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How to Get and Keep Yourself Motivated

All runners know that motivation is important. It is very important for beginners who have not yet had a chance to recognize the positive values of running. The first step is to establish a goal and not give up until you reach that goal.

Many people start running to lose weight. Some do it as a means to quit smoking, to relieve stress, or to gain some private time for themselves.

You'll almost certainly get back in the routine sooner if you line up some fun runs. Find a partner or a group to run with. Pick a course that goes through a scenic residential area or a beautiful trail. Reward yourself afterwards with a favorite low-fat snack. Pick at least one day each week and dedicate that run to just having fun.

Maybe you wish to establish a mileage goal. Running a mile non-stop for the first time can provide you with your first high. Then you can set a goal to run that mile faster or you can increase the distance until you can cover two, three or more miles.

And even if you don't consider yourself a competitive runner, you might want to pick as a goal a local road race. A 5-K (about 3.1 miles) is a distance achievable by most beginning runners. Allow yourself enough time to train for that distance, then just do it. Once you finish your first 5-K and get your first t-shirt, you can wear it proudly and then establish additional goals.

When you are motivated, you want to run, you can't wait to run and you are consistant about it!

Plan to run every day at approximately the same time. It is not important how far you run or how fast you run; the important thing is to have a specific, regular time and run. Choose to run in the morning, at lunch, in the evenings, or just go with a time that has the least interruptions. If you run consistently you'll feel better each time you run. You will run further and faster.

© Women in Motion -September 2000