 🙂 Is it spring yet????
Its always super important to remember why you started running. I also find being registered for a race to be super helpful in keeping me motivated. If I have a goal in mind, its much easier for me to get out the door and get moving.
Sadly races don’t really motivate me – I’ve run tons not quite trained enough and been fine. Oops.
I did the whole “crawl back into bed” far too often when I started working. Knowing how out of shape I got keeps me going. I hated it and I hated not having my release for stress and anxiety. I always feel better after working out.
Remembering your why and breaking the workout into pieces are key for me. That paired with the fact that my bathroom pipes freeze in the winter (leaving me with no toilet or shower in my apartment) – that’ll drive you to the gym (aka a place to take a hot shower) really quickly!
How the heck does one keep track of 64 laps? I’m sure I’d lose count if I tried to do it in my head. Now that is total badassery.
One mile at a time. I did 8 and was like ok, one mile done. Then did 8 more.
I’m such a huge baby. Here in TX we currently have ice but it doesn’t hang around for long so I MAYBE have to do a week of treadmill. For you it’s a way of life! Such mental and physical toughness, seriously. Hang in there. Spring has to come eventually right??
Please, let it come soon…
Oh I needed to read this post RIGHT NOW. I’m sitting here in my running clothes dreading getting on the treadmill. Thanks so much for these tips and motivation. I’m ready to “knock it out” now…sort of. Yay!
You got this!
Great tips. Right now my motivation is coming from the shows I’m binge watching. I get so excited to see the next episode that I WANT to go run on the treadmill just so I can watch it!
I really wished I liked watching tv or movies. I just get so bored and it doesn’t help with the treadmill boredom.
Love this post! Great tips to follow. Sometimes, you just have to “do it”, like you say 🙂
I love and need this read today… I have been in a motivation funk lately. I think my favorite advice was to find a mantra. I am just as quirky as you are because I say many of the things you say and many others to myself when I’m out on a run.
I like the idea of calling a friend on an easy run! I usually run with my mom but sometimes have to go alone. I mean, I huff and puff pretty hard on runs even if they’re easy though but sounds like a good way to catch up with friends too! Or maybe my mom and I run at the same time and call each other lol!
I love the dress to impress point. I always feel better and more motivated if I am styling in cute workout clothing. Oh and I always have a goal race in mind 🙂
I was definitely thinking of posting about ‘breaking it up’! Sometimes it comes down to mailbox to mailbox, or lap-by-lap…”Ill run one mile then walk one” turns into “I’ll run one half mile then walk one half mile” LOL…but it gets done!! 🙂 Thanks again for having me co-host!!!
YES! I needed the motivation today. Thank you!
lol, i have also sung 99 bottles of beer on the wall to myself while running in misery. lol. crazy runner things. good tips, though. sometimes you just gotta convince yourself to get out the dang door!
Good to hear I’m not the only crazy one LOL.
Starbucks is an excellent motivating treat! Good luck on the two half distances within 3 days. THAT will make you a bada$$.
Totally didn’t manage it. Cello combined with weather got in the way. Oh well, next week I’ll be running again.
You are so right about the treat! I motivate myself with cookies and yet usually want fruit by the time I get home. 🙂
I usually crave meat afterwards. Guess my body needs the protein not the chocolate LOL.
SUCH GREAT TIPS.
here it is all all all about the PHONE A FRIEND.
Great Read! I love the motivation for now and the point about the ‘doubters’. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get busy!
These are all great tips! It seems EVERYONE on the East Coast needs an extra dose of motivation…this winter has been brutal!
Indeed. Another snow day here today…
Thanks for this post. I’m having a hard time going for a run at the moment. I still run, it’s hard to get myself out the door. So thanks for the tips.
Yes! Great tips!! Oh how I have used some of these many times lately! 🙂
Great tips! I definitely like the bragging right, oh you ran 13 miles on at treadmill-well you are amazing! lol. The doubters are also definitely great motivators, when someone says I can’t I switch right to yes i can!
Yes. I’m so motivated by people’s responses LOL.
Bragging rights are SUCH a big motivator. Telling people about my crazy mileage and seeing the look on their faces is sometimes all it takes to get out the door (or on the treadmill) in those early morning hours when I want to be sleeping. I also like the “harness your doubters” That’s something I’ve been doing recently. I can so prove that I can do what I want to do by working hard for it. Thanks for a great post!
Totally love that look “you ran how many miles in what degrees???”
Great tips! And you’re right; sometimes you just have to suck it up and get your workout in. I normally find that if I just make myself work out, I find that I really wanted to all along. Treating myself definitely works too, especially after long runs. 🙂
Yep, I’m usually good if I can just get out there.
Isn’t it strange when your motivation is high, you’re feeling great and everything is going fine and then out of no where the mojo is gone. How does that happen.
Umm, yeah, no mojo here today. Good thing I had to shovel snow.
I really needed to read this, thank you! It has been so cold here it feels like every workout has been a struggle. Even my gym is cold when I get there in the morning.
I can’t wait for the Spring.