Motivation To Run

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Matt Orlando
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Matt Orlando

Matt is a 30 something year old runner/father/husband from New Jersey. Along with writing for TheRunnerDad.com, he occasionally writes articles for other blogs and websites. He is an IT guy by day, with a passion for running, traveling, and photography.
Matt Orlando
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The new year has come. You told yourself that this would be the year that you start running. You have exclaimed to your friends and family that yes, this year would be the year that you become a runner. You have big plans of running a 5K, a 10K, or even a half or full marathon. You even went and purchased all new running clothes. Your brand new GPS watch is fully charged, your routes are mapped out, your shoes are laced up and waiting by the door. Your time has come.

Now, however, it is a few weeks into the new year and you have not placed one foot out the door. No miles have been logged, no minutes tracked. Your shoes are still sitting by the door, only now covered in thin layer of dust. You have started to avoid phone calls from friends and family because you know they are going to ask how running is going. You look back on those loud proclamations over the holiday with dread and embarrassment. Your only option is to simply tuck your tail between your legs and discreetly avoid the subject at all costs.

“No!” you scream in protest! “I will not give up again like I have in years past. This WILL be my year. What I need is some motivation, something to help get me out the door and on my way.” You type “motivation to run” into Google and lo and behold this article shows up. At this point you are thinking “Wow, this is me, he is talking directly to me.” (And then you look around the room to see if anyone noticed you talking to yourself.) The truth is, I am talking to you. But I am also talking to countless other people, just like you, including myself, who sometimes need some external motivation…or maybe a little help finding that internal motivation that you did not know existed inside of you.

Below I have compiled a list of motivating reasons to get out the door and run this year. Whether it is your first time running (by the way, if so, welcome to the family…and make sure you are properly equipped) or you are a seasoned vet returning from an injury or just some time off, hopefully these reasons will be just the motivation you need to get out there and run.

  • Running will make you feel great. You know that thing you have heard about, the “runner’s high”? Well, it exists. Ask any number of runners and they will confirm that for hours after a run they feel more confident, more alert, and more alive. Rarely do you hear someone say “I really regret that run.” Why? Because even if you feel terrible before, you will feel great after. You see that guy standing there at the finish line? It is me waiting to say I told you so.
  • Running can help you solve world hunger. Alright, perhaps that is a bit of a stretch, but running does wonders for your ability to think about problems and make connections that you simply could not make before. Whether it is the increased oxygen and blood flow, the release of stress and tension, or simply the fact that you are able to clear your mind of any and all clutter, more often than not you will find yourself solving problems and coming up with new ideas like Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Running allows you to see the world. When else might you have the opportunity to run unfettered through the streets of Nashville, Los Angeles, New York City, or London without having to contend with crowds and traffic? Running turns you into an explorer, whether it is to the shores of Antarctica (yes, there is  a marathon there) or just through the woods down the street. You will find yourself constantly seeking out new places to explore and conquer on your daily running journey.
  • Running enables you to help others. “Wait, I thought I was running so I could get in shape and I could feel better about myself.” Well, that may be true, and that will happen, but running allows you to selflessly do much more than that. You might not be a doctor who can save lives, or an engineer who can develop ways to bring fresh water to third world countries, but what you can do is join up with a local charity and raise money for a great cause…all while running. You will build amazing friendships, get in shape, and help make a difference.

Still need a push out the door? Well, perhaps you need to find a mantra to get you going. Or, perhaps you need a more personal reason such as staying healthy for your kids. You can look to find motivation in some of the inspirational running dads on this site. There are a multitude of ways to get motivated (here are 25 more reasons to love running), but what is most important is that you lace up, step out the door, and start running. So get going…I will see you at the finish line!

What motivates you most to run, or what is holding you back from running? Share below!

5 Comments

  1. Paul Starling

    Enjoyed very much Matt! As far as motivation, my main motivation is my next race! Although, I enjoy the benefits of great health and running with friends, it is knowing that I have a race I need to be prepared for that really motivates me to get out the door on a consistent basis. It’s my personality type I guess. That’s why I’ve already got my calendar of races planned all the way through February of 2015.

    Reply
    1. Matt Orlando (Post author)

      That is impressive with the race calendar! I can barely plan a month in advance!

      Reply
  2. Chris @ amplifytoday.com

    What motivates me is staying healthy for my family. I started running to lose weight but now it’s about staying healthy and being a good role model for my kids.

    The traveling aspect of running, I think, just started to take shape as more people enjoy traveling for a run destination.

    And helping people too! Whenever causes look to raise money, races are a great way to get others to come out and support. Making that connection with the cause is great motivation.

    Nice post!

    Reply
    1. Matt Orlando (Post author)

      Chris, I agree. It’s important as parents that we become good role model for a children, and modeling good health and fitness habits should be near the top of the list!

      Reply
  3. Jenni

    My main motivation for running comes from the revelation that I CAN run. I spent most of my life thinking people who run are insane. My regular refrain was, “my horses do the running for me,” and, to be honest, I didn’t think my mild asthma would ever allow me to become a runner.

    Krav Maga changed my life and strengthened my lungs to the point that I discovered I CAN do this running thing. From that point on, it’s been a question of “how far can I go?” Now I’ve done 3 Half Marathons, I have 3 scheduled for this spring, my first Marathon scheduled for April (another hopefully in November) and I’m trying to decide which Ultra(s) to enter in 2015… Depending on how I feel after a 50-miler, I MAY go for 100. NOW who is the insane one? 🙂

    Reply

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