You may or may not know this, but this Sunday (Jan. 19) is “Quitters’ Day” — the day most of us are most likely to give up on our New Year’s resolutions, especially fitness-related ones.
But as we all know, having a good experience on a race day means staying as consistent as possible with your training in the weeks and months before — which is something we all struggle with. (At least I know I do!)
That got me wondering — what habits do you adopt to stay consistent as a runner, and how do you keep yourself motivated to keep getting out there? — Terrell
I bow down to all of you runners who have families, full time jobs, pets to walk and homes to care for. I'm 63 and have been a runner since high school, but I have to admit when our girls were growing up, I worked in exercise wherever I could find it. My husband and I would swap out running with the dog every afternoon, while the other one watched the kids. It was really hard to find the energy to go on a run after work and sometimes you just can't get those runs in. Go hiking with the kids instead. You'll never regret the things you did with your family instead of running alone. Most of us are in good enough shape to do a run as long as we have permission to not PR. This is spoken by an older lady runner as you can tell. Believe me, some days when I have plenty of time to run, run again with my dog, do yoga......I wish I had a young person to play with and run after. I believe running is a practice, and practice makes progress. Give yourself permission to not be perfect. You'll be so glad one day that you did.
Especially when you go out and run with your 30 something year old kids.
The best and most simple thing I have done to keep consistency is to set out my clothes and shoes the night before the morning run. I've had the conversation in my head that goes something like, "Damn.... it's too freakin' early.... maybe I'll run tonight or tomorrow instead.... crap, but I laid out my clothes and if I don't get up, the cat is going to lay on them and get them furry and then I'll be dealing with cat hair for 10+ miles.... ok, fine, FINE.... I'm getting up."
i meet my running partner every monday and wednesday at 5:45 for a morning run before work. i drive to her house and she comes out and we go! keeps us both motivated.....and liable!
Wow I love this thread and am excited to be a part of this group. I just joined, and am training for my first half-marathon in May. I love running in the cold, as long as I have the right gear, it is just the first mile that is really cold. Today my training run is only 3 miles, which is light work, lol. But it is really windy out, so it may take me a while. The way I stay motivated is the same as many of the others on this thread--I have goals in mind. For the past few years, instead of New Year's Resolutions, I have set goals. The year I turned 50 it was to do a sprint triathlon, last year it was to do as many 5Ks as I could fit in AND do a long bike ride (I ended up doing a 35 mile bike event). This year, it is a half marathon and another sprint triathlon. I find that if I sign up and pay the money and then tell everyone I am doing it (especially my kids) then I follow through.
My age (soon to be 78) keeps me motivated.
I want to be able to do Pilates and weight training when I’m 80-85-90+. Moreover I want to continue biking, running, entering Arkansas Grand Prix races, and others with friends til...
Thanks, Terrell for the halfmarathons.
I remember how I used to look and feel when I was about 40 pounds heavier and all the clothes I've gotten rid of because they are too big- and I also think about the progress I've made in about 8 years, increasing my pace from about 17:25/mile to my current 11:48/mile. I've worked too damn hard to throw that away, y'know?
Over the past couple of years, I've been recovering from multiple brain tumors including having a radiation treatment last year. In December 2019 I finally felt my energy return and knew that it was time to start working out. I recently started being active and I'm working towards my first half marathon this year. What's really helped me to stay motivated is creating reachable, but challenging goals and being consistent at going to the gym. I also started doing "The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. This has helped me improve all of the areas of my life including running.
Begin with the end in mind. I have an annual calendar posted on my wall and logged the races I will or have registered for. It’s gives me quick look at the overall picture of my goal for this year. Then I plan out my week for training and adjust if need be. Every night I check what I will need to accomplish the next day and prepare whatever I need to. Every morning I wake up at 5-5:30am, go straight to shower to wake me up and put on my running outfit right away. Drink coffee, perhaps eat a banana or muesli then head out to run.
What helps me the most is keeping up with my running streak. It keeps me motivated to keep showing up. When motivation fails me, I say to myself this is the time I need to rely on my discipline. Set aside my moods, emotions and doubts and just do it.
I'm always registered for a race or put money into something physical that I need to stay in shape for. If I put some stake in the game then I always excel. I'm currently staying in shape for my trek up Kilimanjaro for my Dirty 30.I leave Wednesday after next. It has been keeping me motivated and moving during these cold winter months.
I am glad you informed us of "Quitter's Day." This is a great nudge and incentive not to quit. I try to adopt a running/workout schedule I will enjoy the most. For example, I like to run in the evenings after work to blow off steam. Everything in life seems much better after a long run or workout. This is motivation to get out there and run.
