We're helping our Hearst Empower Women by heading up their seven girls in a mission to go from couch to 5K as part of the This Girl Can running challenge. Here, I am writing about motivation and how to get yours.
Motivation is an interesting phenomenon: one day you can be full of beans and ready to go-go-go, and the next the very idea of exercise can make you want to run away and hide! The real trick is finding something that inspires you to take that elusive first step. Here’s a quick list of things that we find help:
1. Get your (running) glad-rags on. The simple act of putting on your running kit can take you from that couch to the point where you’re able to run a swift 5k. Whether that’s because it you feel like somewhat of an athlete, or because it means you’re at least one step closer to the job being done, who knows – and who cares?! Try it out and see how it works for you.
2. Music is key. Make your playlist as long as you intend to run – that way you will know where you are during your workout without looking at your watch every 5 minutes.
3. Go SHOPPING! Buying new workout gear will make you feel so much more confident, and already more like the ‘new you’ you want to be – plus you totally look like you’re going faster in new kit.
4. Reward yourself. As you don’t need a gym to run, pay yourself every time you exercise – why should the fitness giants get all the money anyway?
5. Cross train to gain. Running is a perfect way to increase your cardiovascular health. This will filter into everyday life and that run for the bus/sprint up the stairs will all become that bit easier.
6. Give yourself a hair ‘mare. Tell yourself that you can only wash your hair on days you workout, or leave your hairdryer at the gym. – that way you’ve got no choice but to go.
7. Keep it bite-size. Give yourself the smallest challenge possible, even if that’s running to the shop for a sweet snack – more often than not, by the time you get there you won’t want it anymore.
8. Make it a date. Meet a friend halfway and use exercise as a reason to hang out.
9. Track your success. Chuck your latest time or distance PB onto social media to keep track of where you are – plus, all those Facebook ‘likes’ will act as a reward and give you a real buzz.
10. Use a significant mantra. Bears tend to use these two: ‘Somebody somewhere is practicing, and when you meet them in face-to-face competition, they will win’ AND ‘Your brain will quit a thousand times before your body does, so keep going – matter over mind!’