Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

Motivational Running: 11 Tips To Improve Running Motivation

Motivational running

When it comes to motivational running the first thing I think of is Minister Eric Thomas' quote,

When you want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe, then you will be successful

If you haven't watched his video on success I beg of you to take the time to listen to this.

motivational running

I have been running and competing since I was 15 years old.

I am 37 years young now and find more joy in helping others. It gives me great satisfaction when purchased a training schedule I created and earns a personal best.

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rundreamachieveWhy do other runners make it look so easy? This is a question I often asked myself starting out in the sport.

That being said, running fast doesn't depend on what country you are born in. Your level of aspiration and focus to what you want to achieve on the track and on the roads does.

Motivational running only comes about when faith along with the desire to work hard are working cohesively.

The elite runners are always talked about. So and so ran this fast, broke the record at this race.

Why can't our media create more motivational running stories of those people who lost 100 pounds, finished their first marathon or went from a 2.30 half-marathoner to a 2 hour marathon?

Why Motivational Running Works

Cutting 30 minutes off a half-marathon time or over an hour off a marathon time is huge news.

Is their achievement any less than someone who breaks a 3.00, 2.20, 2.10 marathon?

No. Everyone has specific goals whether it is to lose weight, run a faster 5K or run a sub 3 hour marathon.

The problem is our media and top running magazines focus too much attention on the big names and forget the other running giants out within our communities and around the world.

I wanted to send some motivational running tips out to help runners leverage their time, fitness and results.


1. Greater is He that is in you, then is in the world.

I have always taken that Bible verse literally. There is a great power in all of us to do extraordinary things.

I could not have done what I have thus far in my running career without God's help.

You may or may not be religious but I can assure you of this. You have far more untapped ability then you realize as a runner.

This is an activity, by the grace of God, that I found when I was in high school.

You have to have faith in a higher power.

2. Think about and meditate on all of your accomplishments over the years as an athlete.

In addition to that, think about and visualize all of your accomplishments in any area of your life.


Masaru Emoto, a Japanese author, found that our thoughts have the power to change the shape of water droplets before they are frozen

What happens?  Images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts the person uses.

Our body is made up of about 60% water. Can you imagine how our thoughts truly effect our reality? There is science behind this. In addition to that, every Holy Book out there, discusses the power of thoughts.

If our body is made up mostly of water this is a clear demonstration of the importance of positive thinking.

Focus on health

3. Be thankful for your health. There are many who don't have the same capabilities as you and I have and yet how often do we take these things for granted.

Is it early on in your training block?  Everything seems to hurt right?  You're sore in places you didn't think you could be sore at. You're tendons and ligaments are aching.

Guess what, there are children at St. Jude Hospital who are dying of cancer. Be thankful you can go out and run.

Always think of the blessings you have in your life and use that positive energy to help you when there is no one around to encourage you.

Surround yourself with support

4. Talk to loved ones about your goals.

It could be a good friend, spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend. You can even talk to yourself if need be. Write down your goals and visualize daily seeing yourself achieving them.

5. Watch uplifting youtube videos. I just watched a 7-part series ESPN did a few years ago on the National and Olympic Wrestling great, Dan Gable.

It was one of the most inspiring stories you could possibly watch

Additionally, direct your energy and focus on what is good and disregard what is bad.

It astounds me the amount of negative attention the news stations, media, magazines etc give to negative news stories.

It is almost as if there is a secret government somewhere wanting to feed you this nonsense. The media does a great job keeping people distracted.

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Seek knowledge

6. Read uplifting books.

Turn off the television set. The Average American is watching 5 to 6 hours of television per day. What a waste of precious time. Read a book, listen to a podcast or audiobook. These are better alternatives for your success than the Idiot Box.

The sooner you focus your attention on healthy, happy and motivational running content the more inspired you are going to be. In addition, the more positive energy that will be working in your favor.

Finally, brothers (and sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Phillipians 4:8

7. Seek out those for help in your training.

One of the greatest things about this site is I have met and got to know people who needed help and who weren't afraid to ask for it.

I am a sub 2.20 marathoner but I can relate to total beginners and seasoned veterans. There are lessons total beginners can share with me that I will listen to.

