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10 Running Tips and Goals to Keep You Motivated
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10 Running Tips and Goals to Keep You Motivated

Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 12
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10 min

Before you run, think about the reasons that make you want to run. Just ask yourself whether running is something you enjoy. If the answer is positive, set trackable and achievable goals to keep your spirit high and remain motivated.

running goals

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However large or small your running goal is, it can help you stay focused, motivated, and happy. Even if your running goals are ambitious or otherwise, they should be personal and relevant to what you’re aiming to achieve through your running.

So, whether you’re planning to enter your first marathon or run a specific distance, as you work on your goals, you will find your enjoyment and motivation increase.

This article will explain why you need to set running goals and what to do to keep being motivated. 

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

What Is the Purpose of Setting Running Goals?

The purpose of setting running is to give you something to aim for.

Whether you’re completing your first miles or a 2-hour long marathon, setting and reaching running goals is pivotal to your running experience. In other words, having running goals means your training has a focus.

When you hit your targets, you also get a sense of achievement, which keeps you motivated and inspired to expand your limits. We all run better when there are goals to aim at.

Why you need SMART running goals

Instead of having just a vague running goal, like running faster, make your goals SMART. This way, you will have a clear idea of where you’re going and how to get there. 

Mostly used by training coaches, the SMART method means:

Specific: Instead of having a general running goal, be specific and choose a goal you can focus on, such as running for 3 miles per day.

Measurable: In order to make your running goals measurable, you need to track them. To do this, you can purchase a smartwatch or install a fitness app on your phone. Running twice a week is a good start for beginner runners. 

Achievable: Don’t overdo it and be honest with yourself. Set challenging but achievable goals. If you set unrealistic goals, you won’t meet them and end up losing your motivation. There’s no point in wanting to run a 4-hour marathon, like the Boston Marathon, if, in reality, it takes you 5 hours to complete it, for example. 

Relevant: Try to set a running goal that’s interesting to you. The fact that everyone has similar running goals doesn’t mean you should too. You can even set a goal unrelated to running, like following your run with weight lifting. 

Time-based: Always have a deadline to meet. Do put a timer on yourself and attempt to follow it. By having a sense of urgency, you can get motivated and achieve even more with your training. 

5 Running Goals Keep You Motivated

We know. Staying motivated is super hard. 

But, there are ways to maintain your excitement about running. Just spice up your running routine with some running goals. That’s all you need. 

Here are the top 5 running goals to keep you motivated: 

1. Try to run a half or full marathon

Conquering a full or half-marathon can really motivate you. As things and environments become familiar, trying to accomplish something bigger gives you excitement and courage. In other words, setting a goal to complete a marathon is a smart move.

Running a half-marathon pushes your body in unexpected ways. And even though the distance is challenging, it’s perfectly attainable if you prepare and train.

By training to compete in your first half-marathon, you stay motivated for weeks at a time. And if you complete it, you will have something to celebrate! 

2. Try to reach a faster pace

Whether you’re running a mile or two, trying to reach a fast pace is a surefire way to get you motivated. In fact, by increasing your pace, you’re increasing your physical fitness, making it easier to run longer distances. 

Reaching a faster pace doesn’t have to happen in a week. So, take your time and don’t rush it because it may take months to beat your old time. 

Now, as you’re trying to become faster, you will need a training companion.

Joggo is a running training app that can help you set a new running goal, become motivated, and enhance your speed workouts. 

Built on 3 main pillars: Education, Motivation, and Personalized Training, Joggo offers bi-weekly running plan adjustments and weekly running tips based on your progress, training plans for beginners and pros, and consultation with in-house running specialists. 

So, Joggo is the ideal companion for the beginner runner. It can help you reach your running goals, formulate a solid training plan, and prepare for your local half-marathon. Treat it as your running coach, and you’ll love it!

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3. Try new different running strategies

Sometimes, trying new running strategies can bring back your lost motivation. 

If you’re feeling bored from doing the same things over and over again, perhaps it’s time to try something new. For example, you could try a tempo run, progression run, or some hill training workouts:

Tempo run: A tempo run is a 5km to 8km intense training run that lasts from 20 to 40 minutes. While you may not be running at a high pace, tempo runs help you keep a harder pace for a longer time. To put it simply, they make you stronger. 

Progression run: Progression runs to increase your endurance and include a higher tempo work. A progression run also encourages you to go faster without making you more tired. Keep in mind that you might need to undergo training with a running coach to succeed in your progression runs. 

Hill training workouts: Hill training is essentially running on hilly surfaces. It’s a running strategy that improves your leg-muscle strength, enhances your cardiovascular system, expands stride length, and protects your legs from soreness. A hill workout is perfect if you’re looking to become faster, stronger, and healthier. 

Just set a new running goal and be certain your running streak will increase. 

4. Try to run regularly 

Focusing on consistency is another great way to remain motivated, even if your body no longer allows you to run like you used to. 

For example, try to focus on running 3 to 5 times a week or run in the morning. Yes, we know consistency doesn’t sound exciting, but it can get you into a routine. 

So, stop wasting time. Put on your running shoes and promise to run regularly. That’s all it takes!

Alternatively, you could try free running twice a week. In fact, this is perfect for beginner runners. 

