20 Ways to Stay Motivated

(I read an article this week about 101 ways to stay motivated to run and I decided to adjust a few of them to encourage my Biggest Loser team, and so I thought I would also share them with you. You can read the original article at the link found below.)

1. CREATE A BLOG (or use something like dailymile.com or myfitnesspal.com) where you post your daily mileage (workout, food choices), then give out the address to your friends and family (accountability partner). Do you really want Aunt Ellen to ask why you skipped your four-miler on Wednesday?

2. RUNNING COMMENTARY “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp, or are you going to be strong today?'” –Peter Maher, two-time Olympic marathoner from Canada (Not just applicable to running – are you going to be a wimp and eat fast food or are you going to be strong and make a healthy dinner?)

3. EVERY MILE YOU RUN (or walk) burns roughly 100 calories. Think of that next six-miler as two slices of pizza.

4. RUNNING COMMENTARY “No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.” –Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a sub-four-minute mile (No one can tell you that you can’t do this!)

5. RUNNING COMMENTARY “The more I run, the more I want to run, and the more I live a life conditioned and influenced and fashioned by my running. And the more I run, the more certain I am that I am heading for my real goal: to become the person I am.” –George Sheehan, M.D., beloved former RW columnist and author of Running & Being (The more you [eat well, exercise] the more you will want to [eat well, exercise].)

6. WEAR A PEDOMETER on your run (walk, throughout the day). Distance sounds more impressive in steps. Some tricked-out sports watches also record steps.

7. BUDDY UP. Not many people can keep up with nine-time University of Colorado all-American Sara Slattery. Luckily, two-time Olympian Shayne Culpepper happens to live down the street. Find your own version of the Olympian next door to run (exercise, eat well) with regularly.

8. HAVE A DAILY GOAL. Scott Jurek, seven-time champion of The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, sets goals not just for big races but also for workouts. “Maybe it is a technique goal, maybe a pace goal, maybe a goal of running faster at the end,” he says. (Maybe it’s a goal to move more today than yesterday or eat better today than yesterday.)

9. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE to salvage your New Year’s resolutions. (Or your Biggest Loser goals.)

10. GO EARLY. Two-time Olympian Shayne Culpepper says that rather than putting off a run, she’ll head out even earlier than usual when she’s not in the mood to work out. “If I have that extra cup of coffee or I wait an extra half hour, it becomes too torturous,” she says. (When you don’t feel like it – do it anyway – whether that means getting out and exercising or getting off the couch and making a healthy meal.)

11. PAY YOURSELF. Set a price for attaining a certain weekly mileage (exercise, weight loss) goal. When you hit it, pay up. Keep your mileage money in a jar, and once it accumulates, buy yourself that new running jacket (or whatever it is) you’ve been ogling.

12. TURN THINGS AROUND. “A poor performance is a strong motivator for me,” says elite marathoner Clint Verran. “I can’t wait to prove to myself that I’m a better runner than my last showing.” Verran also says negative comments from his coaches fire him up. “For me, proving somebody wrong is key.” (Prove to that voice in your head that says you can’t do this or it’s too hard that they are wrong!)

13. RUNNING COMMENTARY “Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don’t think about it, I just do it. The decision has already been made.” –Patti Sue Plumer, U.S. Olympian (You already made the decision to get healthy – now you just do it.)

14. KEEP A LOG. Greg Meyer, former Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon champ, says his logbook keeps him motivated. “I just can’t stand to look at my log and see a goose egg for the day,” he says. (Writing down or typing in what we do and what we eat is a great motivator!)

15. DON’T EXPECT EVERY DAY TO BE BETTER than the last. Some days will be slower than others, and some days might even hurt a bit. But as long as you’re on the road, it’s a good day. (Keep going – even when it is hard.)

16. YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD FOR A GOLD STAR, says Sacramento-area running coach Shauna Schultz. Plan your workouts a week in advance, then place a star sticker on the calendar for each day you meet your goal. “Visualizing your progress in this manner is very encouraging,” Schultz says. (Rewarding yourself is always a good thing. Even if it is “just” a gold star.)

17. THINK YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO RUN (exercise)? You can probably make a list longer than this one of things you’re wasting time on today. Cut one of them out and get the run (exercise) in.

18. BE CREATIVE If the idea of going on your regular four-miler just sinks you further into your recliner, remember that there are other ways to put in some miles–like a pickup game of soccer, flag football, or ultimate Frisbee. A soccer midfielder runs up to six miles in a regulation 90-minute game. (Take a walk or bike ride with your kids, jump on your trampoline, shoot some hoops, get creative!!)

19. TALK ABOUT IT If you have a goal and keep it to yourself, you are less likely to achieve it because no one is cheering you on.

20. CELEBRATE every success, big or small.

(Borrowed and adapted from Runner’s World, 101 Kicks in the Butt; Italics mine)

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