Marathon motivation tips

Published on
December 18, 2022
Everyone has days when they just don’t feel like running – when the sofa, or the pub, seem more tempting...

How to stay positive and powered up for your training

Everyone has days when they just don’t feel like running – when the sofa, or the pub, seem more tempting – but if you’re preparing for a marathon, you need to find ways to stay on track. The next time you’re struggling to get out the door, follow these top tips for running motivation.

1. Set small goals

Whether it’s running a bit further or faster than last time, or reaching a certain point in your route without walking, having a target in mind for each run will give your training a sense of purpose – and hitting that goal will give you an even greater sense of accomplishment.

2. Run with friends

The social side of running is a key reason why many people start the sport and carry on doing it. By joining and running with members of a local running club, or running with friends or colleagues, your sessions can feel both easier and more enjoyable.

3. Track your progress

Completing a training log, or recording your runs online, can really help you stay motivated and accountable as you work towards your marathon goal. By looking back at previous entries, you’ll remind yourself how far you've come, which is sure to encourage you to keep giving your best during training.

4. Remember the health benefits

Running is good for you! Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness or achieve a personal best, running gives back what you put in. It’s also an excellent stress-buster thanks to the feel-good endorphins you produce during exercise.

5. Do it for a good cause

If you’re not already fundraising for charity, then signing up to run for a good cause will give you a huge motivation boost. The money you raise could make a huge difference – and this thought should help you to keep going if 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." But how do you put this into practice? You inject some variety into your running sessions. To add a bit of spice to your training, you could try hill repeats, a track session, or sign up for a trail race. Or you could just run somewhere new to freshen up your routine.

7. Avoid an ‘all or nothing’ approach

If you’re short on time or really not feeling up to a long session, just go out 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 your efforts

Treating yourself to some new running gear is a great way to give your training a boost as you’ll be keen to get outside to show off your fresh kit! You could also promise yourself a sports massage or a running gadget if you stay on track with your training and hit goals along the way.

9. Be inspired

Which athletes do you look up to? Many big-name runners have written books, recorded podcasts or filmed documentaries about their amazing exploits and how they've pushed themselves to greatness, so why not read about, listen to or watch someone who has inspired you to see what learnings you can take for your own training?

10. Have something to look forward to

By lining up a treat of some kind at the end of your run, you're more likely to stay focused during the session and give your best until the end. The treat could be a good meal with family or friends, an episode of your favourite TV show or simply a relaxing, hot bath.

Feeling suitably motivated? Now get out there and put these tips into practice!

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