Getting out of bed an hour earlier to pound the pavements isn’t always something I look forward and going for a run in the evening after a hard day at work is equally tough. Sometimes I’d rather kick back on the sofa with a beer or a large packet of crisps. However, when my inspiration begins to fade, I usually find the strength to hit the roads. Here are eight things that keep me motivated to run.

#1 Hitting the wall – This is probably quite a surprising motivator, but I relish hitting the wall. We think we can’t make it, but it is your mind tricking you. I enjoy regularly hitting this point where my mind keeps telling me I can’t succeed, it is hardship that I bring on myself and experiences like this can strengthen you even in defeat.

#2 Overcoming the wall – This one is more obvious. Overcoming most obstacles brings  a good feeling and breaking through the runner’s wall is no exception. It’s all a mind game and knowing that I can beat it is a great achievement. Moreover, knowing that I can overcome the wall gives rise to the thought that I can defeat other challenges as well.

#3 Seeing nature – When I go for runs in the countryside alongside picturesque canals and through leafy forests I feel energized. Even when I’m running around cities I usually manage to find a park with some pleasant scenery. Getting out of the house is made easier when I know I am about to take in some nice scenery. Also, it is easy to lose track of the time when you’re in a pretty place, sometimes whole miles have gone by during a run and I have barely thought about the pain in my legs.

#4 Beating personal bests – Technology and running are a great match. Running has been vastly improved for those competitive souls who want to beat others and keep on improving. I get great satisfaction when I return home and realise I have beaten my previous personal best. The thought of beating myself makes me sprint up hills and run that extra kilometre.

#5 The occasional nod or wave from an oncoming runner – Sometimes it’s the small things that pick you up. When I’m at the furthest point from my house fighting off a stitch and trying not to collapse, a small gesture from a fellow runner often picks me up. I’m not sure if there’s a secret running alumni but it’s nice to feel a part of something when you’re struggling. Next time you’re out give your fellow runner a smile or a nod!

#6 The post-run buzz – It’s not a buzz as such, but it sure is a nice feeling. That weird blend of exhaustion and energy is something I look forward to after a hard run.

#7 Knowing that I have improved my overall well being – Running has so many benefits. It improves your lung capacity, relieves stress, helps you lose weight and so much more. It is a gradual process, but these positive effects invade every aspect of your life and they are well worth the hassle.

#8 Removing that guilty feeling from eating too much – I enjoy indulging myself from time to time. Whether it is a massive meal, or one too many beers, I usually have a slight feeling of guilt for mistreating my body. Running sweats out some of the toxins and burns excess calories, and both contribute towards me feeling better.

Hopefully this list motivates you to get out there and run, let me know what motivates you!