Running, Ways to Stay Motivated!

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Running is one of the best and most enjoyable ways to continue working out after you get out of high school and college. It can be one of the least expensive as well, due to the fact that essentially all you need is a pair of running shoes, shorts, t-shirt, socks, and a place to run. I have been running off and on for the past twelve years, and at times have struggled to stay motivated. Throughout this hub, I am going to give you some tips that might help keep you motivated so you will continue to run and stay fit.

Tip #1: Track Your Results!

One of the best ways I have found to continue to be motivated is to find a way to track your progress. The great thing about running is there are several things you can track to find some form of progress. I am a very competitive person and running gives me an opportunity to continue competing against people. One way that I track my progress is by time. I coach basketball in the winter and do not have a whole lot of time to devote to my running, so each spring it is almost like starting from scratch. I usually start with a 5k distance, time myself, record it, and then spend the next several months trying to see how fast I can get my time down to. My wife on the other hand is not a competitive person. She tracks her progress by how much weight she loses and the inches she drops around her waist. If you really want to get technical, you can buy a watch with a heart monitor. I recently purchased one in February. It will track how many calories and fat grams I have burned in a workout. I have been tracking it during the month of March and burned over 12,000 calories, and around 450 grams of fat. I have now set the bar for April and will be trying to burn even more. Motivation is the ultimate key when trying to sustain working out. If you don't have a reason to do it, then you won't. I always liked the quote below:

"Remember the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running."
-Sarah Condor

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Tip # 2: Enter Races!

I love to enter races. I am a very competitive person and you can enter them for around $15 in advance and usually $25 on race day for a 5k. It allows me an opportunity to participate in a sporting event, and not have to have a team of people with me. I use to play in basketball league, but it is hard to get that many people to show up and practice together so you don't go and get killed. Running is a total individual sport. You get out of it, what you put into it. Another thing I like about races is that most give out awards to several participants. You don't have to be the absolute best runner there to take home some hardware. You just have to be one of the best in your age group. When you have worked really hard and get rewarded with a medal or a trophy for finishing in the top three in your age group, it can still give you a sense of accomplishment. My seven year old son is always telling me before I go to the race, "Dad, you need to win that medal so I can wear it." That is enough motivation for me to work and try as hard as I can so he will be proud of me, and I can have a chance to be one of his heroes. Running in races can also do more than get you awards. It can give you an opportunity to meet people in which you share common interests. I have met several people and we all get together at least once a week to go for a run. That is how you can get into several running clubs. They do wonders to motivate you. The guys always give me a hard time when I don't show up. I get phone calls and emails wondering why I didn't make it to the work out. Motivation is the key and races can help you with this problem.

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Tip #3: Get Your Family Involved!

One huge motivation factor is to get the rest of your family into running. It is something that you can all do together, and it is wonderful to show your kids the importance of being physically fit. It also allows my wife and I to spend some quality time together. Sometimes we go a pace where we can have a conversation, or we speed it up and when we are done we talk about the great work out. If you have small kids, you can easily bring them along for a run. They make a wide variety of running strollers that are safe to push on most terrains. If you kids are older, they can get involved with the races as well. My seven year old son is going to compete in his first race every this year. The local 5k race is also host a smile mile for all kids fourteen and under. He is very excited and ready to roll. We have ran twice together and he has seemed to really enjoy it. Getting your entire family involved with running will not only keep them healthy and in shape, but will provide you with more of that special family time that it is so hard to work in each day. That is motivation enough for me to keep lacing up the sneakers everyday. I hope his hub does the same for you.

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Comments 14 comments

indieswebs profile image

indieswebs 4 years ago from Bhavnagar, India

You Motivate me to run again...

I also find running motivated but couldn't get out of bed as have to work late at night but i always imagine in future, i'll be running everyday.


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

It can be tough to find time to get a good run in every day. Even if you just run on the weekends, it is a good start. Thanks for the comment, and I am glad the hub motivated you.


Veganrunner profile image

Veganrunner 4 years ago from Katy, Texas

Excellent tips!


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

Thanks Veganrunner!


Tony Flanigan profile image

Tony Flanigan 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

Motivation - always boils down to how much work there is. Terry and I work from home as freelancers, and it boils down to "no work, no money", so, there is always that little niggle. We have gotten our "training" kind of organized, with a few 3.6km runs a week, and we try to enter at least one race a month.

My times are pretty shoddy (77min 10km personal best), but I totally enjoy the whole experience. Your 3 Tips are spot on - Terry's 2 sons have joined us for a few races, and the elder of the two has great potential.

Voted up.


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

I am glad you think my tips are spot on. Your friend Terry must be excited that he has been able to get his sons to run. I am working on my son. He has ran a mile with me a few times, but we have not tried any longer distances. He is going to run in the race I am participating in this weekend. I will run a 5k and he will compete in what they call, "The Smile Mile." It is a great opportunity for him to see if he likes it or not. Plus he will get a medal and t-shirt for participating. He will be most excited about getting a medal. Thanks again for the comment.


Tony Flanigan profile image

Tony Flanigan 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

:) um, Terry is actually a Teresa. Her eldest son is 14, and did a 10km this past Saturday in 49:46. With better coaching he will be unstoppable in a few years time. I feel it's important, especially for children, to let them "grow" into their ideal distance. For myself, I'll enter anything, I'm too stupid to know when to stop. :)


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

Wow, a 49.46 at 14 years old. That is really good. I totally agree with you on the distance thing. I just want my son to enjoy running and not see it as a punishment. I am trying to increase my distance. I usually stay around the 5k or 10k range, but this year I would like to knock out a half marathon.


Tony Flanigan profile image

Tony Flanigan 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

This year I started with a 5km, have done 2 10km's, a 15km, with another 15km early in May, and then my personal challenge, I did the Surfers Marathon in February. The Surfers is 17.6km, a tough course set along the ocean front here in East London.

My game plan (?) is to stick with max 15km this year, and then to toss in a few 21km's next year. Unfortunately not as fit as I'd like, nor as young, so, I do have to be just a tad cautious.


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

I totally understand the not as young as you use to be. I just turned 32 and it is not getting any easier to get back into shape. I usually take the entire winter off because I coach basketball. In the spring it is like starting from scratch again. It is getting hard and hard each year. My times also do not come down nearly as fast as they use to. It has been a struggle this year, but I am getting it under control now.


Tony Flanigan profile image

Tony Flanigan 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

:) I've just turned 52, and the last time I ran was a 7km on tar, which I did barefoot. That was 30 years ago! My time was 42min. Fortunately we can run throughout the year, as our winter is barely a winter. The school Terry's boys are at started with basketball last year. All I know about basketball is what I see in magazines and online.


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

I have never tried running barefoot. They have all these minimalist shoes for sale now. I have one pair they say is similar to running barefoot, but they still have some padding. I also hope I am still running with I am 52. I am struggling to stay at it at 32.


LauraGT profile image

LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

Great hub, and all great tips. I love running to music and have finally nailed down a playlist that keeps me going through all my workouts. I also love the idea of running with the kids. We've had multiple jog strollers throughout the years, and hopefully my kids can join in the running themselves soon.


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

LauraGT thanks for all the kind comments. I also enjoy running with the mp3 players. The music helps me keep my pace. My wife and I have pushed the jogging stollers for awhile. We use to push my son and he ran in his first race this past weekend. He didn't run a 5k. He only ran the races, "Smile Mile." He loved it though. Thanks again for all the kind comments.

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