I was never the star athlete in high school.  Didn’t play any intramural sports in college.  I preferred more sedentary activities, like shopping and watching Dawson’s Creek. In fact, I spent 21 years of my life sitting on my butt… so sometimes I just have to TRICK myself into a run.  :)  It’s like reverse psychology on myself!


How do I trick myself to go on a run? Well, tonight was a perfect example.  I got off work and felt no desire to run.  But I knew I needed to.


  • Trick #1:  Prepare yourself to run.  I put on my sneakers, get the dogs ready for me to leave, find my iPod, and fill up my water bottle — even while I’m trying to excuse myself from my run.  That way, when I finally decide to actually DO IT, I can walk out the door in a moment’s notice.  Delaying yourself in any way is bad, bad, bad!


  • Trick #2: Do a few heel-clicks in said workout clothes and tell yourself that it’s going to be an AWESOMMMMME WORKOUT!  (Yeah, that is me below… this afternoon… trying to pump myself up.)


  • Trick #3:  If you are scheduled to do a certain distance, tell yourself you can get away with a reduced number of miles.  Today, I was suppose to do 5.0.  I told myself I could just do 4.0.  And I did.  But at least I did SOMETHING!


  • Trick #4: Remember that the first mile is the hardest.  OK, sometimes all the miles are hard, but in my experience, Mile 1.0 is the lamest, longest, and most torturous.  If you can get through the first mile, you’re golden.


  • Trick #5:  Get your butt off the couch and walk out the front door.  No explanation needed!


  • Trick #6:  Repeat after me when the going gets rough: "I never regretted a run, but I always regret skipping one."  Mantras rule.


Needless to say, going on my run was a challenge, and I did 4.0 miles instead of 5.0, but I am SURE glad I actually went on my last run before the big 15.0 mile race!


  • Duration:  40 minutes (4.0 miles)
  • Calories Burned:  320


Here are this afternoon’s eats… Yogurt with a smashed Kashi TLC bar: 


The last lone 1/2 wedge of melon:


Nuts and raisins:


And dinner was DIVINE:


Baked salmon and brown rice with roasted carrots, celery, and shrooms.  Just what I was craving — a balanced and veggie-rific meal!


Have a wonderful evening!  Oh, and for dessert:  a few square of Dove chocolate and a little glass of cold milk are screaming my name. 🙂


What healthy tricks do you use to talk yourself off the couch and into your workout?



  • Lisa D. April 6, 2009, 5:41 pm

    i’ve done all that, napped in my running clothes, and then woke up and MADE myself go out and run! hah you are right, it sucked at first and then I was glad I did it! Now I just wish I could run!

  • VeggieGirl April 6, 2009, 5:42 pm

    Great advice!! I always just remind myself how invigorating it feels after a workout – and my trainer makes me do it, haha 😉

  • Molly April 6, 2009, 5:46 pm

    I love that quote about never regretting a run. So true!

    I love running outside, but bad/cold weather really gets to me. On days like that, I actually run on a treadmill at the gym. Once I force myself to drive to the gym, I can’t really NOT do a workout 😀

  • sarah April 6, 2009, 5:48 pm

    yep, #6 is it for me as well. it’s so true (with one exception: running through injury. bad idea!)

    i like your pump-up picture!

  • Lauren April 6, 2009, 5:50 pm

    I run first thing in the morning (like 4:45am!). I have no excuse once my alarm goes off and I am out of bed and I ALWAYS remind myself how incredible I feel afterwards. You are so right, once you get past the first annoying mile, it’s all good from then on.

    Okay random question for you or anyone that may know this. I run A LOT on the tredmil for a few reasons, but mainly because its been too cold to take it outdoors. So this weekend, I set out for a new PR of 8 miles and came soooooo close to hitting it but the machine just stopped. My tredmil has a max time of 60 min. with a max 10 min. cool down so I was only able to get to 7.92 miles in 70 min. Ughhh, how annoying. Do you know if all tredmils have a max time or is it just my stupid machine? Maybe there is a setting that I can adjust?

