How to start running and stay motivated.

They say money can’t buy happiness but it can buy running shoes and that’s kind of the same thing.

I’ve been running for almost 4 years now and I normally run about 3-4 times a week, sometimes less, sometimes more. I usually run between 8-10km (~10km/h). I just wanted to share some tips with you because I know how hard it can be to motivate yourself. I also want to point out that I’m not the fittest, most motivated, positive thinking,.. person around and that I was super unsporty when I started.. So if I can do it, anyone can. 😀

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So here are my tipps for starting and staying motivated:

  • Set yourself a goal: It is easier to start when you have something you want to achieve. Whether it’s losing weight, becoming fitter and healthier in general, training for some special event,.. it doesn’t matter. For me it was a surf course I wanted to take (read about it here). I also wanted to lose weight but this wasn’t enough to motivate me. 😉
  • Start slowly: When I started running I had to stop after 5-10 minutes. It doesn’t matter. Even if you feel like a loser in that moment, it will get better.
  • Listen to music: Put on some music that motivates you to run. I personally look forward to running even a lot more when I know I have some good music to listen to, especially when I have a new album. The music also helps you to find a good rhythm. And you don’t have to listen to your own breathing (which I absolutely can’t stand.. is that weird? 😉 )
  • Don’t fokus on the negative things: If you plan to go running don’t think about it all the time like „Oh no, I have to go running later, it will be so hard, I don’t wanna go, I’m too lazy etc“. Just go, without thinking. That’s how I do it. I don’t even think about it anymore. I put on my clothes and go. I know it can’t be like that in the beginning but goal is to make it a habit like brushing your teeth for example. 🙂 Or think about the positive things like how great you’ll feel after and how many calories you burn. 😉 Also try to tell yourself you’re proud you went running even it was just for 1km, it’s better than nothing, isn’t it?
  • Time management: Make a plan when and how often you want to go running, set fixed days.. Make it a priority and treat it like real appointments. Of course if you really can’t make it one day, it’s not a big deal, you can still go the next day. But really try to take it seriously and don’t let yourself get distracted too easily by other things. If you’re working or studying a lot or have kids or whatever try to squeeze it in somewhere, it’s always possible. In the end it will not take away your time because you’ll feel more energized and can fill the rest of your time more effective.
  • Get a partner: I personally prefer running alone but I know it can be helpful for some people to have someone to run with to motivate them. And it’s also more difficult to cancel your running plans when the other person counts on you to be there.
  • Weather: In summer you should of course go early int he mornings or late in the evenings when it’s too hot. And don’t worry about running in winter. Of course if it is too cold you shouldn’t go running (you can always go for a walk though) but normally if you wear the right clothes it’s no problem. I think it’s quite hard to get back on track when you pause all winter. It’s also very beautiful and an amazing feeling to run in a snow landscape. 🙂
  • Clothes: Get yourself some nice, good and expensive shoes. You need good shoes for running anyway and it really helped me personally because I thought „Now I spent so much money on them, I really should use them“. 😉
  • Don’t go home: If you’re working all day and you want to go running afterwards it can be helpful to take your clothes with you and go running right after work somewhere. When you’re going to work by car you can just stop at a nice place and change your clothes in the car. I did this when I was working full-time. When you go home first the temptation just to stay there can get really big, especially when it’s already quite late or the weather isn’t too good.

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If after some months you still have the feeling that running is not for you, you shouldn’t force yourself to do it. I think running is very natural for us and so it’s fitting for most people after they get used to it but I also think there is a sport out there for anyone and if it’s not running you should look for something else because otherwise you will give up running and maybe do nothing. I also tried a lot before I found the right sport for me which made it easy for me to stay active because I benefit so much from it. Running really helps to get your head free, get rid of stress, concentrate better and feel happier. 🙂

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