Friday, September 4, 2015

12 Habits of Highly Motivated Runners

I am struggling with running motivation at this moment.

Can you tell? I've hardly posted any exciting (to me) new run updates.  It doesn't help that this week has been disgustingly hot.  A whole week with temperatures at 90 or above does not make me a very happy runner.

One of my favorite ways to motivate myself into running is by reading my favorite running blogs and to read anything on Runners World.

That is how I found this article: 12 Habits of Highly Motivated Runners

I thought, "That used to be me! I used to be highly motivated! What were my secrets!?" After reading through the list, I found lots of habits that I had and even more that I didn't.

1. Become a Morning Runner

Habit: No. Definitely not.  Even on the weekends I rarely run before 8 am.

Make it a Habit: Start with getting up early once or twice a week.  Have your running clothes and supplies laid out the night before to you can grab and go.  I also find that putting my alarm across the bedroom is a more effective way to wake up early.  If I have to get up to turn off my alarm I'm more likely to stay up.  Make a running date with a friend to encourage you to get out of bed earlier.

2. Strength Train Regularly

Habit: Sort of.  I'm becoming more consistent with 1-2 lifting sessions a week.

Make it a Habit: Add strength training to your running plan.  You wouldn't miss a run so why would you miss your strength training session?  I like to do my strength training on cross training days or right after my runs.

3. Cross Train Regularly

Habit: Yes!  I go to spin class once a week and I also do lots of walking with my dogs.

Make it a Habit:  Just like strength training, add cross training to your training schedule.  The best part of cross training is that it can be fun! Walk around the neighborhood with friends, family, or your pets.  Bike while doing errands.  Gym classes are my favorite ways to get in cross training.

4. Eat More Vegetables

Habit: I don't think I could possibly eat more vegetables than I already do.

Make it a Habit:  I like to have veggies for snacks instead of chips or crackers.  Carrots with salsa are one of my favorite go to snacks!

5. Warm up Before and Run and Stretch and Foam Roll After

Habit: Not really.  My warm up is usually the first 1 or 2 miles of the run.  I'm definitely inconsistent stretching and foam rolling after my run, though I feel way better when I do.

Make it a Habit:  Adjust your schedule to allow for extra time to warm-up before  a run.  Dynamic stretches are the best way to do this!  Following your workout, do your foam rolling and stretches while watching a show on your (if it's like mine) crowded DVR.

6. Unplug on the Run Once a Week

Habit: Occasionally.  I aim for once a week.  As I've been listening to podcasts more and more it has become my go to for runs.

Make it a Habit:  Make one day a week your tech-free day.  I like to run without music and without my focus on my Garmin during short, easy runs.

7. Cook at Home More Often

Habit: I cook at home Monday-Friday and usually Sunday.  We definitely eat at home more often than out.

Make it a Habit:  We make a meal list for the week on Sundays so I know ahead of time what I will be making.  I also like to make new recipes which keeps on interest and can make cooking more fun!

8. Add a Weekly Long Run

Habit: Though I love my weekly long run, I have less motivation to do it when I'm not training for a race.

Make it a Habit:  Running on different routes and trails helps keep long runs more exciting and less monotonous.  Look at your calendar and keep an eye out for conflicts.  If you have a cookout planned with friends for Sunday, Saturday may be your best day to fit in your long run.

9. Get Enough Sleep

Habit: 99% of the time yes. I am super crabby when I don't sleep enough. Chris can confirm this.

Make it a Habit: Turn off all electronics prior to beginning your bedroom routine.  Their dim blue light can affect melatonin production!  Find a bedtime that works for you (and that will allow you to get 7-8 hours of sleep) and stick to it! I go upstairs around 9:00 pm, get ready for bed, and read until I'm tired.

10. Apply Sunscreen Before Each Run

 Habit: Yes! I apply a lotion daily with SPF in it.  For longer runs on hot days I also spray on SPF 30 before running.

Make it a Habit: Make applying sunscreen part of your routine as you would with putting on your running clothes and shoes.  PRO Tip: A great time to do this is while you're waiting for your Garmin to locate satellites.  I set my watch outside to think while I am getting dressed.

11. Eat Breakfast Everyday

Habit: I would never miss breakfast. It's my favorite meal.

Make it a Habit: Have quick breakfasts idea ready to take on the go like oatmeal and fruit.  I tend to make a smoothie every morning for breakfast.  Have the smoothie ingredients pre-measured and frozen together in ziploc bags saves on morning prep time.

12. Sit Less

Habit: Yes! My job involves me standing and walking around more than half the workday.  I am running around the school from classroom to classroom and from student to student with a few moments in between to document.  When I get home from work I am on my feet cooking, cleaning, running, etc.

Make it a Habit: Make it a point during the day to take a walking break to the bathroom.  Walk to someone's office instead of sending an email.

What of these 12 habits do you do?

Which ones do you wish you did more of?


  1. I definitely needed this post. I've been feeling a bit unmotivated. And you're right, this weather stinks.
    I'm good at running early, unplugging, and always getting my sleep. Also recently I've been spinning more so I think I can now consider regular cross training a habit.
    I definitely need to do more strength training though and eat more veggies (or just better in general).

    1. Hopefully the weather will turn around soon! I need some fall weather to run in!

  2. These are great! I definitely should put on sunscreen more often (especially running in TX) and I am always wishing for more sleep. One of these days! :)

  3. Cool article! I definitely run early but I don't think that makes me more motivated than someone who prefers to run later. I definitely strength train and eat bfast on the reg... same with the stretching, warming up and cooling down! However, I used to not do ANY of that stuff- and I definitely didn't start doing it all at once. I changed one habit at a time as I felt I needed to.

    1. Good advice! I find the more I run the better choices overall I make. Running has definitely led to more healthy habits.

  4. I am working on sitting less when I am not running! My job changes alot and lately I have been sitting more and I definitely notice that my hips get tighter. This is a great list of things to work on!