New year and new running goals – here’s how to get motivated!
Stuck for inspiration? We’ve asked around the Windsor Half Marathon team and gathered motivation tips to help you get out running in 2021. Let us know what works for you – or chip in with your own great tips!
Run a new route
Everyone has favourite running routes, but they can get boring, and this won’t do anything for your motivation. Try a new route once a week – explore your town, head into the countryside, or do an out-and-back to a landmark.
Don’t deprive yourself
It’s tempting to go cold-turkey on treats in January, but this can backfire. By all means clean up your eating habits after Christmas, but find ways to treat yourself. After all, being a runner is something to celebrate – it shouldn’t become a punishment.
A new playlist
It’s never been easier to run with music. Gone are the days of painstaking playlist creation from your own music collection (although you can still do that if you like to). Use a music app to discover new music or enjoy old favourites. Music is proven to boost running performance.
Have a mantra
Motivational pep talks really work. Even if all that positive mindset stuff isn’t your thing, give it a try. You don’t have to broadcast it with slogan t-shirts or social media posts. Just repeat an inspiring phrase in your head – whatever works for you.
Plan tasty post-run food
We all want to enjoy our post-workout meal or snack. There’s no need to endure bland, tasteless diet food. Find a middle ground by planning a healthy, nourishing, tasty meal to enjoy after training.
Increase your step count
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get fitter, burn calories, and boost your cardiovascular health. Aim for 10,000 steps per day (or 70,000 per week if your schedule is unbalanced). Walking is a great active recovery from running.
Listen to your body
It’s important to stay in touch with your body’s feedback as you get fitter. Take its messages seriously: does it need rest, a good stretch, more water, more sleep, more protein, or is it craving a harder running session soon?
“Chunk down” your goals
Big goals are important, but they can be overwhelming. Break your main goal for the year into 6 or 12 smaller goals, then work on achieving those. This gives you more opportunities to assess progress and congratulate yourself.
Remember how good it feels
You never feel worse after exercise! No matter how tired or unmotivated you feel, you know you’re going to feel better once you start. Conjure up those positive post-workout feelings and keep them in mind next time you’re in a slump.
It’s a knock-on effect
And remember that exercise has a positive effect on your eating habits, mood, and even sleep. If you don’t exercise, you’re more likely to sit at home and probably make poor snack choices. On the other hand, if you do exercise, you’ll be energised, productive, and focused on healthy choices.
Think about what you can do
It might sound cheesy, but how about being grateful for what you can do? Because it’s true. You don’t “have to” exercise. You “get to” exercise. It’s a gift, really.
Plan exercise sessions in advance, put them in your calendar, or lay out your running kit the night before. Make sure watches, phones, lights, and headphones are charged. Make it easy to succeed.
Rest and recover
It’s important to take proper rest days from exercise. Be sure to plan one complete rest day every week to let your body recover.
Stretch it out
Could 2021 be the year you take stretching seriously? Proper stretching and mobility are important for running, but it will also make everyday life much easier. Try a yoga class, do a stretching routine at home – whatever works for you.
Talk about your goals
Tell your partner, kids, friends, and colleagues about your 2021 fitness goals. Use your social media to update on your progress. Take photos, write notes. It’s great for accountability.
Mix things up
Boredom is one of the biggest threats to your fitness journey. Keep things fresh by running new routes, entering races, or simply running at a different time of day.
Enter a race