How To Increase Your Running Motivation – Choose Your Goal

What is running motivation? When we as humans think or talk about motivation, it has often something to do with the expectations we have of ourselves. When the bad conscience comes from yourself, it’s because you have made choices that go against your own desires and expectations. In how to increase your running motivation, we’ll discuss that.

How To Increase Your Running Motivation - Choose Your Goal Beginner Motivation
Three friends in a running competition.

Motivation and Expectation

For example, if you have set a running goal, made a plan for how to train to achieve the goal, and then do not follow the plan, it can give bad conscience. You could also go against your personal values for how you want to live and train and then it gives you bad conscience.

But if the bad conscience comes from within, it can actually be a help as you can use it to stop and ask yourself, “Hello, am I in the process of compromising my goals or values?”

However, when the bad conscience comes from within, it is most crucial that you stop and assess whether your expectations of yourself are unrealistic high.

Have you set your expectations too high about your available time or physical ability?

If, on the other hand, you have set realistic but far too low expectations for yourself, it can give the feeling that you are wasting your talent or your time instead of taking benefit of your opportunities and training more.

It can give you a bad conscience that you are not fully utilizing your potential. The bad conscience is good in these cases and should be seen as a loving “kick in the ass” to yourself and a reminder to find out if your motivation is declining.

How To Increase Your Running Motivation declining performance
When motivation is declining, it can be difficult to hit the target.

What Motivates You?

When you need to find your motivation to reach your running goal, it can be helpful for you to find out if your motivation is based on something you want to avoid
or something you want to achieve. It is often easy to see how we as humans are motivated.

Some achieve the greatest motivation if it is based on fear (to avoid), while others have greater motivation for something they want to achieve. If you are in doubt about your own motivation direction, the next section might help you on the way.

Find a Positive Worded Goal

How To Increase Your Running Motivation – Choose Your Goal

Imagine an African Savannah with a lion and a wildebeest. The lion wants to catch the wildebeest, while the wildebeest for everything in the world wants to avoid being caught.

Scared to death and without direction the wildebeests, therefore, run for their lives, while the lion, who is far more determined on catching the wildebeest, can keep the focus on the goal, lay out a strategy, and achieve to catch the wildebeest.

When the wildebeest achieves its goal, which is to escape from the lion, it falls back to its normal life. This is how it will continue until it is attacked again and has to flee. The lion, on the other hand, will continue its hunt until the goal is reached and then it will set a new goal and pursue it, and in this way, it will go on and on.

The lion never runs out of what it wants to achieve – food and to achieve this, the lion attacks with 100% focus on a specific target in the wildebeest herd.

Your motivation direction

The lesson of this story about the lion and the wildebeest is that if your motivation is based on something you want to avoid, then you will often change direction and not determine the degree of your motivation yourself.

It will fluctuate in line with your fear of what you want to avoid. If you are motivated by something you want to avoid, then you will find that you lose motivation the moment you get away from it.

If, on the other hand, you are motivated by something you want to achieve, then you have a specific focus and thus greater chances of reaching the goal. You will also be better at setting a new goal and pursuing it. Just like the lion on the Savannah.

If you think back to your last goals – what motivated you? Something you wanted to avoid, or something you wanted to achieve?

What if we, for example, paraphrase a goal such as you want to avoid becoming overweight to: “I want to achieve my ideal weight”? then it goes from something you want to avoid to something you want to achieve. Then you change from being a wildebeest to becoming a lion.

If you want to avoid a lifestyle disease, then you could change the goal to “I want to achieve greater health”? Try to think about it and find out what you want – rather than what you want to avoid!

How To Increase Your Running Motivation Choose Your Goal

The Feeling of Not Being Good Enough

Do you feel that you should run because others will think badly of you if you do not train?

You are not alone in this. If you went down to a gym or a running club and had an honest talk with the members, then there will be more who have the training as their fixed point in an otherwise chaotic and not always happy life – especially In/after these pandemic times.

Why is it like that? There are several reasons for this, but one of them is that training is something tangible. It’s either something you can get success with or not get success with.

It’s something that potentially can change how you look, how others see you, and how you look at yourself. Everything is important for whether you feel good enough.

If this is the case that you are not actually happy with yourself or the life you are living, then it’s natural that you take on something that you feel is easier to control and more tangible for you.

You may have many successful experiences and other benefits that can give you strengthened self-confidence, but it does not necessarily do anything about your self-esteem. Do you know the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem?

Self-Confidence Increase Motivation

 Discover How To Increase Your Running Motivation small female
Self-confidence is very specific. In some areas, we can feel very little self-confidence

self-confidence is something quite specific. It’s your belief that you can accomplish a particular task and you can succeed in something specific.

You can e.g. have high self-confidence about running, but low self-confidence with swimming. You may even have high self-confidence about running 5 km, but low self-confidence by running 10 km.

Your self-confidence is important for your motivation and your commitment to a project. If you do not believe that it will succeed for you, then you may be more vulnerable when adversity strikes you, and see challenges as a confirmation that it will not succeed.

