When your motivation wanes or if you have difficulty getting started, use these motivation tricks of the trade:
The Ten Minute Test Many runners, even those who love to run, find it difficult to get out the door some days. Try this trick. Instead of telling yourself that you have to run for your full time or distance, just give it a five or ten minute effort. It’s easier to motivate yourself to run for five or ten minutes than it is for thirty. And once you’re out and running you’ll likely want to continue your run. If you don’t, don’t sweat it. We all have bad days. At least you gave it the five or ten minutes you had. Journal and Track Your Runs Most running experts, personal trainers, and fitness enthusiasts share this bit of advice – track your workouts! Why? Tracking helps you see where you’ve been and where you want to go. It is motivating. For example, if you’re tracking your runs and you see that you are gradually increasing your pace it may motivate you to run a little faster and reach a new personal best. When you can see where you’ve been it helps you set bigger and better goals for your future. And writing down your runs hold you accountable. There’s also an information benefit. For example, many running journals offer room for notes. They ask about pace, distance, and perceived intensity level too. So you can write down how hard you worked, if your water bottle leaked, if you had side stitches or if your shoes were rubbing in a new location on your foot. All of this information can help you plan your runs and have a more enjoyable experience. Mobile Applications and Website In the age of the internet and mobile devices that can essentially organize your entire life you probably won’t’ be surprised to learn that there are websites and mobile applications that you can use. Some common ones include: MapMyRun This is a fun online tool that also has a mobile application. In addition to being able to log your runs and track vital information, it’s a nice tool to find good running routes in your community too. You can review courses based on length in your area. You can also add your own run, comment on other people’s runs and use the site to find friends, form online groups, and connect with other runners. LogMyRun This is an easy to use, and free, mobile application that provides a wealth of features including a weekly and monthly mileage average. Devices and Gadgets Technology has also come a long way. The old fashioned pedometer, while still a useful tool, has been replaced by accelerometers. These tools measure your steps and movement in three directions. They can also measure intensity and track your calories burned. They’re amazing data collection devices! While they can be expensive, ranging from a few Pounds to several hundred, if you’re motivated by data and are devoted to your new running program you may find them well worth the expense. Some of the most notable devices include (but are not limited to): FitBit The FitBit device was one of the first accelerometer devices. It tracks steps, calories burned and calories consumed. You clip it on your clothing and can wear it 24/7. It also tracks your quality of sleep. BodyMedia The BodyMedia devices are armbands that you also wear 24/7. Like the FitBit they track steps and calories. The BodyMedia fit also tracks intensity. Nike Fuel The Nike Fuel Band is a new device that tracks all of the same information that the FitBit and BodyMedia devices track. However, it also tracks something they call “Nike Fuel.” The “Fuel” component is a new concept and is likened to effort, intensity and quantity of movement. You earn fuel points the more you move. Most of these devices also have mobile applications and/or websites. You can log on and track the food you eat each day, the calories you’ve burned, the miles you’ve walked and much more. You can find our review of the Delvfire Pulse HR Fitness Tracker Activity Watch and Heart Rate Monitor HERE or the review of the Mpow iPhone Running Armband HERE In the next article we will give you another 3 motivational tips.