Enjoy running all summer long and smash your goals…
Nothing quite beats the smug feeling of coming back from a run, weary happy legs, the warm serotonin high and sweet satisfaction of becoming the new ‘local legend’ on Strava… But when this motivation wavers, how do we get back on track? We’ve asked two SunGod Ambassadors and Nike Trainers to share with us, their top advice to help you stay motivated so that you can chase that runners high all summer long…
Meet the trainers
Lydia O’Donnell: Lydia has represented New Zealand multiple times in cross country, marathon and half marathon distances. Alongside her coaching, she is currently gunning hard for Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020 - “I see running through a slightly different lens, one of growth, development and mindfulness.” (@lydiaodo)
Courtney Fearon: Born and raised in London, Courtney’s love for track and field has nurtured his progression into a full-time personal trainer. “Running is therapeutic and gives me a different perspective on life. Personally I feel I have ‘solved’ many of lifes conundrums whilst out on a run!” (@courtneyfearon_)
1. Set Goals
CF: A great way to get the zest for running flowing again is to create a goal. This doesn’t have to be attached to anything major, you hold the power to create any goal, big or small! Once you have the goal, enjoy the process of building the training you need to get there and rediscover your motivation!
LO: Giving yourself a challenge can be the best way to keep running interesting and keep you moving forwards. Make your goals challenging yet achievable, maybe run a certain distance in a specific time or hold a set pace for a particular route!
2. Spice up your route
CF: Step away from the usual routes and use your running time to explore and find new favourites, sometimes the adventure is such that you’ll forget you’re even running! I am also hoping that we’ll be more able to travel this year because when I’m travelling, I always go for a run in the new place when I get there. It’s a great way to explore the local area and go for a run at the same time.
LO: Even if you’re not allowed to travel too far from home, try not to run the same way, down the same roads every day. Change up your runs and move in different directions to keep your brain ticking over. There is nothing more satisfying and fun than discovering a new running route!
3. Keep it varied
CF: Not every run needs to be done at your best pace or at a certain distance to be worthwhile. Mix it up with speedy short runs focussing on your best pace, long easy runs and interval runs. Play around with how long you can maintain a certain pace or try some hill sprints – variety is the spice of life and will keep your runs from feeling monotonous!
LO: Variety in training keeps you motivated and helps you become a better athlete. Work on your speed on some days and hills on others. I recommend doing one long run once a week and relax the distance on other days. This will allow you to work on your pace, test your mental ability and switch off when on long recovery runs!
4. Change up your soundtrack
CF: Don’t just hit play on your ‘liked’ playlist on Spotify! Build your own running playlists or go bold and hit shuffle on an unknown playlist and you may discover some new bangers… Podcasts and audiobooks are another great and underused option when it comes to soundtracking your runs. It’s pleasantly mind-consuming listening to my favourite podcasts while running. But sometimes I won't listen to anything at all, the key is to keep it varied so you don't get bored!
5. Remember the benefits
LO: Running is a sport that is all based on giving and receiving. To reap the rewards of the beauty of running, including the benefits to both our mental and physical health, we need to put in the effort to move each day. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast you run, the act of putting one foot in front of the other is a movement that can provide you with a purpose and perspective, even in the most challenging of times.
No matter why you choose to run, the arrival of summer presents an opportunity to press reset and start afresh. Use those longer evenings and warmer weather to fuel your motivation and go forth and smash your goals, not matter how large or small!