How will you build confidence around a goal of running? There are things you can do that are important for you to buildup self-confidence two of them are:

Past success experiences

that is similar to the task you are facing now. Think back to the times when you managed and completed a demanding task. You can e.g. have trained after a plan for a long period and completed a goal which thus became a success. What was it that actually succeeded for you? What did you do to get started? What worked?

Try to make the memories as sensory-based as possible to really get the full emotional experience. An important element in building self-confidence is of course also to succeed in what you are doing right now.

Here it’s important that you set realistic expectations for yourself so that you do not end up in a situation where you constantly disappoint yourself and therefore eventually give up.

If your confidence in one area is not the greatest in the world, then start with small steps and build up from there over time. For example, being able to run for 4 minutes without a break could be the first step on the road to running your first half-marathon.

Verbal support

Man and woman talk together while running on asphalt road with mountain landscape as background

An important factor in building the belief that you can succeed with your running project is to be told by others such as your coach that they believe you can do it. You definitely already know who you want to hear it from.

There are people where their faith in you does not matter and where you just want to say thank you and think “You just say that because…” and then there are others where it really makes a difference that they believe in you.

Those where you can feel that “when they believe in me, I can!” But no matter who it is, keep in mind that if they say you can, it’s either because they actually believe you can, or because they love you and want to support you on the path to the goal.

Whether it’s one or the other you should take it to yourself. If there is not enough in your close circle of friends who say it to you then find someone whose opinion you trust and get support from there. Just remember that it means something positive when those who care about you say they believe in you.

With Self-Esteem Motivation is Easy

While self-confidence is the belief that you can have power and succeed in a specific task, self-esteem is your general image of yourself as a human being. Therefore, you should consider yourself to be a human being who has value to the world around you, that it means something to someone that you are here.

High self-esteem forms a solid foundation for achieving goals with the challenges you choose. Use your self-esteem to feel what you want and do it for your own sake.

 Discover How To Increase Your Running Motivation Woman in wheel chair winning a race

Increase Your Running Motivation – Being Aware of Your Goal

Knowing the answer to why you want to run can help give you motivation and at the same time be the foundation for the plan that needs to be made. There can be many reasons why you would like to run. Try to think about your reasons for running such as:

• I want to run to lose weight

• I want to train to improve my performance and set new records or complete exciting competitions.

• I want to exercise to improve my health or just stay healthy and full of energy

• A completely different reason

The clearer your goal is formulated, the easier it is for you to notice if it makes sense to you as well as to use the right plan to reach the goal. If you are ready to start a running training project now, I can recommend the beginner program and then move on with the specialization.

It obviously depends on your physical starting point. But in Marathon Training Buddy you will find a lot of physiology- and training knowledge to support your running motivation and progress.

Final Thoughts

The feeling of having a purpose for what you do and motivation is what it takes to create a result or realize a goal. There is a big difference between just having a dream – and having some specific reasons to fight your way through all the obstacles to your goal.

There are many ways to create results, but you should know why you want to create them. You can use a coach or a trusted person to help with realizing your running project.

I hope you get something out of this post and if you have any questions about the topic or want to leave your own Personal review, please leave a comment below.

How can I motivate myself to go for a run?

Find as many reasons as possible for what you get out of going for a run – feel them! Get support from a GPS wrist watch to measure your progress. Get the running gear you love. Join a club and experience the joy of training with others that support your goals as you support their goals, and add in elements of competition and motivation.
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6 thoughts on “How To Increase Your Running Motivation – Choose Your Goal”

  1. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your review as it contains valuable information’s one can hold on to. As for me my running motivation has always been the benefits one can achieve from running, and it has always worked out well for me

  2. The over all topic is very interesting and motivating for me, cause I usually run a lot, not as a Martian but the motivation I had for my health purpose. My goal was first mile then exceed to five miles within the week, from day one of the week to the weekend of the Friday. That was my experience in setting goals. That was twenty one years ago, all goals stop.

    Now at age seventy plus, I find myself setting goals again, by working to achieve an online business, I know I should mop out my step by step goals, but fair taking over that I will not complete goal set, therefore, I haven’t given myself any time frame to accomplish, I know it’s not logic, but I am still going along.

    After reading this article, and the reasons behind not achieving goals, I see myself in those examples, so I will change my course and work on myself in setting goal for success in my online business.

    Thanks for sharing this great article.

    • Hi Affiliate for Amazon

      Thank you for the comment – and your story. Happy that you could use some of it. Since you have already achieved goals you have set before, it will be easier to complete new goals – and you are already started in your way. – Wish you the best with future goals.

      Be Well

  3. Thanks for sharing this great article in setting goals. I have been lacking in setting goals to achieve success, Mary because I am not under any pressure to do so, but at the same time I do want to succeed in online business, yet on specific goal is set.

    Many of your explanations on reason why and why not most goals aren’t reach, and I saw myself in all. This is an eye Opening for me.

    Thank you.


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