Whether you’ve been a long-time lover of running or have recently picked it up to change up your workout routine, tackling a long run can be challenging, especially if you’re doing it alone. However, it can also be rewarding. If you’re finding it hard to stay focused as the miles pass you by, but you still want to push forward, these tips on how to stay motivated during a long run are for you!
Tip #1: Make Sure You’re Comfortable
Discomfort can deter you from finishing your run and even make you downright miserable, which can make a once-fun activity a nightmare. That’s why comfort is key when it comes to what you wear on your runs. High-quality running gear can be expensive, but if you’re putting in the miles, it’s well worth it. Whether your feet are hurting or you’re experiencing chafing, getting these problems under wraps will help you enjoy a more comfortable run. Here are a few must-haves to get you started:
- High-quality running shoes
- Performance socks
- Moisture-wicking shirt
- Seamless running shorts in a stretchy material
- A well-fitted sports bra that’s not too snug
If you experience nipple chafing, you can also put band-aids on to prevent it. When shopping for running shoes, make sure they’re the right style for the type of terrain you’re going to be on and they’re the right size. You also want to make sure your running gear makes you easily visible. That way, if your run lasts a little longer into the evening, you won’t have to worry about being hard to see.
Tip #2: Create a Motivational Playlist
Music can make or break your run. Take the time to create a few playlists that last at least as long as your typical run time. You want to make a few so you can switch it up depending on your mood. Plus, that decreases the chance that you’ll get bored or burnt out on them too quickly.
If creating playlists isn’t your thing, don’t worry because many streaming services offer curated playlists for running, cardio, and uplifting moods.
Tip #3: Choose a Scenic Route
If you’re not stimulated by your environment, long runs can get boring quickly. Try to find scenic routes that you can run that will give you something to look at. Depending on where you live, this might be easier said than done. If you live in the city, try to find an interesting neighborhood with cool art or great landscaping that makes your surroundings more pleasant. If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere that has trails, a national park, or other nature-centric scenery, run those to keep your mind busy and your legs pumping mile after mile.
You could also have a set destination in mind that’ll keep you going. For example, running to the beach to catch the sunset or running home after work.
Tip #4: Pack Sustenance
While you should be sure to fuel up before heading out on your run, you may also require additional sustenance during your workout to keep your energy levels up. It’s recommended that you get some kind of fuel in your body every 30 minutes during running. Luckily, there are plenty of options that you can conveniently bring along with you like energy bars, goos, gels, and beans. If you prefer regular food, bring along snacks that will provide 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving, such as one ounce of animal crackers or mini pretzels.
While nutrition is an essential part of long distance running, you should also make sure you remain hydrated throughout your workout.
Tip #5: Run with a Group
For some people, long runs can get lonely which makes it hard to stay motivated. If you feel like you need a more social setting, you can run with friends or a running group. Running with others can help spark your competitive side, provide comradery, and help you improve. It can also help keep you safe, so you’re not out there on your own, especially if you run somewhere that’s more rural.
Long runs are a great way to stay in shape and clear your head after a busy day—it’s all about overcoming the mental block and preventing physical challenges when you can. By implementing one or all of these tips, you can make your long runs more pleasant and stick to your goals.