11 Ridiculous Ways Runners Motivate Themselves

I'm spectacularly skilled at giving myself plenty of reasons not to go on a run. Reasons one through five are sleep, and from there I have a plethora of other excuses, including and not limited to not having cool enough tunes to jam to, running out of clean workout clothes, and dropping everything any time the 2009 Star Trek reboot is playing on television. It doesn't help that I've been running for over 10 years in the same old neighborhood, and barring the occasional squirrel or deer that crosses my path, nothing exciting happens to me. There is literally not one side street, park, or trail I haven't already dragged my ass up and down. So if I'm going to deign to wake up in the morning and get out of bed, I have to mix it up.

I think all runners have a few weird tricks up their sleeves to get their butts up from the couch, or else we wouldn't be runners in the first place. Because as fun as running is, I don't think anyone ever woke up in the morning an thought, "Wow, I can't wait to wheeze and sweat all over myself in full view of everyone passing by on the street!" So for those of us who need a little more inspiration, these are some golden fallback briberies to get yourself running:

Free Dessert Pass For The Rest Of The Day

In an ancient cave wall in some far off land is written the wisdom of runners who came before us: Calories don't count once you've gone on a run, y'all. Or at least I'm pretty sure that's how the legend goes. It's kind of hard for me to do any valid research with my face stuffed into a 5-minute mug cake.

Opportunity To Show Off Cute Running Clothes

I'm fairly confident that Lululemon is going to rule the world by 2020, and that's because they've latched onto a secret that the rest of the world is only slowly understanding: cute running clothes are 80% of the reason we become runners in the first place. Who wouldn't want arm warmers in six different colors?

Crunching Every Dead Leaf In Your Path


Feeling Less Guilty About Binge Watching Three Hours Of Netflix

Not that I haven't done that without running, but I somehow feel much more justified sitting in my bed and watching Andrew Garfield's entire filmography if I've actually moved a few feet during the day first.

Wanting To Have Michelle Obama's Arms

I don't even know if running would help. My friends who live near a gym she sometimes goes to in DC say she does crazy Cross-Fit, but I am only willing to go so far in the name of my biceps, so I'm hoping that the running helps at least a smidge.

Otherwise The Zombies Might Catch You

If you haven't run yet with the Zombies Run! app, I highly recommend it. It simulates an actual zombie apocalypse and sends you on missions to help save the human race, and it is occasionally so gut-bustingly hilarious that I have laughed out loud on runs and frightened the cross-guards at our local junior high.

Achieving Eternal Glory On The Fitbit Rating Boards

Pain is temporary. Being smug about the number of steps you got on your Fitbit is forever.

Beating The Oven Timer For Your Popovers

In a very ill-advised move, I once made popovers that needed to be in the oven for forty minutes and then embarked on a four-and-a-half mile run. About ten minutes into said run I realized if I didn't pick up the pace my popovers were screwed. I used to race competitively in high school but I can tell you that I never ran a time faster than the one I ran that morning.

Occasionally Passing The Cute Guy/Gal In The Neighborhood

Once a month, the hot guy who lives somewhere near me will be out and about at the same time I am, and although we've never spoken or made eye contact for longer than a milisecond, we're probably going to get married.

Zipping Past Traffic At Rush Hour

I don't know about you guys, but the traffic in my neighborhood at 8 in the morning is nothing short of catastrophic, and casually running past all the stalled cars makes me feel like a total badass. I just outran a Porsche. Suck it, commuters!

Training For A Ridiculous Race

If I have a ridiculous race coming up in my future, I'm 704% more likely to get up and run. Look in your area for themed runs like Beer 5Ks and Color Runs. I can tell you from experience that nothing beats having paint thrown at you while you're chugging along, and research actually indicates that moderate consumption of alcohol has no affect on your running times. Thank you, science, for everything you do.

Images: Getty Images; Giphy (11)