    Thanks, and hope you are having a great Monday, despite the computer issues. 🙂

  • teacherwoman April 6, 2009, 5:51 pm

    I agree, I spent almost the first 23 years of my life doing little to no physical activities. Now, I feel like crap if I don’t do SOMETHING! I know that as long as I get my butt out of bed, or workout clothes on, that is half the battle!

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 6, 2009, 5:54 pm

    I make myself go to my workout class because I tell myself that my workout buddy will be mad if I don’t! It works!!

    Are those knee sleeve things helping? I’ve found that I have way more stamina working out now, and want to try running again, but my knees hurt! Would you recommend them?

  • Alison April 6, 2009, 5:59 pm

    Good advice. I think the best thing is to make exercise such a habit that you don’t even think about skipping. Of course, there are always days where motivation is lacking. Those days I will sometimes bribe myself with a post-workout reward…or just force myself to go – I am grateful afterward.

    My husband tells himself that exercise is like medicine – you wouldn’t skip your medicine for a day just because you didn’t feel like taking.

  • iowagirleats April 6, 2009, 6:03 pm

    Trick #6: Repeat after me when the going gets rough: “I never regretted a run, but I always regret skipping one.” DEFINITELY my #1 trick for getting myself to run!!

  • Meredith April 6, 2009, 6:09 pm

    “I never regretted a run, but I always regret skipping one.”

    I LOVE THIS QUOTE! I missed my run today due to work obligations. Tomorrow is a new day and a new day to run.

  • Kimberly April 6, 2009, 6:09 pm

    I find that putting on my workout clothes is a big step in the right direction — even if I lounge around for a while longer, all that’s left is to charge out the door! I also remind myself of how awesome I feel after a good sweat, and how much better my meals will taste because my appetite is so jacked up.

  • Betsy April 6, 2009, 6:10 pm

    Love the tips – especially the quote. It’s so true! I always try to change into my gear as soon as I get home from work, because I’d feel like a loser taking it off without having exercised!

  • Zesty Cook April 6, 2009, 6:10 pm

    I need to try your tips 🙂

  • Amandaaa April 6, 2009, 6:14 pm

    I heart Dawsons Creek. Forever.
    That Pacey Witter-hollla.

    And delishhh…I love melon!

  • Brandi April 6, 2009, 6:22 pm

    great tips!

    i just have to change into my clothes, too. that makes a BIG difference.

  • RunToFinish April 6, 2009, 6:27 pm

    I do love working up a sweat, but somedays I just have to tell myself I’ll just start with a couple minutes…it usually turns in to more!

  • haya (living and learning) April 6, 2009, 6:27 pm

    for some bizarro reason, it’s always the middle mile that’s the worst for me. every single one of my nike+ run graphs has a little dip right around the halfway point.

    on days where i really don’t feel like going out i remind myself how awesome i’ll feel when i get back and how if i just veg on the couch and watch some garbage tv, i will definitely not feel awesome at all.
    besides i’ve created checkmark boxes on my race plan log and it’s satisfying to be able to check them off when i’ve completed my runs for that week. the current plan i’m following is definitely NOT easy and i have to keep telling myself that when i’m out running. then when i stick do it and do what i was supposed to do, i can be proud of myself for achieving something challenging.

  • Ashley April 6, 2009, 6:33 pm

    I normally sleep in my workout clothes so that way when the alarm goes off at 5:15 all I have to do is throw on my shoes, stick some bread in the toaster, grab the peanut butter, slather it on, and head out the door. Do you have any suggestions for treadmill runs? I have to run 10 miles tomorrow..ON THE DREADMILL..and know i’ll hate every minute. 🙁

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point April 6, 2009, 6:39 pm

    mara – i havent run a single run since october with the sleeves! they definitely work.

