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1. Shut Up. If you tell yourself you are going to get up and run in the morning, then freaking get up and run in the morning. Do not wake up and look at the temperature and decide it’s too hot. Do not check in with your body and decide you are too tired. Do not look at your calendar and decide you are too busy. Do not take time to think up excuses that will keep you from doing what you said you were going to do. Otherwise, you’ll just find yourself in the same boat tomorrow morning. Only you’ll feel even worse about yourself.
2. Go Naked. Don’t have a race, time or distance goal. Leave your watch at home. Go run just for the sheer pleasure of running. You might like it more that way.
3. Sign Up and Pay Up. Do the opposite of #2. Pick a goal. Maybe you need the extra motivation of having a race PR to work towards or a distance you want to dominate. Then, sign up and pay money so you actually do it.
4. Write It, Don’t Fight It. Every time you run or workout, come home and write down how you feel. Keep it short. A few words will do. Invigorated. Energized. Confident. Then, the next time you don’t want to run make yourself read your post-run list.
5. Grab a Warm Body. Make someone go with you. This one works because if you can’t be held accountable to yourself, maybe you care about not letting someone else down. Set up a running date with a friend or sign up with a group. Scientific research shows you’re 80% more likely to show up if someone is waiting for you (I made that up, but it sounds good).
6. Keep It Real. If you overwhelm yourself with high mileage goals or paces that you aren’t ready for, you’ll only get discouraged and quit. Start where you are. And, for God’s sake, don’t compare yourself to others. Just because some people run multiple marathons per month or put in 120 miles per week, doesn’t mean you have to shoot for those goals. This is your journey. Do it right for you, which might mean taking very, very baby steps.