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Did you run this weekend?

I did.

I really didn’t want to though.

I am marathon training at the moment and knew I needed to get out and do 10 miles, but it had been a long week, and my motivation was somewhat lacking.

The thing with marathon running though you can’t just wait for your mojo to arrive, there is a plan to follow, and sometimes you are not going to want to head out the door, so we find ourselves coming up with all manner of motivation hacks to trick us into actually doing it.

So here are my favorite tricks for getting out the door.

Trick 1Have a race in your diary. If I don’t have a race to train for I don’t train. It’s always been this way. I have to have a goal to work towards. In fact, when I am marathon training the first thing I do when pulling my training plan is look at what races I can do. I much prefer a race to a training run, and I run faster and for longer in race conditions.

Trick 2Treat yourself to decent kit (and make sure it’s clean). If I have to search high and low for kit to wear I can talk myself out of going for a run. Have enough kit that fits and you want to be seen in that you can run more than once a week without having to do a wash. Even little treats like new socks or gloves can be a motivation to get out the door to test them.

Trick 3If it is sunny I’m going out. Especially in the winter months when I am desperate for some vitamin D. I think everyone has the same idea because yesterday morning the parks and towpaths of East London were packed with runners. You can’t always rely on the weather, but literally, if the sun is out GET OUT, because a few hours later it could be tipping it down and you will kick yourself for not running.

Trick 4Have an errand to run. I often do what I call A-B runs where I am running somewhere for a purpose. To collect something from a shop, to collect my daughter from my sisters, to run back from a meeting. If you leave yourself little option but to run home (ie made the effort to wear kit) chances are you will honor it. It is super powerful especially if you tell people you are doing it.

And while I am here talking about hacks, here are 3 extra rules I have for ensuring I don’t slack once I actually get out of the door and am running

Trick 5If I need to walk (and there are a range of reasons you might need to walk, read this blog to find out more) I walk but I use something called the 60 second rule, which means I can walk whenever I need to but only ever for 60 seconds and then I need to start again.

Trick 6If a runner overtakes me I try and keep up with them or at least increase my pace for a bit, it’s only a minute change but it’s a reminder that I can go faster if I need to. In a race setting, I sometimes latch on to a group of runners running a little faster than me to see how long I can hold on for.

Trick 7If I find a hill I run it. Always down, as I love the pace advantage gravity gives me, and at least some of the uphill climb. I find the challenge of a hill motivational, and know that it is great for conditioning and improving my stamina and endurance. Where I live is rather flat, but even the smallest of inclines can be used for hill work if you are willing to out in some additional effort.


Hope this is helpful…some of us need tricks and hacks to get us out the door…it is just part and parcel of being a runner.


I have been seeing lots of posts recently about women training for a marathon and lacking the motivation or confidence to go for the longer distances.
Every year (for this reason) I run a 10 mile training day in Hyde Park. It is always a fun, uplifting, motivating day, which shows women that the 10-mile distance doesn’t need to be a scary one. 

You can book here  


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