  • Abby April 6, 2009, 6:50 pm

    No matter how active I am, I still enjoy a good episode of Dawson’s Creek 🙂

  • Run Sarah April 6, 2009, 6:57 pm

    I SO agree with all of your tips! If it’s in the AM, I just start getting ready so I have no choice! The first mile is the worst for me, almost always I feel like I’m never going to make it…but I always do.

  • Meg April 6, 2009, 7:02 pm

    Love these tricks! Thanks for them!

  • Lindsay April 6, 2009, 7:05 pm

    Usually mile 2-3 is the hardest on me. After that, I finally settle into the groove of my heart beating fast and then I can go from there.

  • BethAnn Caputo April 6, 2009, 7:10 pm

    I play head games with myself. It’s usually not hard for me to get to the gym, but I always want to quit after mile two. I put on my ipod and then tell myself I have to speed up .2 mph every time I look down at the distance I’m at. I usually try to get through 3-4 songs (on a long run) before I look down at where I’m at. I do the same thing as you…I set a “running goal”..a certain mileage that I have to run to in a certain time and then I can walk after…if I”m on the treadmil usually an inclined walk/mix of sprints. I’ll go back to running/jogging for .25 miles. It sounds complicated but it works for me…I just got to 5.5 miles today. Also…the buddy system REALLY works for me. I work out with my boyfriend and his best friend and if I skip a day at the gym, I def. hear it lol.

  • Megan April 6, 2009, 7:14 pm

    I definitely think your trick #6 is what motivates me the most.. I’ve never gone on a run and come back regretting it. I love how you feel so energized when you get back! Today, I almost fell asleep twice in class and then dragged my butt to the gym and felt so amazing afterwards! Working out is so addicting!

  • Matt April 6, 2009, 7:21 pm

    I run right when I wake up so I never really have to talk myself into it. And I never don’t want to run; I want to run right now and it is 9:20 at night. I’ll have to wait until the morning.

  • Red Head, Yellow Dog April 6, 2009, 7:27 pm

    I like your tricks 🙂 I was never a star athlete in high school or college either! It makes me feel cool that now I can run really far and may be considered by some to be an athlete. It makes up for getting hit in the face with a football during powder puff practice…:D

  • DLap April 6, 2009, 7:36 pm

    Loved the tips!
    I definitely put my running clothes on and that will eventually get me out there door!

  • Niki April 6, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Great advice!! I use most of those tricks too!! Love the quote about never regretting a run! It’s so true:)

  • Adi (oatonomy.com) April 6, 2009, 7:45 pm

    I’ll have to try the heel clicking thing 🙂
    I tell myself that working out is better for me than watching another re-run of a dumb reality show. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t!

  • Oh She Glows April 6, 2009, 7:45 pm

    I love this post!! So much great advice in one spot 🙂

    I love the getting dressed idea. Sometimes I dread getting all my gear on more than the run itself! Especially in the summer when I have to put on sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc etc!

  • Amanda April 6, 2009, 7:53 pm

    I definitely do what you mentioned – telling myself I only have to go for 20 mins or so. By then I am already sweaty and feeling good and I always keep at it longer!!

  • runnerskitchen April 6, 2009, 7:54 pm

    buying a new itunes song and creating a special running playlist always help me get excited about a run. britney spears is also a favorite of mine, hehe.


  • Jen and Rob April 6, 2009, 8:17 pm

    What awesome tips! I love the quote and am going to share it with my teammates. We will be running a relay marathon in May and have been trying to all get together to run and practice but it hasn’t happened!

  • Bec April 6, 2009, 8:49 pm

    what great tips!