Focus On Your Goals

8. Write down your goals.  

Yale University conducted a famous study in 1958. The results?

3% of Yale students who had written down their goals had more wealth years later than 97% of those who had not, combined.

The articles ends with a very powerful quote by James Addison,

There is nothing we receive with so much reluctance as advice.

Remember, there is a lot more power in writing down your goals than choosing not to.

A great tip is to stick post-its around your apartment or home to remind you of what you want to accomplish. Write down your goals and place them on your refrigerator. These will help you to remain accountable.

 It is an easier way to hold yourself accountable when you have little reminders of the task you have given yourself.

There are no short cuts in this sport.

Find A Mentor

9. Seek out a coach.

I can credit my success as a runner to those who took the time out of their schedule to coach me. Invest in yourself and your self-development. Invest in a 5K to marathon training schedule that will yield you results.

I spent years running far too many of my miles easy. I thought that running over 100 miles a week would make me a top distance runner. The result? I ran my best marathon off of 85 to 90 miles per week and ran my worst at 142 miles a week.

Quantity, how many miles you run in a week is useless.

There is a difference between being fit and being able to race a specific distance at a specific pace.

Barry Maghee said it best,

Anyone can run 20 miles, it is the last 6 that count'.

I had great coaches and mentors who helped me eventually break the 2:20:00 marathon barrier.

Find What Works Best For You

Some runners do well without coaching, some do better with.

Coaching runners has inspired me to work harder as an athlete and to the best coach I can be.benefits of running in the morning

He who would ignite a fire in others but himself glow-Olympic coach – Dr. Joe Vigil 

Never be afraid to ask for help.

There are those that understand your frustrations, have dealt with the disappointments you may be dealing with who are there to hear you out.

10. Don't be afraid to fail.

I created this site to help other runners get past disappointment. There was a reason for this. I, too, experienced many setbacks and want others to bypass those mistakes. It is important to learn from the mistakes of others.

You Can Always Be Better

I cannot say this enough, don't accept where you are as a runner.

If your goal is simply to finish a 5K, then work toward that goal until you meet it.

 It was extremely difficult to break the 2:20:00 marathon barrier. That being said, I had to handle the disappointments to finally achieve it. The key is not losing your enthusiasm.

You cannot relent and have to be persistent.

Life is too short to look back with regret that you did not give it your utmost effort in trying to achieve something you truly wanted.

I am not a Ryan Hall or Dathan Ritzenhein. That being said, I relate better to athletes who don't have a lot of physiological talent like Ryan and Dathan have.

Do I believe these guys work hard. Absolutely. I am friends with both of them and know they work hard but they have huge engines.

We all are born with various abilities, some achieve greatness more easily than others but the heart, in my opinion, will always overpower talent.  

You have to remember that the most successful people, regardless what area it is, simply don't know when to let up. Dan Gable, the reminds me of that type of person.

I think everyone can achieve this type of success if they were putting their entire effort into every waking moment of the day to any task.

What are you good at? Why are you that way?

Do that with your running.

Closing Thoughts

Put the same emphasis on excellence and focus to your running.  It is simply a matter of directing your energy toward your end goal.

I can guarantee if you want something bad enough, you are going to find out how to get there no matter what.

View our coaching services.

There are other resources here as well. Are you interested in a new training approach? Invest in one of our 5K to marathon training schedules. Subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube Channel. I'll be creating new videos each week to help you maximize your results.

11. Listen to your body. This is probably one of the most important tips for motivational running I can give you. If you want to be a hero or shero, save it for race day.

If you feel like crap in training and you have a 15-mile run planned and you get 3 miles in and your legs are screaming. Bag the day then and there.

The smart athlete is the one who has the patience to back off at the right time rather then continue to push and push and push until there is a diminished return in training and racing output.

You can only push the body so far before chronic fatigue sets in.

Seek Leverage

The only way to get out of that mental and physical roller coaster is complete rest, not the easiest thing to do for motivated runners.

Your out there to get a training effect. I had days when I was training with the Army World Class Athlete Program Team where I could not finish workouts. I listened to the physiological signals my body was telling me.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I hope this was helpful. Please send me your feedback as to what areas of training you are would like written about. Any area I can assist you with.

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