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September 11, 2013

how to: stay motivated while running.

Running is a hard thing. Unless you've been running for your whole life and you're like some crazy marathon runner (and maybe even then) it's not an easy thing to do. When I was younger I played soccer, and looking back I really can't believe how easy running was for me. With a team around you there's a network of support, inspiration from competition, and two coaches blowing whistles at you making sure your tush keeps moving at a bionic pace. But in the real world, when you've worked an 11 hour day and all you want to do when you get home is go to sleep, running is not easy at all.

While I'm running, I will try to make any excuse to justify cutting the run short or to just stop all together and walk the rest of the way home. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I really get into my head and it's always very early on. Since I've been running more and more and really enjoying the way that I feel afterward, I've had to force myself to stay motivated so that I can continue to remember why I am running in the first place. These are a couple of things to stay motivated while running that work for me.

1// make a killer playlist. Music is everything for me while I'm running. If I'm on a playlist that has a bunch of slower songs, I really lose my groove while I'm focusing on changing the song to something that will pump me up a little more. Once a fast paced song with a great beat comes on I find myself running a little bit faster and even enjoying it more. Also, if you download the nike+ app, or have it on your ipod like me, you can set a "power song" which can be played when you need pumping up. My power song right now is set to "can't hold us" by macklemore, and when I know I'm about four minutes from finished, I play it so that I can end my run on a good note (no pun intended). Some other good songs that get me running a little faster are this, this, and this.

2// change up your route every time. At first when I started running I would run the same course around my neighborhood every day, and once I tried to extend my time, I realized I would have to run past my original route, which was hard because it felt like I should be done when I wasn't. By changing up my route from then on, it became a lot easier to keep going. Also, I usually run as far away from my house as possible once I first start because I know full well that I will have to run farther to get back and won't have a choice.

3// run a little bit further every day. Even if it's .01 miles more than the day before, it's a bit farther and makes your body a bit stronger. If you try and run the same amount every day, you end up settling and you become used to that distance. You have to keep pushing yourself otherwise it'll get old like any other routine.

That's about all I've figured out so far. I haven't got it all figured out yet, but I know that this whole running thing is getting easier for me, so I must be doing something right. What do you do to stay motivated during a workout?

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