How I Motivate Myself to Run on Weekends


I go to Barre pretty consistently during the week. It might not always be the exact same day, but I work in at least one barre class per week, and usually 2-3 classes. Last week my schedule was totally booked every single night. I knew that I would feel better if I worked out so I actually cancelled one of my commitments to go to barre instead. (Interested in barre? Check out this list of things to bring to your first barre class.)

But weekends aren’t so easy. My weekends are often full of different activities that happen at different times of day.  For this reason, I need to be intentional about working out on the weekends.  It’s a lot harder to be intentional than it is to just build a habit.

Tips on How I Motivate Myself to Run on Weekends

Building a habit is one of the key ways I was able to build a barre routine. The other key way was being held accountable by the RSVP system.  I cancelled my gym membership entirely, so no more treadmill running for me.

I’m all ready to rock the Color Run tomorrow! #weshine #happiest5k

A photo posted by Brittany (@brittany_wmsb) on

I used to run exclusively on the treadmill so this was a very weird transition, but the more 5ks I ran, the more I actually hated running on a treadmill! Here’s the problem, there is absolutely zero accountability to run outside! There isn’t a monthly membership to not want to waste. There isn’t a check-in person working the desk to judge you when they haven’t seen you in awhile.  There are no business hours during which you need to rush to the gym to make sure you get your workout in before they close.

It’s just you and the outdoors. Because of this, I had to come up with some methods to motivate myself to run. I do want to say that I workout for health, not to lose weight. And sometimes my rewards or motivations are food. If you struggle with food in any way (simply by losing weight, or a more serious food addiction or food disorder), disregard my points about food. They won’t make you any happier, they just get me to stop being lazy.

1. Bacon

I love bacon. I never make breakfast during the week (I know I should), so bacon always feels like a fancy weekend treat. Last weekend I bought all of the supplies to make a full breakfast of bacon, potatoes and toast. My plan was to get out of bed, drink a little bit of coffee and a lot of water, and then go for a run. When I got back, I would make breakfast and go to town on some bacon.

Except I just never got off the couch. I slept in that morning until 8:30, which is awesome, but at 10:30 I was still sitting on the couch in my pjs, without even brushing my teeth yet. But I was also starting to get super hungry. The only way I was allowed to eat that bacon was if I went for a run, and I wasn’t willing to settle for a pb&j sandwich after looking forward to bacon.

So, I finally got up, brushed my teeth, put on my running clothes, and ran through the neighborhood. It was worth it.

2. Hanging Out with Friends

One way I make myself run is that when friends invite me to brunch, I tell them I will go but I have to go for a run first. This holds me accountable because when I get to brunch, they’re going to ask about my run! I don’t want to be embarrassed and say I was too lazy and instead of running, I played simcity BuildIt on my iPhone.

3. Wearing Leggings all Day

Workout leggings are basically my most comfortable pants. I don’t wear them out and about unless I’m coming straight from Barre or a run. On a casual day I’ll simply wear jeans. But if I’m feeling like a comfortable day is necessary, like all day football on Sunday with J and his family, then I’ll reward myself with “I can wear leggings all day and not feel weird/bad about it!”

Sunday morning I woke up. Went on a run at 7:45 and made it back in time to shower, put on my Cowboys jersey and put on makeup before anyone arrived at his house at 9 AM. (Isn’t that makeup bag the cutest? It was a free goody-bag at Clinique!)

How I Motivate Myself to Run on Weekends

4. Listening to a New Podcast or Webinar

On the day I ran so that I could eat bacon, I multi-tasked by listening to Helene in Between‘s free webinar on how to get noticed online. On Sunday before football, I listened to one of Jess Lively’s podcasts, “The Lively Show.” I listen to a lot of hers so I don’t remember exactly which one it was.
How I Motivate Myself to Run on Weekends
I used to listen to music, but my mind would wander to what I had to do after the run, as well as how sweaty I was, how tired my legs were, or how hard the run felt. By listening to podcasts or webinars, my mind gets distracted and I can go several minutes at a time without thinking about the act of running itself. It’s a huge bonus!

Check out some of my other favorite podcasts here.

5. Runner’s High

I have some major events happening in my life right now. They’re all good (no, Grandma, I’m not engaged), but they’re a bit overwhelming. I barely slept for about 4 days because I kept waking up thinking about life. I couldn’t take it anymore! Finally I remembered the days when I had no work-life balance and I learned at a CLE (continuing legal education course) that working out separates stressful thoughts from your home life.

Running really does release endorphins. The act of exercise also helps my brain to shut off whatever I was doing before my run, and focus more easily on the rest of life after. So even if I’m tired, feeling lazy, it’s cold, or I just want to go home and eat chips and salsa after work (or bacon on the weekends), the knowledge that my brain will work better and I really will feel happier, gets me off the couch and my sneakers on.

Do you have any other methods to motivate yourself to run? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! We can be an encouragement to each other!


linked up with 5 on Friday posts: A. Liz Adventures; Friday Favorites @ Life in Leggings; Friday Favorites @ Meet at the Barre; Friday Favorites @ Diary of a Real Housewife; Awesome Life Friday @ Reviews, Chews & To-Dos

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  • Reply
    October 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Although I’m not a runner, I LOVE these points. This might be a “controversial” tip, but sometimes I reward myself with buying myself small presents (whatever, I work hard for my money, right?!)

    • Reply
      October 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      I think that’s OK, too! I reward myself with new workout clothes when I workout consistently. I have finally replaced the workout clothes I hate with new ones I like because they were rewards (and on sale!).

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Domesticated Wild Child
    October 19, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Great tips to get motivated, I need to start getting regular about my workouts again.
    Jessica @ Domesticated Wild Child recently posted…Blueberry Banana Bread

    • Reply
      October 19, 2015 at 7:16 am

      It feels good to have the regular workout, even though my brain tells me that it feels better to lounge on my couch and watch TV!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Great tips! Its always hard to motivate oneself to do something. If we could all do that well imagine how much better the world would be.

    For me the reward of feeling great mentally and physically after a workout is what motivates me.


  • Reply
    October 19, 2015 at 10:30 am

    My biggest motivator for a run is setting out my clothes and planning it for first thing. If my clothes are out and i keep seeing them on the counter I feel like I need to go!
    Kristin recently posted…How To Encourage Grade School Kids To Read – Baby-sitters Club Graphic Novels

  • Reply
    October 22, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Laying out the clothes the night before is the biggest step for me. Granted, there’s been times where that stack of shoes / clothes stares at me for a week. hahaha Scheduling it is important tho. and I LOVE podcasts while I run too. Although I think it’s funny that I run by people giggling at the podcasts. #dontthinkimweird
    Megan recently posted…Refresh Summit: Virtual 

    • Reply
      October 22, 2015 at 11:45 am

      I should start doing that!! I keep my gym bag in my car so I have no excuses but that’s as far as I go.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Everitt
    April 12, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Hilarious! I could be you! Thanks for the tips -I am gonna use them as soon as I get off the couch!

  • Reply
    4 Changes I've Made to No Longer Hate Being a Lawyer - Where My Soul Belongs
    April 17, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    […] days I have an unlimited monthly Barre membership. I also go running, albeit not very much during the winter. I definitely have to wash my gym clothes after each use. […]

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