5. Make a run for a charity

Running to raise money for a good cause is bound to get you motivated to reach your running goals. 

Just find a charity to work with, and it will be much easier to put in miles. You can run so more kids get access to clean water or schooling facilities. 

If you want, you can join an existing race of a charity foundation or create your own running schedule and hit the road a certain number of days a week. 

Whatever you choose to do, remember that when running for a good cause, you’re not doing it for yourself but for the unprivileged.

5 Tips to Make Your Run More Interesting 

Sometimes, running becomes boring. That’s understandable. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop running. 

Instead, you could try to make things more interesting. Here are 5 tips you can follow to make your run more fun: 

1. Running with a friend 

If you’re a solo runner, you might easily lose your motivation and interest. However, if you commit to running with a friend, you may find it more challenging to stop pushing yourself to your limits. 

Additionally, there’s research showing the benefits of running together with other people. So, if you don’t want to run with just your friend, join a running group or other running enthusiasts and give it all you got. Plus, running with a friend or others provides accountability. 

So, you can run with a friend who’s faster than you to work on your speed or get a newer runner in order to teach them your running techniques. In both cases, you will be more interested in running than ever before, which will result in better performance. 

2. Listen to a podcast while running

If you choose the correct podcast when going for a run, you can get to listen to something that’s not only entertaining but educational, too. This lets you cope with boredom or even forget it altogether. 

In fact, using your time on the trail to catch up on a show, learn a new language, or listen to a professional nutrition consultant can make you treat running as a welcome me-time. So, if running makes you bored, listening to a podcast or music can perhaps offer you a new perspective.

3. Change running routes

Sometimes, changing running routes can keep you interested and help you reach your running goals. Sure, repetition is comforting, but it leads to boredom. So, try to mix it up at least once a week. 

What you can do is turn left instead of right, run every road in your town, or even get in your car and drive somewhere else entirely to explore a new route. 

Alternatively, you could try to enjoy running trails. These are usually in the countryside amidst lush environments! 

Whatever you choose to do, keep this in mind: a bit of variety is always good. 

4. Race and compare with others 

When you’re racing and competing with someone else can get you motivated and help you reach your goals. So, if you can, try and attempt a race against your best friend, partner, or even your kids. 

For a better race experience, you can even alternate between partners. By doing so, you stop focusing on the environment but on the people who run with you, remembering to laugh and enjoy your running journey. 

Besides, running is an inclusive sport and is for everyone. And it’s not always about winning the race but having fun and enjoyment. 

5. Attend a run event with obstacles 

Sometimes, the best thing to get you motivated while running is to face a real challenge. Attending, therefore, a run event with obstacles can really make you appreciate the effort you’ve put in getting in shape. 

What you want to do is to aim big. Pack your bags and travel to a tropical destination to join a trail race or an adventure obstacle race. 

Alternatively, you can fly to another country or state to participate in a marathon. Not only will you challenge yourself, but you’re also going to make some new running buddies. 

The whole point is to become proud of your efforts to make things more interesting and get that motivational flow up and running. 

Some of the most popular run events with obstacles you can join include: 

  • Spartan Race: One of the leading race series for competitive runners interested in joining time events. 
  • Zombie Mud Run: Zombies are 5K obstacle runs that entail runners being chased by… zombies! Fun!
  • Tough Mudder: Tough Mudder events are highly competitive through-the-night running challenges that can last up to 8 hours. Among the hardest running events!
  • Warrior Dash: Warrior Dash events are all about obstacles, from cargo nets to mud pits to barbed-wire crawl. Participating in a Warrior Dash run is a great running goal!
  • Camp Pendleton Mud Run: A precursor to modern obstacle running, Camp Pendleton Mud Run has both 5K and 10K distances to run. It also features lots of mud, obstacles, and hilly terrains. 
  • Ultimate Challenge Mud Run: A team-only race, perfect for families and friends. It’s quite challenging, though, as it features 36 military-style obstacles spread over 5K and 10K courses. Keep in mind you’d need a solid training plan to complete the event. 
  • MuckFest MS: Every year in Denver, Colorado, there’s the annual Muckfest MS. This event is built for laughs and is essentially mud mayhem for many runners, both beginners and pros. 

A Word From Our Coach

Setting running goals is an excellent way to remain motivated and keep up with your healthy running routine.

Even running for 10 minutes and a few kilometers a day, your risk of cardiovascular disease can be greatly decreased.

Also, running stimulates bone formulation, boosts your metabolism, gives you energy, and lowers your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Plus, it helps lose weight (like bike riding), too.

If you’re unmotivated and bored, without a running target, do try to spice things up a bit. Perhaps, running for a good cause or against friends can help you enjoy running once again.

Similarly, listening to a podcast while running or trying new running techniques can get you back on track.

In every case, remember that running can help you get fitter and healthier, as well as boost your mood. So, don’t get discouraged if you find it boring after a while. Just stick to it for a better life!

Conclusion

With so many running goals and running tips, your motivation should never be lowered again. All you have to do is give yourself some proper goals to aim for. 

So, set a new running goal, lace up your trainers, and let your running experience increase as you put in distance. 
And remember, you’re not alone. Many runners find it hard to remain motivated for a long time!

Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified Yoga Instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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