Of all the ways to exercise, running is perhaps one of the most popular. It can be difficult, however, to maintain running motivation, especially when the weather is less than ideal, the runner feels under the weather, or other activities come up that might be more pleasant. There are ways to keep running motivation high, however, and one of the best ways to do so is to set goals. Some people enter races so they can keep up the motivation to do training runs; others may try to beat a personal best time. These markers ensure the runner has something to work toward, and therefore something to look forward to.
When the runner reaches his or her goal, it is a good idea to reward that success. The reward can vary from person to person, but regardless of what the reward is, the runner should make a point to treat himself or herself to a positive reinforcement that will help encourage running motivation. Drinking a celebratory beer or soda after a particularly long run, for example, will give the runner satisfaction and a reason to reach more goals in the future.
One of the most mentally defeating situations that can ruin running motivation is running alone. It is easy to become discouraged, distracted, or otherwise bored with the run when running alone, so it may be a good idea to run with others. Consider joining a running club or finding friends or acquaintances who also run. Going on a run together will help stave off boredom and help distract the runners from the pain or discomfort that may accompany longer runs. Adding a social aspect to the activity will provide more running motivation, especially on those tough days when the weather isn't perfect or the runner is tired, unmotivated, or feeling sluggish.
Many people tend to go on runs whenever they find the time throughout the day. There's nothing wrong with this, but some runners may find more running motivation if they find the times of day that are best suited to physical activity for them. Some runners, for example, feel most motivated and ready to participate in physical activity first thing in the morning; others may feel the need to run in the late afternoon or early evening. The runner should figure out which time of day is best suited for running, and then stick to a schedule. Consistency is key: developing a routine will often help maintain running motivation.