10 top motivation tips

Everyone has days when they just don't feel like getting out to run – days when the sofa, or the pub, seem like a much more tempting option. But if you're preparing for a marathon or another race then you need to find ways to stay motivated to ensure your training stays on track. The next time you struggle to get out of the door, follow our 10 top motivation tips:

  1. Set a goal
    Having a target in mind for each run, even if it is just to complete the whole thing without walking, will deliver a sense of accomplishment. Whether it's running a bit further or faster than last time, or just reaching a certain point, hitting a goal on every run will help to stay motivated as you work towards a bigger goal, such as finishing your first marathon.
  2. Run with friends
    You can't underestimate the social side of running; it is one of the most common reasons people start and carry on doing it. Finding a local running club or gathering some friends or colleagues to run with you can make every session both easier and more enjoyable.
  3. Keep track of your progress
    Completing a training log, or using an online service to keep a record of your runs, can really help to motivate you to continue. By looking back at previous entries, you'll remind yourself how far you have come, which is sure to encourage you to keep challenging yourself to give your best.
  4. Remember the health benefits
    Don't forget that running is good for you. Whether you're looking to lose weight or improve your fitness, running gives back what you put into it. It's also a great stress buster thanks to the feel-good endorphins produced during exercise.
  5. Do it for a good cause
    If you're not already raising money for a charity in a race then signing up to fundraise will give you a huge motivation boost. Knowing that what you're doing will provide funds to help a good cause should keep you going when you're feeling low.
  6. Mix it up
    David Hylton, co-founder of #RunChat, says: "Running is simple. Preventing it from getting boring is simpler. Hylton turns this maxim into reality by injecting variety into his running sessions. You can do the same by trying something different: hill repeats, a track session, signing up for a trail race. You could even just run somewhere new to freshen up your routine.
  7. Don't take the 'all or nothing' approach
    If you're short on time or really not feeling up to a long session, just go for a shorter run for however long you feel you can spare. As legendary running author Dr George Sheehan once said: "Have you ever felt worse after a run?
  8. Reward yourself
    A sports massage, or treating yourself to some new running gear, is a great way to reenergise your running as you'll want to get outside to show off your new kit. You could also promise yourself a new pair of trainers, or the latest running gadget as an incentive too when you're targeting a big goal.
  9. Look to other runners for inspiration
    Which athletes do you most look up to? Many big-name runners have written books about their amazing exploits and how they pushed themselves to achieve greatness. Read about someone who has inspired you to see what you can take from their lives into your own training.
  10. Have something to look forward to
    A treat of some kind at the end of your run is a great way to keep yourself focused and ensure you give your best until the end. It could be a good meal, sitting down to watch your favourite TV show or finishing your run somewhere with a great view. Now get out there and put these can't fail tips into practice!