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Running, Ways to Stay Motivated!
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."
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.
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.