I always exercise first thing in the morning. That way I can't talk myself out of it later. I get a real satisfaction going throughout the day knowing I took some time for myself before jumping into the grind. (Tired legs are a good reminder!) Plus, I like the way I look and feel. It's a great motivation to stay in shape and eat right. I'm proud of my strength and endurance so I'm motivated to keep it up!
Goal is 5/6 morning days while fasted (after my bible study). Fitting into a favorite pair of jeans (cooler months) and fitting into a favorite pair of short shorts (warm months)! I track how many miles I run each day and the end of the week to add up all my miles....that is a wonderful feeling!
I keep motivated by signing up for half marathons so I'm constantly in training. My husband and I average 6-7 half's a year. My husband says that I keep HIM motivated because I get up first thing in the morning and go for a run even when its cold out. (He needs to stay in bed until it warms up.) But the main thing that keeps him motivated, is that he puts in long runs trying to meet "our" weekly goal. He said its like the "Tortoise and the Hare". I put in shorter (and more frequent) runs. I end up with more weekly miles than him. He also says I'm out to cash in on his life insurance policy by running him to death. LOL
I run early in the morning, first thing. In the winter I run with a head lamp. No matter what comes up during the day I've got my run in. This works for me 99% ion the time. I also do much better if I have a race planned sometime in the future, even if it's a few months out.
I give myself a break when I fall of the wagon. Go easy on yourself. If you want that chocolate bar or bag of chips or to skip a run etc, go ahead BUT I make sure I get myself back up again. My biggest motivator to stay on or get back into it is my young daughter. She observes everything and mimics what I do. The other day she went onto our elliptical machine because "mommy and daddy" had their turns and now it was her turn!! I try to be a good role model with taking care of myself.
When I joined the military and found out about 4am PT physical training my mind said 4am is too early until it became Routine. Then my mind would say 4am time to run! Now I set my alarm 30 min early and start my day peaceful with nature birds flowers pine trees watching ducks on the water before work That has become a positive routine
I have to make an effort with my schedule. I clear certain mornings to make sure I'm up and running before work. I am part of a running team, and we are committed to run together every Saturday. We are now trying to meet one day during the week as well. Part of my effort is also limiting the amount of hours I work. I can work as many hours as I want, but that can cause me to be fatigued. I have to purposely not overwork so I can get 3 to 4 runs in per week :-D
Having handful of races spread out throughout the year help to keep me motivated. There are days when I begin run not feeling especially great (mentally into the run) but after few miles my mood changes. I'm still making improvements, but in a few years my times will begin to slow (I'm 63). When a runner trains hard and their running times slow down I wonder then how difficult it will be to train and compete.
I try to keep a race scheduled for the future to keep me running. Races such as The Bear Run up Grandfather Mountain in NC in July keep me focused through the spring as you have to sign up in February. For the fall committing to 200 mile team relays force me to keep the long run training going for half’s I run in between. I know preparation is essential in order to enjoy the races.
I keep my favorite medals on a medal hanger by my bed so I can see it before I go to sleep and when I awaken. My favorite race photo from 2013 is also on my dresser. I'm not as fast as I used to be, but the thought of not racing and being sedentary keeps me lacing-up those shoes. I build in rest days and look forward to the next day of motion.
I joined a streak challenge Thanksgiving 2019. Run just one mile a day! It works! I do not miss even on rainy days. Even my husband is has been instrumental in keeping me accountable as he reminds me, "You haven't been running yet today". And every runner knows, one mile easily changes to many miles!
I am very deadline driven. So, in order to keep me running consistently, I sign up for at least 1 race per month. I have never been someone who could just run because it's healthy. I love to run but it is so easy to make an excuse to "just run tomorrow" and "tomorrow" never comes. I also do crossfit 5 days a week, which I do first thing in the morning. I schedule those classes to be first thing in the morning in order to not give me an excuse to not do them. I've done crossfit for so long that I feel horrible and off if I miss a day. I also have a very supportive spouse who reminds me of how great I feel after a workout and to just get my butt out of bed and go! It helps that I have 6 dogs who have gotten on my schedule too. So when the alarm goes off at 4:45am, they're ready to go outside. You can't ignore 6 dogs!!!! LOL!
When it’s not raining, I attempt to run 3x weekly, the other days I lift weights, stretches, sit ups, etc.
I do a quarterly evaluation of my work/life schedule to make sure I can meet daily needs while still being able to run at the most optimal times for my schedule.
