• Get Out There and Run

    August 1, 2011

    Today, I had an easy 2-mile run on my training calendar. After logging 14 long miles yesterday, the last thing I wanted to do was run, but I knew that a “shake out” run was just what I needed to loosen up my tight, stiff legs. Some days the goal is just to get out there and run– just like Mal’s Road ID says:


    He constantly struggles with his motivation to run— mostly because he doesn’t really like it. (I know, right? Why can’t someone like me, who loves running, have his amazing running abilities!?)

    On the days when I’m just not motivated to run, here’s what I do:

    • Just Do It. On the days when I’m just not feeling a run, the hardest part is usually changing into my running clothes and physically getting myself out the door. Instead of thinking about the run too much, I just do it. My brain goes on auto-drive: I get dressed, throw on my sneakers, walk out my front door, and start running. Often times, I don’t even bother with my Garmin or other running gear. I just do it.
    • Set My Alarm Clock. Similar to the tip above, setting my alarm clock for an early morning run gets me out the door and running. I’m usually half awake, so getting dressed and starting my run happens without much thought. Plus, if I put off my run until the afternoon or evening, I’m more likely to skip it.
    • Explore My Neighborhood. I typically run the same few routes near my house, so after awhile, they’re not as exciting to me. When I feel blah about a run, I create a new route on MapMyRun or randomly explore side streets on my run. Exploring my neighborhood always seems to keep things interesting!
    • Keep It Short. I tell myself to run to the end of my street and back. If I’m really not feeling a run, I only wasted about 10 minutes— and 10 minutes is better than nothing, right? Usually, when I get to the end of my street, I realize that running a little bit more won’t kill me, so I end up continuing on.
    • Make It a Run-Walk. There’s no rule that says I have to run for my entire workout. When I’m not in the mood to run, I take walk breaks in between running intervals. I like to alternate 5 minutes of running with 2-3 minutes of walking. Doing this mixes up the workout and gives it some variety, which keeps me motivated.
    • Run a 5K Race. When running seems dull, I spice up my workout by challenging myself to a 5K race in my own neighborhood. After mapping out 3.1 miles, I warm up and then run the route just like I would a regular 5K. Thinking about my run as a race definitely spices things up!
    • Make Yourself Feel Guilty. This is Mal’s tip for getting out there and running. When he wants to skip a run, he makes himself feel guilty about it. He’s currently training for the Bay State Half Marathon and following a Hal Hidgon plan, so he knows that each run counts toward his goal. If he wants to skip one of his scheduled workouts, a little guilt trip gets him out the door.


    For lunch this afternoon, I ate Overnight Oats in a Jar. They’re not just for breakfast! In the mix: oats, banana slices, vanilla soy milk, chia seeds, and walnuts. As always, they were delicious and satisfying.

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    I spent the next couple of hours working, and then took a break to join Mal and Murphy outside for a beverage in our backyard. (We’re kind of obsessed with hanging out in our backyard and sitting in our Adirondack chairs. We do it a lot.)

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    I made myself a Skinny Piña Colada minus the rum, so I guess it wasn’t a piña colada at all— just coconut water, pineapple juice, and ice. It was still delicious, but, obviously, not as fun.

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    The pug was exhausted from lounging around the house all day.

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    His life is so hard.

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    As soon as Murphy realized that I picked a couple of cherry tomatoes from our garden, he woke right up. He doesn’t even like tomatoes, but any sort of food gets his attention. This dog is totally motivated by food! 

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    That was a nice little break, but now it’s back to work!

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    { 23 comments… read them below or add one }

    Wifey August 2, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Awesome tips. Putting my workout clothes on helps me, too, and getting it done early makes such a difference. If I wait until the end of the day it probably won’t happen. Yikes!

