Run when you don’t want to – 14 tips to get out the door
It happens to everyone. At some point during your training, you are going to have a time where you just don’t want to run. In reality, missing a run here and there isn’t the end of the world. But there are things you can do to get yourself out the door. We talked about this in podcast #19 and there is a summary of the conversation below.
14 Tips to Run When You Don’t Want To
1. Get a Running Partner
- The ultimate accountability
- Should both meet somewhere (avoid just meeting at one another’s house)
- Agree if you need to cancel you won’t do it till last minute
A running partner is a great way to stay accountable. Just be smart about it and follow the tips above.
2. Make it public
- Post your planned workouts online (blog, facebook, twitter, etc)
- Post your completed workouts online
- Share with as many people as possible
- Post your % complete
Displaying your planned activity, completed activity, and the percentage complete can help boost your way out the door. Who wants to say they’ve only completed 50% of their workouts. Commit to posting everything publicly.
3. Reward yourself
- Figure out short term goals and reward yourself
- Try to avoid food as a reward
- Buy something you’ve wanted
- Go to the movies
- Go get a massage
This seems simple, but can be motivating. Especially if you can get something you’ve been wanting – what a great reward! Just make sure you stick to it. For example, if you reward yourself weekly for completing 100% of your workouts, make sure you don’t give yourself that reward if you didn’t make it.
4. Hang a Picture on the mirror
- Of you before/after
- Of you from another time
- Motivating pic of someone else
- Picture of someone you know that can’t run/walk
There’s nothing like a visual aid to create a need. Vanity is a good way to make you feel motivated. Put a picture like mentioned above in a location that you can see it when you typically decide not to go out and do your workout. Look at it, and go!
5. Alarm Clock – Make it inconvenient
- Make yourself get out of bed and walk
- Head to the bathroom and turn on the light.
- See your mirror picture
Just simply getting out of bed and starting the blood movement can help wake you up enough. If you’re alarm clock is convenient, so is the snooze button. After you get up, avoid going right back to bed and instead go try and go the bathroom. Turn on the light, which will also help wake you. See that picture we just talked about, and maybe that will do it.
6. Lay your Clothes out
- Lay out all your clothes, GPS, etc in convenient place
- Have you walk past as you go to shut off the alarm
Make it so easy to put on your clothes that there isn’t a barrier. Sometimes just having your clothes in a laundry basket or in a drawer is enough to keep someone from running early in the morning. Take away the excuse.
7. Throw your clothes in the dryer
- Warm clothes are easier to put on
- Shouldn’t affect your running
- Makes it easier to go outside
On a cold morning, sometimes all we can think about is our warm bed. Throwing your clothes in the dryer may just do the trick. If you start warm, it won’t feel so bad in the cold weather. Even better, put your running clothes in the dryer the night before. Put your alarm clock in a box that locks, and throw the key in the dryer, too. Your alarm clock with go off, you’ll have to run to the dryer to get the key, start the dryer, and go shut off your alarm. By then, you’ll be so awake you might as well go ahead and run.
8. Do an online competition
- Example – Strava ride and run challenges
- Log your miles/time against other people.
- Join many – more = more accountable
- Create a workout challenge at the office
Competition is a great way to stay motivated, and there is plenty out in the virtual world to get in on. Find one on social channels or your favorite running website.
9. Start a weight loss challenge – keep playing on your vanity
- Do an office challenge
- Do a competition with friends
- Use $$ for winner, or free entry to something fun for the winner
- Make the loser do something not so fun (e.g. pour a bucket of cold water over their head)
Nothing quite motivates us like looking better. Running can help do that, and if we have to weigh in on a consistent basis, we are more likely to keep the activity. Just be sure to make it realistic. We can only really lose 2-3 lbs a week safely, so rather than total pounds, try doing something like percentage of total body weight lost. For more tips on losing weight, check out our blog called Take 9 Steps to Lose that Stubborn Weight!
10. Drink something
- Maybe you didn’t stay hydrated throughout the day
- Dehydrated state steals your energy – drink and get some energy
Everyone feels exhausted when they come home after work. Many times it’s related to our level of hydration. If that is the case, you may very well not feel like running. Just simply drinking a glass of water may bring back your needed energy, and prepare you for your workout anyway.
11. Eat something
- Low on calories? Some quick calories may just do the trick
- Something like an Orange will give you quick pick-up
Similar to hydration status, having a low level of blood glucose can make you feel drained. Just eating something may bring back your desire to do your workout.
12. Commit to a walk
- Walking is really easy, and many of us want to do that at the end of the day anyway
- You may find you start running
- Remember how you feel after a run – accomplished, energized, psyched
Committing to a walk is pretty easy. Walking doesn’t take a lot of effort, so if we lace up our shoes with that in mind, we very well may go out the door. I would bet that probably find that 9 times out of 10 you start running once you’re out there.
13. Do a Triathlon
- Gear is generally revealing
- Do something different to challenge yourself
This may be playing the vanity card a little bit again. What most people wear for a triathlon is quite revealing. It’s skin tight and often only covering a small percentage of your body. Just knowing you will be around hundreds of other people in that state may make you work pretty hard to get in shape.
14. Get a training plan
- Get yourself a training plan – structure is good for compliance
- Bonus – they tend to keep you injury free!
Maybe the smartest thing to do is to get a training plan. The structure can really help people stay on track because it’s something to plan by.
Good luck and try your best to get out the door!
Level 1 USAT Coach