How to Find Your “WHY” for Running Motivation

When you get in a rut, it can be REALLY hard to get yourself out the door. Sometimes it’s just hard to find the real reason you lace up your running shoes and go on a run.

Without that reason, you never make it out the door.

If you’ve been struggling to find your inner running motivation and aren’t sure where it went, keep reading.

How to Find Your “WHY” for Running Motivation

You need to have a big “WHY” to find your inner running motivation.

This is the reason you push forward when the going gets tough. Or when short term motivators don’t work anymore. Sure, signing up for a race can be a great short-term motivator to stick to your training schedule, but what about when that race is over and you achieve your goal?

Or what about when you’ve lost the first 10 pounds you set out to lose? Then what?

Your “WHY” must be deeper than your short term running motivation.

This “WHY” is the reason deep in your core that you keep running. It motivates you to get out the door and go for a run, just to go for a run.

Have you seen my top book recommendations for running motivation??

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How do you find your “WHY” for your inner running motivation?

You need to go 5 levels deep. As in, you need to ask yourself “Why?” 5 times, each question building on the previous answer to dig deeper.

This is an example of what going 5 levels deep looks like for my running motivation:

“Why do you want to train for this race?”

“Because I like a challenge, I’m goal oriented, and it gives me something to focus my running on.”

“Why do you need something to focus your running?”

“Because I want to stick with my running habit for the long term, and not fall off the wagon.”

“Why do you want to stick with running for the long term?”

“Because I want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.”

“Why do you want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight?”

“To feel more confident, have more energy, and look better.”

“Why do you want to feel more confident, have more energy, and look better?”

“Because I want to live my life to the fullest, every single day. I want to have the energy to do all of the things in live that I want to do, and the vitality for my body to take me there.”

That is what it looks like to go 5 levels deep.

Sure, I could achieve the same end goal through other means, but I’ve found through my personal experience that running is something I can stick with on a regular basis to get me the best results.

Make your “WHY” bigger than yourself to find deeper running motivation.

If you have kids or a spouse, you could do it for them. As in, you make it part of your “WHY” to stay healthy for them in the long-term and have enough energy to be an active part of their life.

If/when I decide that I want to have children, you can bet that I would want to have a very active role in their life.

Part of my why in looking great is so I can be the “hot wife” to my husband.

I’m not looking to get started on the whole “He should just love you for who you are and not care about your love handles or what you weigh” argument.

He does love me, no matter what I look like. I know this because he proposed to me when I was at my absolute heaviest weight.

Even so, the fact that we both work hard to stay physically attractive for each other sure does help keep our marriage alive!

Running Motivation for the Long Run: How to Find Your Why
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Make Running and your “WHY” part of your identity.

Is running just something you do, or is it part of who you are?

Run because you are a runner.

Running isn’t just something you do to lose weight or get fit. I mean, it can be, but with that mindset you’ll never make running a long-term habit.

When you’ve lost the weight, when the race is over, when your goal is complete…will you keep running?

I finished the Salt Lake City Half Marathon a couple weeks ago and my next “serious” training cycle doesn’t start until the beginning of July, but I’m still running.

Related: 6 Surefire Ways to Build Your Running Identity

I run because I’m a runner, and that’s what runners do.

They get out the door and go run. Runners relieve their stress and anxiety through a good run. Whether or not they’re training for a specific race.

I do have a few races sprinkled throughout the next couple months, but I don’t have any goals set for them. Is that weird? Maybe. But I want to build the flexibility into my life that if I don’t make a run, it’s not the end of my training plan.

However, I’m not going to let that be an excuse for me to miss one run after another. I’m simply going to take a realistic look at my running, step back when I need to, and make sure it isn’t interfering with other aspects of my life.

Through it all, I keep running.

Be sure to check out my top book recommendations for running motivation!

What is your Running Motivation, your “WHY? Please share in the comments!


Run Happy,


About Me: I’m Alexis, Founder of RunningMyBestLife! I am an avid recreational runner, half marathoner, wife, dog mom, busy professional, downhill skier in Northern Utah. My mission is to help new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport of running. I believe that running is a catalyst to taking control of your life and living your best life by design. Learn More –>