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The top 9 weird (but effective) running motivation hacks

How to help yourself get out the door when you're really not feeling it

Runners love running, but everyone has felt a little low on motivation at times. If you’re experiencing a running slump or just having a day where your legs are beat up, here are some strange but effective running motivation hacks to make sure you get out the door. Because as every runner knows, once you get going, you’re always happy you ran. 

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On your off day, go for a short walk when you’d usually run

Even when you’re don’t having a run scheduled, it’s important to move your body a bit. This can be walking, a short bike ride or even a core session. If you’re someone who struggles with keeping a routine, go for a morning walk on your off day when you’d typically go for your morning run. This keeps your schedule consistent and your body moving well. 

Wake up and put on your running clothes right away

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When you get out of bed, especially if you’re on the fence about an early morning run, throw your clothes (and shoes) on immediately. If you’ve got your gear on, you can’t go back to bed (it’s almost scientifically proven that you can’t fall asleep in a sports bra). On top of that, unless they’re brand new, running shoes don’t mix well with your bed sheets. 

If you’re an after work runner, putting your running clothes on the minute you get through the door is advised. Also, don’t let yourself sit down – you might never get up again. 

Don’t look at your watch

When you begin your run, there’s a magnetic pull to check your watch. It’s like your Garmin is calling your name, saying, “look at me, I dare you.” Resist that temptation for as long as possible, because it almost always says it’s only been four minutes, even though it has felt like 15. 

Mental gymnastics

Everyone has done some bonkers mental gymnastics while running that go something like this: “Last week I ran 8K and today I’m running 10K, so I’ll just get those 2K out of the way and then I’m basically doing my normal run.” 

Most runners break their runs down into fractions to convince themselves that it’s basically over. When you’re having a rough day, this is a ridiculous but shockingly effective practice. 

Short length reflects intensity of workout

Everyone knows that the shorter the shorts, the harder the effort. You’ve got your tight shorts for the fast days, your loose but short-shorts for the tempo days and your long and loose shorts for the easy days. It’s the shorts that dictate the pace. If you’re not totally psyched about your workout, throw on some fast shorts to set the vibe. 

Save a new album or pod for your run

If you’ve got a new piece of media that you’re really amped to listen to, save it for your run. This means you’re not just running anymore, you’re running and listening to the new Taylor Swift album. 

Candy as pre-workout nutrition

Simple sugar is a runner’s friend, especially ahead of a hard workout. If you’re feeling a little hungry 30 minutes out from your warmup, don’t put back some fruits and veg, grab a handful of Skittles. Ideally, you’ve fuelled well enough throughout the day to not need a last-minute sugar rush, but if you do, this is a good place to start. 

Two words: morning coffee

An early morning run can be tough, but everyone knows (well, the coffee drinkers at least) that their early-morning cuppa is something to look forward to. Wake up 15 minutes earlier just so that you can enjoy a morning beverage. 

Brush your teeth before you run

When you’re rushing out the door for a run, sometimes the tooth brushing gets saved for afterwards. If you’ve got the time, brush your teeth before, it’ll help you feel fresh and ready.