A woman who has completed 24 marathons shared how to motivate yourself to go for a run when you really don't want to
- Running is one of the few types of exercise you can do outside of your home during the coronavirus pandemic, as Insider's Anna Medaris Miller previously reported.
- Everyone struggles to motivate themselves to go for a run sometimes — even Jessica Frey, the CEO of Virgin Sport who has successfully completed 24 marathons.
- But Frey told Insider she has three main strategies for incentivizing herself.
- One, for example, is telling herself she'll only run for 10 minutes — and then she usually ends up going for longer.
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Running is, in theory, great.
It's free, you don't need any equipment, you don't have to go anywhere first, and it's simple. It's also one of the few types of exercise you can do outside of your home during the coronavirus pandemic, as Insider's Anna Medaris Miller previously reported.
That said, it's not always easy to lace up your sneakers and actually get yourself out the door.
And even running enthusiasts feel this sometimes too, like Jessica Frey, the CEO of Virgin Sport who has successfully completed 24 marathons, three ultra-marathons, and most recently accomplished Ironman Barcelona, a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon, in 11 hours and 18 minutes.
Plus, she's done it all by the age of 34.
Despite all of Frey's running achievements, she still has to work to keep her training motivation up, and she has three key pieces of advice regarding how to do so.
1. Tell yourself you only have to run for 10 minutes
Trying to muster the strength to go and run for half an hour or longer takes a lot of mental effort. But just 10 minutes? That feels a lot more achievable mentally.
"Start small," she told Insider. "Setting a big scary goal isn't motivating.
"Sometimes it's saying, I'm going to run for a mile, three times this week. And by the time you put your clothes on and you're out there for a mile, you're probably going to run more than a mile."
But even if you don't, you've run for 10 minutes, or a mile, and that's a mile further than if you'd stayed sitting on the couch.
2. Find addictive podcasts
Podcasts are a "big incentive strategy" for Frey — she finds one she loves, and then only listens to it while running.
"Another big incentive strategy for me are podcasts," she said. "I know if I'm running, it's the only time I have in the day to listen to a really good book or crime drama series.
"That really incentivizes me, when I really want to get to the next chapter in a suspenseful novel."
3. Run your journeys
Frey is a big fan of running any journeys you'd have to make on public transport, like your commute (when not working from home).
"This is the hack that's worked for me in the past because I really don't like the tube," she said. "I've just replaced running with something that I like less than running."
So although there are days when she doesn't feel like running, she wants to get on the London Underground even less.
"I've been doing that a lot to incentivize myself, plus it's free, you've got your workout in, and it's just so efficient."
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