Finding the Motivation

Running and walking are activities of discipline, of will power, and of overcoming discomfort, particularly in the initial stages of training. Lack of motivation can happen to the best of us. There will always be days when it is difficult to take those first steps out the door. Perhaps you are pressed for time, or the weather is cold and rainy. Perhaps you just don't feel like it. In most cases, try to remember that you'll almost always feel better once you get started into your workout. Think about how good you will feel after completing your training, usually you feel better and are glad that you finally managed to struggle out the door.

Make an Appointment with Yourself

The key to becoming a regular exerciser is to build your workout into your daily routine. Make your workout a habit. Choose a time that works best for you, and try to stick with it. Maybe you like to get up and going first thing in the morning when you wake up, or find that you can clear your head a little by taking a break at lunch time. Just remember, that the longer you postpone your workout in the day, the more reasons you seem to be able to come up with NOT to workout! No matter what time works best for you, pull out your scheduler and pencil in an hour-long appointment with yourself. Better yet, make an appointment to meet someone else to work out with. If your exercise partner is waiting on you at the street corner, you will be more likely to keep the appointment.

Get Inspired

Sometimes you may need a little inspiration to get yourself motivated. Listen to some up-tempo music, read something uplifting, think about being out in your favorite running/walking area – the beach, a beautiful forest. If you are still feeling apathetic, it may be time for drastic action. Put on your workout gear, and tell yourself that you are only going to do half the scheduled workout. Once you get going, you may well find that you start to feel better and your full workout can be accomplished without difficulty.

Seek Out Variety

You may find running/walking around your neighborhood sufficiently rewarding in the beginning, but over time the experience may pale. When that happens, it's time to change your circumstances. Find a different place to run/walk. Go exploring. Go to the beach, a park, go to the country, take your dog with you.

Remind Yourself that it Will Get Easier

The further you go in your training program, the easier it gets. You need to get through the initial phases where you are thinking about your feet, your breathing or how you are never going to get through the workout. If you do manage to push yourself into doing your training when you just don't feel like it – over time you will begin to feel good about being able to take on apathy and inertia and win.

Listen to Your Body

Sometimes you should listen to your body and not run. If you're sick with the flu or a respiratory infection, take a day (or two) off. If you're sick, subjecting yourself to additional stress will only make you feel worse and might lead to injury or more serious illness. Give yourself a chance to recover, and then start back with the program.

Have a Positive Attitude

Negative self-talk tends to lead to negative results. If you are having trouble following the training schedule, instead of thinking of yourself as a failure, tell yourself that you WILL complete the 13-week program, and BELIEVE it!!

"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst … a spark that creates extraordinary results."

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