There are days when the alarm goes off and you practically pop out of bed, super eager to run. And then there are days when, well, the snooze button rules, you can’t convince yourself to run after work, or you’re just not feeling it. Falling into a running rut is normal. Here are five ways to bust out of one and get motivated.
1. Make plans to meet friends for a run.
“Planning to run with friends holds me accountable and makes the early alarm clock worth it,” says Lindsay Kos, a runner from New York City. “I have a group of training-partners-turned-amazing-friends that I can count on to meet me every day of the week in the same spot in Central Park. No matter our schedules or race goals, there’s always someone up for an easy run, a workout, or a long run. Chatting makes the miles fly by and bonds us in a special way. I definitely couldn’t push through hard workouts as strongly without them by my side.”
2. Buy a new running outfit or new running shoes.
“It might sound silly, but having a cute new shirt or sports bra or a fresh pair of sneakers makes me want to get dressed and go put it all to use,” says Lucy Wallace from New York City. “Look good, feel good, right?”
3. Tell yourself you’ll only run for 10 minutes.
“If I’m really struggling to get out the door, I’ll tell myself to just run for 10 minutes,” says Amanda LaVergne from New York City. “Ten minutes is better than nothing. And while 99 percent of the time I end up sucking it up and staying out longer, it’s OK to just call it after 10 minutes and not feel badly about it. Sometimes the biggest running accomplishment we make in a day is listening to our bodies.”
4. Join a like-minded community.
“Run with friends who are experiencing the same things in life that you’re experiencing at any given time,” says Ashley Fizzarotti from New Providence, NJ. “You’ll have so much to talk about, which makes for great conversation and helps the time pass. I belong to a group called Moms Run This Town, and it’s a running group made up of moms. Bonus: I’ve made great friends with other moms in the area while getting our workouts in and staying motivated.”
5. Think about the starting line.
“I almost always want to go for a run—almost,” says Daphne Matalene from Columbia, SC. “Sometimes it’s tough, like when the weather is really horrible—but those are the workouts I’ll remember when I’m standing at my next starting line. During one of my marathon training cycles, I ran hill repeats with freezing rain-like needles pelting me in the face. It was really unpleasant, but as I was standing in my starting corral freaking out under a beautiful blue sky, I thought, ‘Hey, remember that awful, cold, wet hill workout? You crushed that, you tough, tough runner.'”