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Motivation for running

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I really enjoy running but I frequently have trouble pushing myself to go beyond 2 miles, and have never gone farther the distance of a 5k. Often I feel tired or bored and I'm just looking forward to moving on to lifting. Usually I have time constraints as well... but I want to know if anyone has any good tips on pushing past that "hump"....

Should I pace myself and work on going farther before worrying about how fast I can go? Should I do the opposite? Do intervals help increase endurance? Do I just need a rocking playlist and stop being a whiny pants?


Idk if this information is relevant, but thought I would throw it in just in case: I usually run for about 1-2 mi then lift for about 1/2 hour. I try to do this 3x/week and occasionally can do 4. I run on the indoor track at my gym. I cannot stand the treadmill (it hurts my knees) and I haven't been able to run outside lately (I'm too busy during daylight hours and I don't feel safe running at night).

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Why do you feel the need to do more than 5k? Unless you are training for something specific (eg a 10k race), why do it if you dont want to?

Try some intervals or hill running to mix things up. You will get cardio gains without necessarily having to run longer distances or spend longer times running (you said time constraints were an issue).

And yes, the right music will make running easier if that is your thing. I actually only find music helps if the beat is synchronous with my stride though. Otherwise music just throws me and makes the whole thing seem harder.



You don't need my reasons to run, you need your own.  Talent if finding that 1 reason instead of focusing on the 99 that justify not doing it.

I find my "hump" to be mile 20.  Running further seems mentally taxing.  But periodically I schedule a 22 or 24 mile run and I find my 1 reason and just do it.

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Why run at all if you really don't like it? I was my heaviest when I trained for and ran a marathon, not kidding. I have had far greater success with interval training like p90x and Insanity (I don't work for Beachbody....this is just my experience :-). Anyway, often times people think that running is the holy grail of's really not. Try anything else to get your heart rate up and then lift weights!

I belong to a Curves Gym which provides resistance training and only takes 30 minutes a day.  But the best exercise I can recommend is Zumba dancing - so much fun - great music and the time just flies by!

Hi syc212,

It sounds like although you like running in theory, physically it's another story. If you get bored quickly, it may not be your exercise, and you better do something else that makes you happy and where time flies when you're at it.

As a matter a fact, last night I managed my treadmill record, 99mintes of intervals and also 30min of running at 9km/h. The result was fabulous, cause I never ran more than 10min at a time and the calories burned...1200. So it depends what works for you. For me, last night I switched from listening to the gym background music and made my own playlist with korean pop songs. They are so upbeat and pushed me all the way! And btw, usually I don't stay on the treadmill more than 45/60min, but the songs were just too good! :-)

Also, on some days I just do strength, lifting weights for 30/60min and I'm happy with that, cause I usually alternate the days of cardio with strength, so I avoid injury.

You should try more types of exercising and stick to the one that makes you happy, or just change your playlist. I'd be happy to give you my own if that helps.

Good luck


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If I am reading you correctly you enjoy running just get bored.  It sounds like you would like to get beyond 2 miles on a regular basis.  

some tricks to try would be pacing to help you reach 3 miles but that won't work on  boredom.  I sometimes listen to books instead of music.  you have to consentrate just enough to take your mind off running.

you could try running intervals to see if that helps.  it really shook things up for me and I was able to reach my goal. it also helps with endurance.  

Warm up 5 min. 

run hard 1 min

easy 1  min

hard 2 min

easy 2 min

hard 4 min

easy 2 min

hard 2 min

easy 2 min

repeat up to three times and finish with a 5 min cool down.  you may be very surprised how far you go. It also seems to help with increased weight loss and endurance.  

Good luck.  and don't worry about the 5 k unless you really want to it will come.



Try signing up for an event that will motivate you! If you have a date set for a 10k (roughly 6.2 miles), you will have to start pushing yourself in order to get ready.


Also, try running with a partner or group! It took me a while to find a running partner that I was comfortable with. You have to sort of be in sync with each other so you know when to have a good chat,and when to just shut up and run! Also, it helps to have someone the nudge you on when you're having a rough day, and vice versa. 

Hope this helps!


what really helped me increase my distance was to have a program.  That way, you dont ask yourself "what do I feel like running today?"  Instead, you look at your running schedule (that logically increases the distance so that you don't get injured) and say "oh, today is ----" and do it.  I used nike plus running, but there are gazillions of them.

I worked my way up to 14.2 miles.

I would try from "Couch to 5k". They have specific workouts for each week. It really helped me to get to that 5k. They also have workouts for 10k, half marathon, and full marathon.

I found it really motivating and it takes the guess work out of figuring out what to do. Also, you can follow it for speed or distance, depending on your goals!


I'm currently training for a 5K so I'm not the most experienced runner, but my trainer suggests that if you get bored (esp. during winter months when you might have to be indoors), switch up the routine and do intervals of different times, different speeds, etc. That way you have to focus on what you're doing next. And it may be challenging if you're trying to run one mile faster than you did the last, etc.

