My First Run + 4 Ways to Get Yourself Motivated to Start Running Again

how to motivate yourself to run

You know that feeling you get when you start a run, especially when it’s the first or second one you’ve done in a long time? You feel like a million bucks. That first minute you’re like, “what was I so afraid of, this is easy!” You might even speed up to a pace you know is unsustainable, but screw it!

Then around 58 seconds in you feel like someone is punching you in the ribs, squeezing your chest, and that there isn’t enough oxygen in the entire earth’s atmosphere.

So that happened. I ran in my neighborhood which is incredibly hilly. I realized that running at 7,400 feet above sea level is absurdly difficult. But I kept running. I managed to make it for 15 minutes with about two minutes of walking in between.

The downhill was way better than the uphill, so I ended the run on a little bit of a high.

I felt really proud of myself. I felt really motivated and even though it was crazy hard, I got out there and did it.

Getting back into running is hard. There’s a mental block there that stops you from believing that you are capable. You know it’s going to be really hard at first and getting through those first few runs can totally brake you.

how to stay motivated torun
Ready for my run! (and being attacked by my houseplant).

1. Tell People You’re Doing it

This blog has been great. Even if no one is reading it, I am putting it out there that I am running. I tell my boyfriend Luke that I’m going for a run. I tell my Instagram followers and my Facebook followers (massive shameless plug). That way I feel like I sort of HAVE to go because I told people I was going to do it and I don’t want to be embarrassed or not follow through with my word.

2. Schedule It Into Your Day

Set it into your schedule. Put it at the time of day that suits you best. I know a lot of people prefer to run first thing in the morning, but that doesn’t really work for me. I have the most energy and time about an hour or two after lunch. I clear my schedule around that time so nothing gets in the way. I set my clothes out so that I don’t have any excuse and even if the weather is bad, I’ll head out with a rain jacket.

3. Ask Yourself Why You Want to Do This?

I think this was a really important thing for me. I had to really ask myself why I wanted to get back into running again. For me, running isn’t about exercising for keeping fit. For me, running is a form of meditation. It’s a way for me to shut out the rest of the world, to shut off my mind, and to push my body in ways that I don’t do in any other way.

For me, the answer to this question is the reason that I’m going to keep running even when it gets hard. It’s the thing that I will keep coming back to as I push through those first few weeks and begin to have some semblance of endurance.

4. Be Proud of Whatever You Accomplish

You guys, running is hard. Running uphill for 10 minutes at 7,400 feet above sea level is some of the hardest running I’ve ever done. The me of a few years ago would have been so annoyed with myself for only making it for 15 minutes. I would have felt like such a failure and I probably wouldn’t have been that motivated to get back out there again for a while.

This time around though, I’m allowing myself to be human. I know how hard it is to get back into running shape and I’m going to enjoy the journey. I’m going to be proud of the fact that I laced up my sneakers for the first time in over two years. The fact that I actually went outside and ran even though it was raining a little bit and I did it for more than two minutes is pretty awesome I think.

Be proud of whatever you accomplish. If you walk for 10 minutes and only manage to jog for 30 seconds at a time, that’s freaking awesome. You know you can only go up from there.

5. Find Likeminded People

I thought this would be really hard actually, but it’s easier than I thought. The best place that I’ve been able to find other runners who are kind and supportive has been on Instagram. I started following Run Eat Repeat and Hungry Runner Girl and then through them I’ve found tons of other runners who are just starting their journey like me. People have left me lovely comments on my photos and it’s been super motivating.

Even if you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to complete strangers on the internet, simply following along with people on their blogs or on Instagram is a great way to get a bit of motivation. To see other people doing it, pushing themselves and struggling with similar issues lets you know you’re not alone.


This Week

I started my Monday with this awesome power yoga video. I try to aim for really energizing workouts on Mondays while still doing a lot of stretching and this definitely helped with that.

Tomorrow will be a 40-minute pilates class. Wednesday is going to be my next run, so I’ll probably start the morning with a light yoga video or core workout. With that run, I’m going to do the same thing I did for my first run. I’m going to take it slow and just go for as long as I feel comfortable with.

Thursday and Friday are more pilates classes and then I’ll run again on Saturday. I’m thinking on Saturday that I’ll head to a local park and attempt a sort of fartlek session. We’ll see how that goes!

What workouts are you doing this week? Have you just started running or have you been running for a while? What motivates you to get off the couch and hitting the pavement? I’d love to know!


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