10 Tips to Stay Motivated & Running Year Round
Stay Motivated and Train
Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated year round. Heading out the door and putting one foot in front of the other sometimes is easier said than done.
Can’t get out the door? Training for your next race, and need that extra nudge?
It’s no secret — sometimes staying motivated to run, even in nice weather, can be a drag.
I have three events coming up — a marathon, a 24 hour track ultra, and a 100K urban ultra.
I need to log the training miles. What are you training for? You want to be ready on race day, no matter the distance.
Here are 10 ways to stay motivated and train no matter the season, weather, and climate.
Get pumped with a delicious smoothie. My training run nutrition begins with a Paleo smoothie. I take out my Ninja blender and throw in any combination of beets, bananas, mangos, pears, apples, coconut milk, dark chocolate almond milk, coconut flakes, avocado, spinach, kale and whatever berries are in season.
Healthy fuel will keep you going!
Dress Weather Appropriate
In warmer, sunny, or super hot and humid summer weather, one layer of bright colors, which reflects the sun, will suffice. Avoid dark color running clothes — they absorb sun and heat.
Layer up in cold weather. I wear 2–3 layers from the waist down and 3–4 layers from the waist up. Cover your head, ears, and hands. Being overdressed or underdressed can spoil a good run.
Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. I apply sunscreen and zinc oxide on my nose even on sunny winter days.
Listen to Inspiration
Sometimes we need some inspiration to keep us motivated on the run. I don’t always plug in my Plantronics Back Beat headset or my earbuds in my iPhone but, when I do, I tune in to Spotify, my iTunes music, and running podcasts such as Trail Running Women , Like a Bigfoot, Easy Thrills, BibRave, and Training for Ultra.
I have also been interviewed on the Trail Running Women, Like a Big Foot, and Easy Thrills podcasts. I hope I inspire listeners, too.
I tune in to the Blessed2Play podcast. I listen to inspirational professional and ordinary athletes share the importance of faith in their sport. I was interviewed by Ron Meyer about my faith, overcoming adversity, and ultrarunning on Blessed2Play. You can listen here.
Limit Social Media and Selfies
My best training runs take place when I silence my iPhone, don’t check my social media, and avoid taking selfies.
I carry my phone for emergency purposes and so my husband can track me on Find Friends on my iPhone. If my husband or children call, I answer. All other calls go to voice mail.
Taking selfies can break my momentum.
Record Your Stats
My distance, pace, heart rate, calories, and BPM are recorded in my Fitbit Surge. I am interested in my miles, pace/average pace, and time.
I also record these numbers in my paper calendar. At the end of the training week, I add up my miles. I’m not out to set or break records.
I have all my paper calendars since 2005. They keep me motivated.
Hop on the Dreaded Treadmill
I am not a fan of the treadmill but, I’m glad I have access to one. If you have a treadmill, hop on it.
Sometimes cold weather reluctantly drags me to the dreaded treadmill at Planet Fitness. The most I’ve logged on a treadmill at any given time is 7 miles. That’s enough for me.
After I’ve logged the miles, I feel accomplished. I have an ElliptiGo on a stationary trainer at home I can peddle just to keep my legs moving.
Strength training is an essential part of training for a run, especially an ultra which requires endurance and a strong core.
Cold, snowy, and rainy weather days are perfect for strength training and staying motivated at a gym or at home.
I love to run in heat and humidity but if you don’t, do some strength training indoors.This is a good time to plug online and follow good strength training routines.
A terrific way to stay motivated is cross-training. It’s good to take a break from moving your body and feet in one direction.
Find what works for you — swimming, rock climbing, cycling, paddle boarding, or something else.
I love indoor rock climbing. It’s great cross-training and a total body workout.
In the winter, I take advantage of snow and go snowshoeing. Spring and summer gardening is enjoyable cross-training. I also play tennis and hike.
Here are 16 cross-training activities to supplement your running.
To stay motivated while on the dreaded treadmill or ElliptiGo at home, watch a running documentary.
You will be inspired, time will fly, and you might be motivated to stay on a bit longer.
Some of my favorite ultrarunning documentaries include Running the Sahara, Desert Runners, Traction, Ultramarathon Man, and The Barkley Marathons.
Read Books and Websites About Endurance and Running
Running websites of ordinary and elite runners continue to energize, motivate, and inspire me, and they will inspire you too.
Another way I stay motivated is to read memoirs and books about running.
I have been running since 1989. It all started with a 5k run that snowballed into half-marathons, marathons, and then 50 mile, 100 mile, 24 hour ultra events and multi-day ultras.
Practicing these 10 tips helps me to stay motivated and running year round.
Watch my YouTube video 10 Tips to Keep You Motivated and Running Year Round.
Miriam Diaz-Gilbert (aka Miriam Gilbert) has been running over 30 years and ultras since 2005.