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Motivation for the Long Run

Feeling unmotivated to finish your run? Learn about how you can fuel yourself to be motivated through every run.

To all runners: we have all endured the experience of completely lacking motivation during that long run. Committing to a run feels great, but during the actual run, there are so many things that can cause you to feel entirely unmotivated. For instance, feeling lightheaded, dehydrated, sore, or simply tired. However, fear not: there are many ways to boost your motivation and continue pushing through your runs. Incorporate these methods into your runs, stay strong, and make those gains


When on a long run, it is essential that you are prepared. By habitually making preparations prior to a run, you will inevitably become more incentivized through habitual behaviors. You should get into the habit of making all necessary preparations ahead of time. For example, always, always ensure that you’re adequately hydrated ahead of time- experts recommend hydrating at least a day ahead of a long run, as well as eating at least 300 calories an hour in advance.

Mental Tricks

One of the keys to staying motivated as a runner is knowing that it’s truly a mental game. The brain can do wonders to keep you going even when it feels like you physically cannot go any longer. Mental hacks such as going over your to-do list or running through songs in your mind can distract you from any discomfort and push you forward.


This is one of the most useful ways to increase motivation when embarking on a long run. However, they cannot just be arbitrary goals: you must truly have a desire to achieve them. Thus, it is important to recognize why you have certain goals. Creating specific and small goals makes you more likely to be motivated, as you are working toward something about which you are passionate.


Taking advantage of music is one of the simplest and most useful tricks for staying on track (…no pun intended). In fact, research shows that listening to music can improve runners’ performance. Thus, consider creating a large playlist full of songs that are motivating to you. I recommend trying heavy metal, fast pop, or classic rock; these genres tend to provide songs that have some beat or rhythm that can complement your running rhythm.


Incorporating variety into your runs is important, because it is natural to get sick of doing the same exercise over and over again. In order to stay excited and motivated, consider adding variety into your runs such as new scenic routes, different trails, and hills.

Featured Image by Fil Mazzarino on Unsplash.

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