What Motivates a Runner?

by Brad Boughman

What would drive someone to jump out of bed in the early morning hours and run for countless miles before most people even hear the alarm go off? Are they crazy? Maybe, but probably not.

Once someone dedicates themselves to running, whether as an avenue to lose weight, have more energy, look better, or simply live a healthy lifestyle, they begin to realize the full range of benefits running provides. Running then becomes a habit. For many, it even becomes somewhat of an addiction (a good one). The "runner's high" is just something they must have.

Running is about a lot more than just being in shape and looking good. It provides a great mental escape during the run. Running allows your mind to run free and thoughts to flow. It provides stress relief as one can not only feel good during and after the exercise (as those endorphins get pumping), but can relax and enjoy the run, the moment. For many, running becomes a spiritual thing.

The challenge for many beginning runners is getting to the point of habit. While they may be motivated during the first weeks of running, they fall into the trap of making simple excuses to take a morning off and then find themselves losing motivation.

See if this sounds familiar: Someone decides to start running to get into shape. They run 3-4 days per week for two weeks. Week three arrives and Monday morning the alarm clock goes off while they are cozy in bed and they think, “I’ve been doing so good I’ll treat myself to a morning off and some extra sleep.” Just that one morning off early on can create a big-time setback for many as they may take another run off or even longer, thus delaying them from getting into the habit of running or preventing from ever even getting into the habit.

If you are new to running or just trying to get back into the mode, do yourself a favor and stick with your plans early on. Do the simple things like laying out your running gear the night before to help motivate you the next morning. Run consistently for 4-6 weeks, at a minimum, and you’ll be on track to a healthy life of exercise. Consistency is the key and staying motivated is the way. Run!

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