Never in my life have I wanted to be athletic. Actually, I take that back. I tried to sign up to take the athletic course in PE in middle school so I could try out for the volley ball team. I remember being in the office and my teacher sat me down and asked me if this was something I was sure I wanted to do and basically talked me out of it. I’m really glad she did too.. Yes, it would have saved me from two years of square dancing with gross teenage boys, but looking back, the trade wouldn’t have been worth it. Those athletic students didn’t look like they were having fun, especially those who never even made a team.
Choosing to run (or even exercise) is very out of character for me. It’s something that I am aware of, and I knew it was something I would really have to work on before I would even start running. So I sat myself down and tried to think of how I could take my interests and make them running related so I could possibly be motivated to get out and run. So here are the 7 things that I did to try and be motivated
- Read a book about running.
I’m an avid reader, always have been. Something I’ve noticed about myself is I become seriously interested in the topic of the book and want to learn more about it or get involved myself. For example, when I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed I started to look up different easy trails I could walk that would be less dangerous and cumbersome than the PCT. I didn’t know many running books, so I headed to social media to get some recommendations! Here are some of the books that were recommended to me: 1) What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami 2) Born to Run by Christopher McDougall 3) The Terrible And Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman 4) The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais and 5) Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley. I’m currently reading The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women. Instead of reading it all in one sitting, I’m trying to stretch it out so that it will continue to keep me motivated. Although there are lots of books on running, so I may just go ahead and finish it up so that I can start on a new one 🙂
- Make a great playlist.
There really isn’t anything worse than listening to lack-luster songs while doing something you already don’t enjoy. So sit down and take the time to choose about 35 minutes (or longer) worth of music for a kick-ass playlist! I would also suggest more upbeat songs to get you feeling excited. Listening to slow ballads while you’re trying to run at a quick pace isn’t the most motivating. Personally, my playlist is full of Disney songs!
- Tell people.
Just tell people what you want to start doing and then have them ask you about it the following week. Quick tip: if you’re like me and quit often, don’t tell the people who are already going to be expecting you to quit. Post about it on Facebook/Twitter. Tell your parents, siblings, coworkers, etc. The more people that know, the higher chance there will be of people asking you about it. And if you know they are going to be asking you about it, you’ll be more inclined to actually do what you said you would.
- Join a running group online/offline.
I’ve been told that running groups in the real world are a thing. You can pay and be a part of a group that runs together and will encourage you to keep going and all that jazz. Unfortunately, I live in a rural area of South Korea and this isn’t an option for me. What I did was go to Facebook and try to find a group that was focused on running. Guess what I found. HOGWARTS RUNNING CLUB (HRC)! This is probably the greatest thing for me… It combines my favorite thing (Harry Potter) with my least favorite thing (exercise). You should really check out their website, but it’s a pretty cool set-up. You join your house and the miles you run during the week are used to try and help you gain house points for the yearly competition. I’ve posted a couple times in the Ravenclaw Facebook group and everyone is extremely supportive and kind. I think there are other nerd themed running clubs, so you can most likely find something suited to you 🙂
- Sign up for a (virtual) race.
I actually found HRC while I was looking for a virtual 5K. The HRC has (I think) 6 virtual races each year that you can register for! They are all different lengths and all benefit different charities. Again, it would probably be better to sign up for an actual race, but I’m out here in the country and that isn’t an option for me at the moment. Plus, a virtual 9 3/4K gives me the chance to build up to that distance at my own pace 🙂 You are sent the medal in the mail and you don’t need to send in times or even prove that you completed the race, which is something that I think suits my purpose well. I currently have the medal, but I won’t display it or anything until I can run that distance! But knowing that I have it encourages me 😀
- Choose a fun app to start with. There are soooo many apps out there to get you running or just to map how far you’ve run. I chose to use Zombie Run 5K. The app is a branch off the Zombies Run app that gives you a story to follow while you are running away from zombies. Their 5K app has you starting off slow (walking 10 min, walk 1 min run 15 sec, repeat 10 times, walk 10 min) until you read the point where you are able to run a 5K! The plan is 3 days a week for 8 weeks. I’ve also heard of other apps like Couch to 5K, but I haven’t used them.
- Listen to a running podcast.
Listening to someone who can talk about running and be excited and encouraging is extremely helpful! Or maybe it’s just Kelly Roberts from Run, Selfie, Repeat who makes it helpful. Either way, her podcasts are great because they are all about 15 minutes which is the perfect amount of time! Not too long and not boring. She doesn’t always talk directly about running, but she always manages to relate the topic at hand to running. She is a fun woman and just from listening to her podcasts, I can tell we would be good friends 🙂
And I mean, it’s worked… I have now completed 2 weeks of my 5K app! Will these 7 things keep me motivated until completion? I have no freakin’ clue. This is something we will have to learn together on this journey 🙂