My plan for keeping motivated is to keep reading y’all’s lists! I have struggled with this for the past 4-1/2 years that I have been a serious runner. The part that frustrates me most is “wasting time” in these cold months by not running enough. I hate the heat and humidity and as a northern boy love running in the cold. (Even though that first half mile can be chilly) One helpful thing is that as a follower of the Hebrew calendar and not the Gregorian calendar this is not the first month of the New Year for me. Ours began last fall. So no real worries about quitting on the 19th! I do miss my running streak from June-Dec because it helped a lot with motivation. I did not have to struggle with “will I run today.” I just had to decide how far. But physically, for me, it was untenable to stay on the streak. I have averaged 2-3 days per week this month. I would love to get back to 5-6 days with a 4 mile minimum. So that is what I am working toward with a probable Half coming up in March.
I’ve been running & working out since 2013. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. It’s such a stress reliever for me.
Planning races... telling people about them and my goals and then I can't back out 😉...
My running partner keeps me going!! Somehow the snooze button gets me 6 days out of 7! But on our running day - just knowing she's counting on me, I'm straight up!
My best motivation is to sign up for a run and put a training plan up on the fridge. As long as it's not a blizzard and over 20 degrees I'm out there.
I am up to run my 3rd half marathon. I am not getting younger, It to Keep goals ahead and to attain them. For me, I can dream but not having a goal that is what it is a dream. I like What I feel like after my runs especially a half marathon. I appreciate every ones comments. Keeps me motivated. Thank you Terrell
I sign up for destination races. I started running at age 61 when I signed up for a half marathon in Las Vegas. When I started training (18 weeks before the race) I could run for only 30 seconds but my time in the Las Vegas half marathon was under 3 hours. In the following two years I have run half marathons in San Antonio and Kiev, Ukraine. Each successive race has shaved more than 10 minutes off of my finish time. (and Kiev had a significant hill for the last 3K). I am still looking for the destination race for this year.
I stay motivated by always having that next half marathon on the calendar so I have something specific to train for. In my tri-state area, I schedule at least one half marathon or 25k trail run every month. Jim Vines, Greenwood, Arkansas
I too, sent out my running/workout grear before bed. Signing up for a run is key to staying motivated and having a goal. Live this runners thread! You all are so very encouraging! At 63, I look forward to seeing posts from healthy runners!!!
Each year I put six half marathons on my calendar, three are daytrips, three are runcations. Once I sign up, my personality won’t let me back out. That drives me to stick to my training plan because 1) I don’t want to get injured and, 2) I don’t want to embarrass myself. The runcations are a major motivator, because if I meet my goals I will schedule some fun trips next year.
I set everything out the night before, clothes, shoes, water bottle, car keys, everything. It's way to cold to run outside right now so that means hitting the gym and the treadmill. And though I hate it I also know where I have come from. Started running about 5 years ago and then just last year started watching the diet and eating healthy. I lost 50 pounds since last April! I'm down to the lightest I've been since college and I feel so good about myself that it motivates me to stay up with it. I don't want to go back to be overweight again! I have had to learn that during the winter up here (ND) I have to trade out some of the running days for bodyweight and resistance band training but it all makes me a stronger runner! I'm looking forward to the spring thaw so I can get back outside again! Already have a couple races in mind for the spring!
I found that putting the activities on a schedule and joining group runs make it easier to stick with the run. Putting the activity on the schedule makes it become a habit for me. The group runs made me accountable to others.
Another thing is that you are aware of what to expect. I am having a discussion with a freind about expectations. The complaint is that they are not seeing the results that they expected. If the expectations is to be Olympic speed you will need years to get there. It will not happen in two weeks.
One last thing is if you go out to hard you will get injured and then you will have an excuse to quit. So please take it slow.
I signed up last summer for picturesque half here in (Indianapolis)Fishers in June 2020, the Geist Reservoir Run Across the Reservoir. Since I ran it in 2019, the race offered an early bird big discount for the next year, and I took it and cant wait, so training runs have a purpose!
Sign up for races, tell everyone that what I fee a sense of well I paid for it and people are gonna ask how I did? So that motivates me to keep at it
Always have a future race you're training for, as training, especially alone, can be boring. Also, have a regular schedule that you stick to. I usually get in 4 days/week - Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Saturday morning is for a long run. Fortunately I'm semi-retired and work out of the house so I can run at the best time of the day for the weather. This year, as in most past years I plan to run a half marathon a month, focusing on new ones and favorite runs.
I will be either a couch potato if I do not have anything in front of me. so I have already signed up 4 half and 2 full marathons through this year. I just finished Charleston (SC) full marathon last week. the reason I signed up Charleston was to run through such a hectic stressful holiday season 😀