For me, I've enjoyed running outside, as it's always different. My trainer also suggest that there are running groups (at least in my area, I'm sure elsewhere too) that have runners of all speeds that run just for fun. That might be another good alternative. I've seen them on the trails as I've been training and they always seen to be enjoying each others company and just casually jogging along (how do they make it look so easy?! haha).

Part of your boredom may be that you're running on a track, the circles with no change of scenery gets real old real fast. One of the things that I've found has really helped me with the mind game of running is changing my playlist from music to an audio book, Harry Potter is my best running mate :) 

If you can manage a weekend out door run, it's a great way to push yourself a little further. Map out an out and back go out for two miles, you have to get back home or to your car somehow and TA DA you've gone FOUR miles! Once you've done it once, it gets easier the next time.

Running + audiobooks = no more boredom. 

I suggest finding an audiobook written and read by a celebrity:  Bossypants as read by Tina Fey, or anything by Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking was great.)  

You're thinking too much.  And expecting too much from the run.  I'm guilty of this too.  Plug in some tunes and just chug along, don't think too much.  If you turn your mind off and just focus on the music or pretend that you're in a race then you won't think about how far you've gone or how uncomfortable you are.

I just wanted to say thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I wasn't able to access the internet over the weekend, so my apologies for not answering any questions raised.

Houserg, you were right on point. I want to be able to run farther, mostly because... I never have before. I do enjoy running (not 100% of the time :P) but I want to get better at it. I like doing intervals, too, but I think I need to switch it up a little. I really like lcuconley's reasoning behind the benefits of using a program. 

I also really like the audiobooks suggestions. (I love HP on audiobook too!) Kpop music is really fun, but I have trouble with how music affects my pacing as well.

I think I need to switch up my routine a little and not try to lift and run on the same days as well. (I actually think I did hurt my foot a little trying to do it all at once... not good!)

Thank you again, everyone! I really appreciate all your insight and advice.

After running  for more than 15 minutes in the same place I get bored and too and start thinking "Ok bored activity." However, when I run outside, a trail is even better than sidewalks for me because i love nature, I do not get bored as fast because the scenery changes so i can run longer. Personally, I don't listen to music when I run. Running is like my think time, when I can just be alone and really focus on my thoughts and plan stuff.

I don't enjoy running as much as, say, swimming, but I decided that I wanted to run because even when I was a 116-lb teenager, I never managed to run more than 400 meters.  I know it's not the holy grail of fitness -- I'm also doing some weight training now -- but I guess I just have this idea that if I can run a decent distance at a decent pace, I'm on my way to being fit.

My motivation? I've signed up for a race every month for the past three months.  Just 5K, and my goal is for every race, I should be a little bit faster.  I'm still extremely slow, but I am now able to jog the entire distance, no walking. When I finally finish the 5K in less than 45mins, I'll start training up to a 10K.

Normally my advice would be: 

Run outside

Listen to music/ get a friend 


Now, since its the winter, and disgusting where I live at least, maybe you should focus less on running.  Just continue doing what your doing (on an indoor track?) and/or pickup swimming or bike machines or jump-roping or lifting weights.

Running on a track is mind numbing and increasing mileage is so difficult.  Outdoors it is a bit easier.  Might be a spring goal?  I enjoy the pushing of the milieage up every couple of weeks.  I am lucky to have a 1.8 mile track in a park that is heavily occupied at night, so it isn't that spooky.  It was more fun when it was light and there was people with dogs, etc but still, there is nothing better than pushing up the mileage---slow your pace a little, then after the increase, at every run start pushing the pace to bring your time in line with your normal pace.  I agree that having a race to train for is a big incentive.  I am training for the Mardi Gras Marathon, it will be my 6th, but it has been 10 years and 2 collapsed lungs since those were run.  Getting the body back into the running shape has been a challenge, but long runs are as much mental as they are legs and lungs. We run long to break the wall...some of us just to prove we can do it.  Seems like you have a 2 mile wall....if that is when the boredom sits in, that is your wall, you just have to find a reason to go through it.  I too listen to Audio books.  Since I only listen to them when I work out, I rarely miss a work out!!!  Good luck with your training!

I just recently broke out of the 5k range. My motivation was that I wanyed to prove to myself that I could. I run about 2 to 3 times a week. I felt stuck at 3 miles and it pissed me off, so I just tacked on an extra mile one day. It was hard and it was exhilarating. I havent really tried to run faster, but my times seem to be improving on their own. I just try to find a stready pace and stick with it. Try not to overthink it. Personally, I find that overthinking is the enemy of running. Throw on some high energy music and show your brain who's boss. Lol! Just fyi, I'm 29. I started running this summer. My pace started out around 13min/mi and now I'm around 11min/mile. Good luck!

try joining an official event, such as a run for charity. this will give you more than a selfish reason for running, and crowds are great adrenaline boosters :-). I just ran my first 10k last weekend and loved it! Now i'm preparing for a 12k event next month. Also, i'm sure if you look online you could find an events calendar, (i found a site that lists all the races for AZ for the next 2 yrs!). then you can pick races that happen in the upcoming months and give yourself a goal to prep for!

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