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Motivating Yourself to Run Regularly

Azmin Taraporewala
Mornings and motivation go hand in hand! Spare a thought ... mornings demand a kick-start, but, I believe, it's us who need a 'kick to start'! Here's a runner story providing you with the right dose of running motivation!

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"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement." -- Steve Prefontaine
A profound thought, isn't it? Well, let me spell the gist of this quote with a dyad of words ... Keep Running! Satisfaction and achievement are terms, interdependent and interwoven. There are no two ways about it.
These two components are sensed in abundance by runners and non-runners alike. Those of you who are professionally anchored, possess a separate skill set with regards to endurance and stamina, from those who are casual, for-the-sake-of-keeping-fit-and-healthy runners.
Ever wondered why we look the way we do? Voila! Your guess equals my thesis statement ... mind you, there is a research conclusion to back my belief.
A full-fledged study conducted by a biologist-anthropologist duo, Dennis Bramble and Daniel Lieberman, hailing from the University of Utah and Harvard respectively, have affirmed that scavenging was a primal requirement for survival.
Humans had to run long distances to catch their prey on Africa's 'vast savannah', where hunting them down demanded more than just speed. The ability to run is what makes us, what we are today. To further borrow from the study, here is what they say.
"If you are going to hunt down something in the heat, that is a lot more work and the payoffs are less reliable", because the animal you are hunting often is "faster than you are."
Couldn't have thought running would have had a whole research paper dedicated to it, did you? Anyway, let's get back to basics. We have our reasons to run, however we all love the adrenaline experience, don't we!
The benefits that running packs in, are far from being neglected and it is needless to say that there is one faction that agrees with the credibility of running, however is unable to practice it. Why? The answer is motivation.
Lolling in bed for a 10 minute bonus snooze in the morning or taking the lift rather than stairs, out of sheer lethargy, are some of the major culprits.

Means to Motivating yourself to Run

This portion of the story is set to deliver some great ways to keep yourself motivated to run, but before that, let me introduce to you a self-invented form of motivation. It's called Running motivation; a form of incentive that runs within you 24x7 and helps you to pace up regularly.
If you let motivation be on a perpetual R and R (rest and recreation), you sure, would not be in the position to run regularly. Here are some useful methods to motivate yourself.

Slash the Buts!

Our goals are more often than not, punctuated with 'Ifs and Buts'. Unfortunately, there is no room for them out here. When we talk incentive, we talk power; we talk dedication and not compulsion. Set a reasonable routine; one that you can follow. Plan out your schedule in a way that aids you to fit a run during the day.

A New Street, A New Beginning

What better way to start your day than surfing the streets, especially those you haven't set foot till date.
At least, you have something to look forward to, before the sun is out, staring at you.
Motivate yourself to visit a new nook, a never-seen-before cranny. You are sure to discover new places. Nevertheless, if you are an old-timer, there is no harm in admiring naked streets minus the hubbub!

'Hit' the Sack

Well, I mean that literally! Ditch the Z's in you and go for a run early morning.
There is nothing like an early morning run because, as the day progresses, the to-do list seems never-ending and we have a whole lot of commitments to fulfill.
A majority reasons, that it is due to the fatigue they are met with throughout the day, that they are unable to give up on their snooze. Set an alarm tone that can knock your sock's off, put on your running gear and get going.

Bring out the Blogger in You

Why not write a blog on running, about 'you running' regularly!
What changes do you observe in yourself after you have taken to running daily or what is it that you came across while you were out for a run ... something unusual, serene or something that tickled your funny bone. Update your status, and keep your followers or readers versed with what's happening!


Hmm ... this one scores high!
Let your friends and family know that you are on a mad-dash mission of losing belly fat, keeping fit, controlling your cholesterol hike, or flaunt a marble smooth skin. Don't make a public announcement but make your mission known. This will motivate you to reach your goal faster, as you are now, answerable to someone!

Fitness Freaks, Anyone!

Keep company of those who are fitness oriented, more so, if you have been hibernating for long.
Friends with the same or similar goals can keep your spirits high. They could be the factors to keep you at it regularly. Starting it out is difficult, agreed, but staying at it is a challenge. If you are around friends, who are as kicked about the goal as much as you are, and want to see a difference in themselves, you sure, are on the right path.

Looks Can Kill

Washboard abs and chiseled arms rule the roost. If this is your goal, then make sure you achieve it, by hook or by crook! However, it is not required that all have a dream body, but it is certainly possible to stay fit and fine.
Tucking that extra tummy fat or toning those flabby arms can make you look better and feel, even better. A way to motivate yourself thoroughly is to take pictures of yourself before you start off with your workout. Stick it on the softboard, adjacent to a picture of the one you admire.

Treadmill Tricks

The weather does not permit you to go for a run; don't consider this as an excuse to miss your running routine. If you miss once, you can miss twice and ... the rest is history. It is unlikely that you revert to your set routine once you have stepped off it.
Running on the treadmill is one alternative that you can put to practice when the forecast does not favor a run, out in the open. Well, to motivate yourself to run on the treadmill doesn't require that much effort.
Drop your favorite, rather upbeat tracks that aid you to feel motivated while you run on the treadmill. When on a treadmill, you don't even have to worry about the surroundings or where you are heading to. You are free to go in a trance while you run. Just keep running!

Be-friend Your Runs

Going along with a friend for a run regularly makes a lot of difference to your motivation meter.
Besides you sharing a run, you can share a laugh or two, mutter about a subject of common interest or just pep-up each others spirits.
When you look at your partner pushing hard at reaching his goal, you would like to push a tad harder. While you work out, you need something to kill time. I advise, don't kill time, live it thoroughly by bonding with your running partner and have a good time conversing and, of course, running!

Health Is Wealth

This too ranks high on the charts of all motivated-to-run souls. Running is a great exercise not just to burn calories, but to burn those high levels of cholesterol. Obesity is a prime factor that leads to health crises.
It is absolutely needless to confirm, how running helps flush off toxicities from the body, making one feel rejuvenated and full of life. If not for a body to die for, make an effort to improve the quality of life you lead.
If you suffer from an ailment and want to fight the same, make placards with quotes that urge you to push your limits, and pin them up in places you frequent the most. Motivational quotes like these may help:

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it." -- Oprah Winfrey
"A runner must run with dreams in his heart." -- Emil Zatopek
"Fire up your boots to boost up your tomorrow" -- Self
"Walk today to run tomorrow,
◆Run tomorrow to stagger never, hereafter"
-- Self
It is heartening to see grandparents and our very own moms going for a run, however, it is equally annoying to see people half their age swinging in their comfy sofas whiling away their time and health. Buckle-up before your health outruns you and get motivated right away. Run ... Keep running!