Run Right: Find Your Motivation

Staff Writer
University of Florida coach Paul Spangler on staying inspired

The quick tip this week comes from Paul Spangler, assistant coach for track and field and cross country at the University of Florida. Spangler was the 2009 Big South Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. Prior to his arrival at the University of Florida, Spangler coached at The Virginia Military Institute. There, he tutored 70 All-Big South performers and helped the track and cross country teams break 21 distance records. 


Motivation is certainly important for any distance runner. As I like to say, 'If running was easy, everyone would do it.' To get better at this sport, the dedication and focus has to be there. Here are some tips to help keep you motivated:

Buy a GPS watch
GPS watches can make you more involved with your workout as you see how far and how fast you run. A GPS watch that you synch with your computer can map out your runs and help you keep track of your fitness on a daily basis. University of Florida athletes use the Nike+ GPS watch powered by TomTom.

Join a local running or track club
Having a running community can be a great motivator, especially on those cold winter days when it’s easy to skip.

Purchase a new pair of shoes or a new running outfit
If you notice your motivation sinking, go shopping.There’s nothing like a new pair of “kicks” to get you back out the door feeling good.

Sign up for a race
Having a race on the horizon will help maintain your focus. I encourage a race once a month or at least every month and a half.

Run while on the road
There is no better way to explore a new town or city than going for a run. Make sure to do your research first to find the best places to run. The internet has many resources to help you find the best trails and running routes in different travel locations.