When it comes to running, staying motivated is a perennial problem. It is always tempting to skip the running schedule a day here and a day there. Once this habits sets in it does not stop with days. It extends to weeks and may even lead to giving up the habit of running altogether. There are many factors which prompt an individual to skip running altogether. The usual excuses include boredom, muscle soreness and lack of time. All these factors can be addressed.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals goes a long way in nurturing and enhancing the habit of running. Select a race. It may be a marathon or a 10k run or even a 5k run. Aim to participate in it. Practice, keeping it in mind. This motivates you enough to stay on track.
Once you start participating in running events, set the time limit as a target. For example, if you are able to complete a particular race within 35 minutes, next time when you participate in that race ensure that your aim is to complete the same within 33 seconds.
After a while you start feeling that you have reached a peak in a particular event and that you cannot run faster. Now, it is high time you shift to an event of a longer distance and follow the same approach. This helps you in keeping up your motivation high all the time.
Finally, make it a point to participate in short distance running races. This is the best motivating factor for a runner to stay focussed all the time and never loose interest in running.
Variety also Helps One in Staying Motivated
Adding variety to your daily running schedules also helps you stay motivated. Some runners always prefer to run laps on a track. Some runners like to run only through neighbouring streets. This type of mindset is not at all helpful. Because running consistently through a particular terrain makes the runner efficient in that particular terrain. At the same time it takes a toll on the overall efficiency of the runner. Due to muscle adaptability, a sort of a plateau sets in with no scope for further improvement.
So, vary time, distance and speed of your course of running. Change your terrain at least occasionally. Do it by running on trails containing a series of hills or hillocks. Make sure that the changed surroundings not only interest you but more importantly challenge the runner in you.
Peer Support is a Great Motivating Factor
As far as possible avoid running alone. Always run with a friend. The very feeling that someone out there is waiting for you motivates you to proceed with your running schedule. Involve yourself in friendly chats. Also, having small friendly races encourages healthy competition and goes a long way in pepping up your interest in running.
Cross Training Keeps up your Interest in Running
Taking some time off for Cross training (a physical exercise different from running) helps you a great deal in staying on course. Once in a while taking an off, say a week for every two month period will help in keeping your interest intact. During this period ride a bike or go for swimming. This is the best method for retaining your interest in running. Remember, running is too valuable an exercise for you to give a miss to it.