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5 Ways I Motivate Myself to Run When I Don’t Want To

Aug 18, 2017 | Running, Running Advice | 3 comments


how to motivate yourself to run

When you’re marathon training, there are days when you don’t want to run or don’t want to workout but you know you should. You should, not just because it’s on a plan, but because oftentimes you feel better, happier post run.

But whilst some instagrammers would have us believe they jump out of bed straight into their trainers and head out the door, no hesitations, there are many of us for whom that simply isn’t the case. There are days where I’ll bargain, procrastinate and try to put off my run as possible, or occasionally skip it altogether.

However, luckily, more times that not I am able to convince myself to get out and run (watch the video below to find out more!)

  1. Bribery. I’ll tell myself that I can get a coffee on the way home, make a delicious breakfast or enjoy a treat later in the day if I complete my run.
  2. Join a friend or running group. I’m really lucky that I have Emma around the corner who is usually willing to join me for a run, no matter the time or weather. If I’m meeting her I’m less likely to bail on my run, plus it’s usually too early to cancel so I just have to get up, get dressed and meet her to run! Similarly, joining a running group where you commit to going means you are letting other people down if you don’t go!
  3. Scroll through Instagram. Although spending time on my favourite app wastes a LOT of my time, I’ve also been motivated and inspired enough from an Instagram picture/account that I’ll head out for a run. I particularly love NYC Running Mama, Anna the Apple, Susie ChanRun to the Finish, Mamabear Runs Marathons, Iron Will Iron Jill, and Laura Murray (but if you have any recommendations of motivating runners to follow pls leave in the comments!) Alternatively I’ll Watch YouTube videos – I recently rewatched a number of Kelly Roberts (aka Run Selfie Repeat daily vlogs from when she was training for the Chicago marathon last year) and was reminded how hard it can be somedays, but how worth it all is.
  4. Break down the run into manageable chunks. Sometimes telling myself that I only have to run 1 mile, or just do one 800m rep, then another, and another. I’ll negotiate internally to run just a few miles then ‘run home’ – with a few extra miles thrown in!
  5. Think ahead, and know that you’ll feel amazing after you run. I don’t think I’ve ever come back from a run regretting it, and know that I’ll feel more awake, happier and more motivated when I get back from a  run. I know this sounds easier said than done, but watching my instagram stories and previous vlogs I can see the difference in my face after a run (and not that it’s just beetroot red!)

I’ve talked a little about these in last week’s Richmond Marathon training vlog – would love you to have a watch and hit subscribe on my Youtube channel!


  1. Jessica

    I have a Running Instagram where I post near enough every run – documenting it and discussing with other Instagrammers keeps me motivated: @runnerjessica xxx

  2. John Parker

    I believe motivation is the hardest part of anything and your 5 tips are great for this as it not only keeps us motivated but also commuted. I like your instagram suggestion, as when I get into the gym, other people exercising gets me motivated to just get going. Running and especially alone is tough on even the strongest people.

  3. San

    Bribery and breaking up my run in chunks totally works for me! 🙂


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