Thursday, September 26, 2013

Running for the Cure: Keeping Motivated - Songs,Scenery and Socializing

I've been seeing a real change in my resolve these last couple of weeks.  Starting a new exercise routine is difficult and sometimes it can feel overwhelming.  Let's face it, I'm not one for sticking to resolutions and staying motivated is difficult for the best of us. One of the reasons I was really excited to start training for the CIBC Run for the Cure was that it put a tangible goal in place.

I love that this was a goal that I couldn't get around.  As my husband will tell you (over and over), I am "a bit" competitive.  That means that there is NO way I would feel comfortable showing up and not being ready to run the 5 km, in fact I'd be mortified if I couldn't keep up with the other runners.  Secondly, I'm a team captain so I am supposed to be their fearless leader, motivating, setting an example and taking away any fear they may harbor.   October 6, 2013 is set in stone, I need to be ready to run!

Lucky for me I have found 3 amazing motivators;
Songs, Scenery and Socialization.

Let's talk socialization.  I am working more this year and our fall activities have started up.  This means that I am busier than ever and so are all my friends.  BUT now I have a regular running date with 3 different friends.  This means that on a weekly basis I get to spend about an hour chatting (while running) with my girls.  Honestly, this feels like found time.  It is amazing too.  When you are running and chatting you almost (almost) forget that you are running.  The time goes a lot faster.

A bonus of running with other people is that you have made a commitment to someone other than yourself.  If you have a hard time staying motivated, this is a great solution.  Many of us don't mind letting ourselves down but we don't like to let other people down.  Having a standing date to run with a friend keeps the momentum of training going.

The other thing that I've found exciting about running with friends is that they will often have different route ideas. This means changing up the scenery which we all know is a great way to get out of a funk.  I can't believe how many beautiful trails there are in Ontario, not to mention in my neighbourhood.  I feel like I have been missing out on some of this hidden gems because they are only accessible on foot or bike.  Getting outside, taking deep breaths and enjoying the immense beauty my city holds has been an added bonus and a real motivator for me.

On those rare occasions when I don't have anyone to run with, music is my friend.  Songs can help push you through or distract you when motivation is lagging and training feels tough.  If I'm running by myself you can be guaranteed that I'm listening to music.  I've found though that it can help me find my rhythm and really drive me forward.  Just like chatting with friends, it is a (well needed) distraction as I work to push myself further.

Here are a few songs from my running playlist:

  • Eminem - Lose Yourself
  • Set Fire to the Rain - Adele
  • Give It Away – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  • Bang Bang Bang - Selena Gomez
  • No Creo - Shakira
  • What Goes Around - Justin Timberlake
  • Walking on Broken Glass - Annie Lennox
  • Forget You - Cee Lo Green
  • I Got a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
  • Beautiful Day - U2
  • Raise Your Glass - Pink
  • Clocks - Coldplay
  • Closer To Fine – Indigo Girls
  • Work It - Missy Elliot
  • Hey Soul Sister - Train
  • Wonder - Natalie Merchant
  • Stay - Rhianna

An eclectic mix - YES!  Here's an important point I quickly learned when choosing music.  Although you'll want the music to be upbeat, I found that I would sometimes get so carried away running to the beat that I end up running too quickly and burn out.  I started running to a "gym" mix I had made at one point but the beats per minute were just too fast.  Instead I've found mixing some faster and slower beats allow me to push myself then slow my pace to catch my breath.  It's a fine balance.

It is amazing how music, friends and scenery can make something that seems overwhelming, doable. I feel I am well on my way to reaching my goal, I've made healthy changes to my routine that will stick with me moving forward and that feels good!

Image: Katrina Chambers

Has all this motivational talk made you want to join us?  You can still Register for CIBC Run for the Cure.  I promise, a goal like this that will impact so many lives makes training that much easier.  You can even join my team!  If you can't participate, why not Donate to an individual or team or Volunteer for the event!   Join the conversation on Twitter or follow The Run for the Cure on Facebook to learn more.

This post was generously sponsored by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, but the opinions are my own. For more information visit

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