We all have good intentions. We set our alarms the night before, lay out our workout clothes, and even make a date with friends to run. But sometimes you wake up and you're just not feeling it. But don't skip out on your run — you know you'll regret it later. Use these tried and true tips (we used them ourselves) to motivate yourself on days when running feels more like dragging.
Give Yourself Five Minutes
Go through the effort to slip on your sports bra and sneaks and tell yourself you'll run for just five minutes. That's usually how long it takes to warm up and get into a groove, so once the five minutes are up, you'll have the physical and mental energy to finish the rest of your workout. If after five minutes you're still feeling sluggish, give it another five minutes. If after 10 full minutes you're feeling worse than when you started, your body might be telling you it needs a break, and it's time to throw in the towel until tomorrow's workout.
Start With a Hill
I know it seems crazy to start with something that requires so much effort, but if you get the hardest part over with first, the rest of your run will feel like smooth sailing. Plus, reaching the top of a hill always invigorates me and puts a little pep in my step.
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Run Your Usual Route Backwards
If you're running outside, mix up your route and run it backwards. The new scenery will keep your attention and prevent you from getting bored. If you're running at the gym, choose a treadmill in a different part of the room to get a new perspective.
Play Some New Tunes
Music is a powerful motivator, but not if you've listened to Kanye West's "Stronger" a trillion times. Tap through your iPod and choose a playlist you haven't heard in forever, put your iPod on shuffle to inspire your feet to move, or take advantage of Pandora, which recently added 10 new workout stations.
Give Yourself Permission to Go Light
If you normally run five miles, the idea of tackling that distance might be what's holding you back. Cut your mileage in half and it'll feel much more doable, and keep in mind that a short run is better than no run. Plus, after completing your mini-workout, you might feel like it was a cinch and get the urge to keep going.