  • Siobhan April 6, 2009, 9:09 pm

    “He who is outside the door already has a good part of his journey behind him” -Dutch Proverb

    In high school I used to get so nervous for track meets that I would sleep in my track uniform. But now that I’m running “for fun” I agree, the first mile is always the hardest. I try to remember how good I feel afterwards and that usually gets me going…or I do some heel clicks haha

  • Wiggs (The Beholder) April 6, 2009, 9:10 pm

    I do the exact same thing – trick myself into running. I think I said this in one of my previous posts, but one of my favorite tricks is to tell myself that it’s okay to stop/slow down/cut the workout short. For some reason, giving myself the green light to quit always keeps me going. Also, I bargain with myself. I think “Wiggs, you can do just one more quarter mile. It’s not that hard.” (repeated every quarter mile, haha)

  • redheadedjournal April 6, 2009, 9:13 pm

    Love the mantra!

  • HangryPants April 6, 2009, 9:18 pm

    I do your mileage trick with time. I also get all my clothes on and get ready to go. Finally, if a run is not happening I agree to get a new magazine and hit the elliptical.

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) April 6, 2009, 11:03 pm

    I try to plan my treadmill runs for when a show is on that I want to watch. I also try to convince myself how much better breakfast will taste after I get a few miles in!

    Glad you got it done, sista!

  • Leanne April 7, 2009, 3:38 am

    I design workouts and playlists that I’m excited to try!

  • EatRunLitigate April 7, 2009, 4:14 am

    “I never regretted a run, but I always regret skipping one.”

    Best motivational quote I’ve read in a long time!

  • Rachel April 7, 2009, 4:55 am

    Ah Dawson’s Creek – I love it! That’s right… now that I think of it Pacey Witter (aka love of my life) should become my motivation to run! (too much? :S haha)

    My motivation is definitely knowing how great I will feel afterward. And beautiful weather outside!

  • Rose April 7, 2009, 5:18 am

    I just tell myself I only have to run for 10-15 minutes then I can stop. But by the time I get to that point I don’t want to quit running since I already started.

  • Beth April 7, 2009, 6:39 am

    The one thing that always works for me is putting on a bikin and checking myself out in the mirror. I never second guess working out after that.

    I don’t necessarily look at my flaws, but how far I have come and how working out has transformed my body.

    I remember why I work out and think about how I don’t want to go back to the way I use to look.

    The last time I called my fiance looking for motivation to work out he simply said put on your black bikini. I did and then I worked out with a smile on my face.

  • Rose April 7, 2009, 7:25 am

    I totally agree about Trick #4. I try and remember that when I’m running and it hurts – “it’s only 10 minutes. What’s the big deal?” sort of attitude.

  • Sarah April 7, 2009, 9:38 am

    I love tricks! Some of mine: scheduling it like an appointment… sometimes I just show up at the gym because it’s the next thing on my list – it can be a little shocking. Another trick: something new for my workout – maybe a new bar to eat after, or new socks, or best – new shorts! Something little works though.

  • Tina April 7, 2009, 10:14 am

    I call a friend and tell them I am skipping a workout. Then she chastizes me and makes me feel guilty, so I go. That is often combined with the “reduced workload/distance” trick you mentioned, but then I usually do the whole thing rather than the reduced workout. B/c let’s face it, getting out the door really is the hardest part.

  • eatingRD April 7, 2009, 10:39 am

    Great tips! I always tap into how much better I feel after I workout. I tend to feel off if I don’t go when I had planned. Sometimes I’m just too tuckered though. And I can’t lie, I love eating a wholesome meal after a great workout!


  • livelovelaugheatlearn April 7, 2009, 4:59 pm

    I always just do it. I go as soon as I get home from work or as soon as I wake up in the morning so I don’t have anytime to put it off. As soon as I put if off, I find more and more things to do and then it’s the end of the day and I haven’t done a thing.

    That dinner looks incredible1

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) April 8, 2009, 7:44 am

    I do the “reduced miles” all the time. I tell myself to just get out there and if I’m not feeling it then I only have to do 3.5 miles or whatever. 🙂

Healthy Tipping Point