Do you sometimes struggle with the motivation for running, and wonder how to make it a better part of your life? Here are some simple tips on how you can make running become your real “friend”, and even get to love to do it.
After a few weeks of running, most people will find out that there is something true in the term ”runner’s high”. This is the pleasant feeling of “floating” or “flying”. The feeling often occurs after 20-30 min of running. It is a wondeful feeling! This feeling evolves from chemical substances that are released in our brain when running (or doing other similar physical activities), such as dopamin and endocannabinoids.
It is the release of those substances which makes the body feel light, the running session feel light, and which gives us this feeling of “happiness and harmony” when running. Experiencing this is something that really gives motivation for running!
Here you can read more about neurobiological effects of physical exercise.
However, remember one important thing: Do not run too fast in the beginning of a session. If you do, the session might not be so pleasant, and you will probably not achieve this good feeling.
Build yourself up slowly a few weeks with easy running, before you start to increase the speed. If you have not yet been able to start your running sessions, it may be an idea to find a friend to run with. This will make it easier and more motivating to go for the sessions.
Changing your daily routines can be challenging. To do so, it can be smart to set up a plan. This applies to all sort of changes. If you want a change in your lifestyle, start with an analysis of the CURRENT situation, and set up a GOAL for where you want to be at a certain point in the future. Just make sure that your plans are realistic, especially in the beginning. If not, they end up to be just that – plans only…. It can be smart to get some assistance to do this, for example by a qualified personal trainer. You can however manage very well without assistance, if you have some knowledge, a systematic apporach and some discipline.
If your plan is to get up to a higher fitness level for running, you will need to run frequently. If you do so, you will quickly get progress. Just watch out that the sessions or the distances are not too long or too hard in the beginning.
If you have been succesful over some time with performing your training, reward yourself with something. This can for example be to buy a pair of new running shoes, or some other training gear. Buying something is of course not the inner motivation for running, but as humans we always appreciate rewards if we have performed well.
You may also register for a running or training camp nearby, or even abroad. There you will meet people interested in the same thing, with whom you can share your experiences, and maybe you even get some new friends there.
If you find it hard to train alone, find somebody that can join you. Then the training becomes easier and more motivating.
A pulse watch may also motivate you, but be careful so the use of the watch does not become the primary thing and the watch takes control over you. (Yes, it happens to a lot of people, even active athletes)
Remember: Training shall be FUN, in such a way that you want to repeat it!
Read more about training for running and motivation for running here:
- How to train for running
- More about running
- Basic training principles for long distance running
- How to train to become good at long distance running
- How to boost your motivation
- What is your real motivation for training?
Author: Ingrid Kristiansen