Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day: How to Stay Motivated

Today is National Running Day.

Obviously we have to talk about this. 

A few weeks ago I had a reader ask me how I stayed motivated to run and I thought it would make a great topic for today! 
So here are my go-to tricks for lacing up those tennies and hitting the pavement: 

Find a Reason
Look at your calendar and pick an event that will motivate you! I just had a pool party last weekend so that was my motivation. Every time I got on the treadmill "bikini bikini bikini" is what I thought. And now that that's next goal is July 4th. What's your goal? A wedding? A birthday? A night out with friends where you know you'll want to splurge? Whatever it is, literally envision yourself..envision yourself in that swimsuit..or that cocktail dress..envision how you want to look and know that with each stride, you're closer to getting there. 

For You
If you have no impending belly-bearing events on the calendar, think of the health benefits. Running can help you live longer, it makes you stronger, builds your endurance, keeps you youthful, helps to eliminate stress, keeps the weight off, improves your posture and spikes your happiness level when all those endorphins cut loose inside. Think of this time as something you are doing for you. Whether you are at the office all day or chasing kids all day, the majority of our days are spent doing for others. Take 30 minutes a day to take care of yourself for you. 
Pinned Image

Cute Workout Clothes
This one may sound shallow but I swear by it. If you have bright colorful, dry wick workout clothes to put on instead of that XXL tshirt you happened to catch from the air shooter at last year's baseball game, I promise you will be more motivated to work out. Not only that, but they make your workout more efficient. When you have on clothes that are made to handle sweat, it helps keep you cool and doesn't drag you down with extra layers of moist fabric. 
Workout Clothes

Cute Workout Clothes 1b...Let's talk shoes. Now as much as I love a cute pair of running shoes, "cute" is the first thing you must leave at the door when purchasing new shoes. The key things you want are support and roominess. Because I can tell you, when you're staring down at bruised, man-toes, it's not very motivating to get back on the treadmill. Plus, you don't want to injure your tootsies! 

Stop running 
Are you shocked by this one?! I don't mean altogether and forever but I do mean for a day or two. While running has so many benefits, it's also very hard on the body. So it's good to give your body a break and switch up your exercises. Take a bodypump class, go spinning or enjoy some yoga. It's actually been shown that doing less intensive exercises can improve the quality of your running. And I can vouch for this. I always have my best runs when I've taken two days off to do something else. 
outdoor class.

Mind Games
And this is what you use when you've reached your desperation point. Because let's face it, some days you just don' I've been there and that' when you just have to get through it. And some of the mind games I play?......

"It's just 15, 30, 45 minutes of your day - your whole day"

"You've spent 9 hours sitting at your desk - you owe your body some motion"

"You know you always feel better and accomplished after you run"

"If you do this now, you'll save yourself the "I should have run" guilt that will hang over your head your whole evening"

"Dinner will be so much better knowing you worked for it!"

If you run, you're a runner. There isn't a certain amount of mileage that suddenly qualifies you as a "runner." If you're in the tennis shoes and moving that body forward, you're a runner. 

Happy Runner's Day Runners!



Jenna said...

This is some great motivation! I've been finding it so difficult to run consistently lately since the second I step on the treadmill I feel bored. But, setting goals and actually working towards something will make it so much easier - thanks!


PrettyPhysicist said...

Talk about great motivation! This is a great post ... I need to remember this once my back is fixed!

Sarah said...

Love your motivation!! I already got my run on today so I'm already feeling accomplished :) I do the same thing as you. It's easier for me to be motivated when I know I have something coming up. Last few weeks it was the lake, now it's Atlanta :) Happy running day pretty girl! xo

P!nky said...


Great motivation for pounding the pavement!


Shannon said...

I'm not a runner, but I am a strong believer of daily exercise.

My biggest motivation is a mind game I ply. If I'm having a hard time getting off the couch I say to myself "I've never regretted working out, but I have regretted not working out."

I'm very impressed by your dedication to running and exercise. I could learn a thing or two from you!

Katie said...

love this! especially the mind games. I feel like training for a marathon was way more mentally challenging then physically - I had to trick myself into how much I was running.

Angie said...

I use those same mind game tricks with myself when I don't wanna run....especially the one with it hanging over my head all day. That is almost worse than not running!

Vickie said...

love this post! thanks for the motivation : )

Virginia said...

Love this post!! Thanks for motivation!

Alicia @ To Columbus and Beyond! said...

I psych myself out so bad - but you are right, there is a feeling of accomplishment when you finish, nothing can beat that feeling!
Thanks for sharing!!

twiggy@thedirtlife said...

i hate that i needed to hear this today because i totally did.

my shin splintz has been pretty bad. tips?

arianapia said...

thank you for posting this today. i need the motivation. i just started running and sometimes i just need different reasons to actually get out there!

i run so i am a runner. i must remember this!

Erin said...

I'm so glad you posted about this today! We've emailed before about how I always feel like I'm lacking motivation.... this time has GOT to be different, and I hope your tips can get me off this booty and get going :) You rock, girl!!

Sarah said...

LOVE this! I just started training for a 5k so these are great tips--especially the mind games, I definitely need those some days!
And cute clothes don't hurt at all!

J and A said...

Great post girl! You rock. I always need to switch up my workouts to stay motivated and I love a new workout dvd cause you never know what is next or when it will be done. :) And workout outfits are a must. I hope to run today, but it's pouring. Lovely.

Young and Fabulous said...

i want to print this entire thing

the XXL t-shirt thing I have been a victim to WOOPS! haha but i agree...if you look hot, you feel hot, therefore you will have a hot workout!!!

this is fabulous ash. I saw taht it was runners day and thought of you!!

i wish i could say im going for a run today but alas, I will be drinking 11$ beers at the Red Sox game and then running home crying over the cost ahahah

now im looking forward to a thursday run


Rissy said...

couldn't agree more with all of these Ash

I'm thinking of jumping ship with Asics and getting some Nikes... thoughts?

I need to GET MY BUTT BACK IN SHAPE! Thanks for being my inspiraton... you and miss chelsea teeny bikinis : )

Ashley Slater said...

loved this ash!

Virginia Belle said...

I love this post and all of your motivation tips. I am definitely guilty of buying cute new running clothes when I need some extra motivation. It's dangerous :)

Ashley said...

Thanks for the motivation! I've never been much of a runner and I'm sure this isn't the time to start - but I did get my booty outside and walked a few brisk miles :-)

Alyssa said...

I love this post!! I always pick out an event that I wanna look good for and use it for motivation! So helpful!

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

The cute workout clothes always make me more excited to work out! Love your motivation! :)

Fit With Flash said...

yeeeeah! great post : )

Kelly { MessyDirtyHair } said...

Sometimes I wish I liked to run & work out just so I can wear all the super clothes haha!!

Sara Louise said...

I'm not a natural runner, I find that I have to work at it, and even though I haven't had a cigarette in six years, I can still feel the effects on my lungs. But every time I run it gets easier, and I like it more and more, and that feels good! :)

Karina Marie Powell said...

I love this. I am definitely your newest follower! So happy I found your cute blog! I'm pregnant, and it's been hard but running makes all the difference! It's my passion. love this! xoxo

Lara said...

I love this! I just started running and this sort of stuff is definitely helping me stay motivated.