    Winks & Smiles,


    Stephanie August 2, 2011 at 6:36 am

    I’ve found that the best motivation is looking back to where you started, and seeing how far you’ve come. You realize that you didn’t get to where you are by skipping workouts! Because once you skip one or two, it makes it easier to keep skipping, and then not doing it at all! Great post 🙂


    Sarah August 2, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I love the workout tips. I like the 10 minute rule and just doing it. It’s always so much harder to skip out on a workout after I have all of my gear on. I also think workout partners are a huge motivator. When I’m meeting someone it gives me more incentive to get myself up and out!


    greatfulbody August 2, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Oh man, I am the same way with running! I’m just starting out, so sometimes it’s a little tough for me, and it’s definitely hard to stay motivated. The skinny pina colada sounds absolutely perfeect!


    michelle August 2, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I had 2 on the schedule too after running 14 the day before. Well, I really had 6 or so planned but only managed 2. Two is better than zero 🙂


    Corey @ Learning Patience August 2, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I love your motivation…so awesome girl! I’m finally home and cant wait to get out and run…. xoxo from Trinidad


    Heather August 2, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Glad to read that sometimes you do run / walks, too! When I’m having a day when I really do not want to run I definitely incorporate some walking into my routine 🙂


    Angela @ The Chicken Scoop August 2, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Ah, I so needed to read this blog today. I have been totally struggling with motivation for my half marathon training. Yesterday though, I just forced myself to go for my run. I gcut it short due to heat and ankle irritation (don’t want to get hurt!). It was the first time in a while that I just made myself go! I definitely think I can take a page out of Mal’s book though and make myself feel guilty. That would totally work for me!


    Jane @ Jane's Addictions August 2, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for posting your running tricks. I have days I just don’t feel like running no matter how much I love it, but once I get out there and my feet hit the road, I end up having the best runs.


    Jessica @ Dishin' About Nutrition August 2, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Great tips! I looooove the puggy too!


    Amanda August 2, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I LOVE the pics of Murphy!!! Adorable! I always show my husband pics of Murphy because I am obsessed with the idea of getting a pug as soon as we’re in a pug-friendly location.


    Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather August 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Great tips to get going with that run! That pug face is too cute 🙂


    Emily August 2, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Good tips! I think just putting on my running clothes make me get out there! I can’t wait until it cools down here in Dallas, so I can run outside and start half marathon training again! The treadmill is getting old!


    Stephanie @ Food and Fitness 4 Real August 2, 2011 at 9:40 am

    When my alarm went off at 4:45 this morning to meet my training group, I REALLY wanted to turn it off and sleep another hour. I just reminded myself that I do not have any other time today to get my run in and I would feel guilty if I skipped it. I think I was half asleep for the first five minutes of the run but it felt great to get it out of the way early.


    Jordan @ food, sweat, and beers August 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Ah, I wish that I was half as motivated as a pup by a few cherry tomatoes… folks could get me to do ANYTHING!


    VeggieGirl August 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for the tips! Its toooo hot here in Florida though, I have to work out in the AC gym or I would die!


    Cait @ Cait hates Cake August 2, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I just got back from vacation and am having a hard time getting the motivation to get back into workout mode. Thanks for the tips!


    Margo @ peanut butter trees August 2, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Oats in a jar is a PERFECT lunch! Or snack.. or breakfast.. anytime, I just love ’em!


    EmilyK August 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Something that usually works for me is going on running errands. Gotta drop of a netflix one miles away?? PERFECT!!!


    Tamara August 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Fear is a great motivator for me. I only /just/ got to the point that I can run two miles comfortably, and I’m terrified that if I slack off for half a week I’ll be right back to huffing and puffing pathetically!


    Laura @ Unchartered 20s August 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    These are some great tips! Not even just for running, but for any work out. Once you get started, you might as well finish.


    Kelsey August 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Usually the “just 10 minutes” trick works for me too.


    Emily August 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    So, where’s the “overnight” piece for OIAJ? I’ve never had them but from the looks of the recipe, I know I’ll love ’em! No more scraping the bottom of the jar with a spatula for me!


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