It’s Europe’s largest event of its kind - what better motivation than signing up?

How many of us wait for the clock to chime midnight on 31st December, vowing that the New Year will see a new fitter version of ourselves…only to find our good intentions have gone out the window by Blue Monday?

But it doesn’t need to be that way. With a little forward planning, you can crack that fitness goal once and for all (honest).

Whether you’re aiming to complete your first ever run, building up to a longer distance or want to run faster than ever before, here are some tips on how to stay motivated all year long...

2020 01 03 The Manchester Run Image Two


One of the simplest ways to keep on track is to set yourself a goal. With the Great Manchester Run on your doorstep, the only question is whether to target the 10k or step up to the half marathon. Find out more at

Use the Great Run training plans to map out your journey all the way from the start of training to the finish line!


Now that you’ve signed up to the event, it’s time to set your goal - but keep it realistic. If you’re just getting back into the running groove, don’t expect to be running a half marathon before the clocks go forward. Break your end goal down into small attainable chunks to reach in the short term and build up from there.

2020 01 03 The Manchester Run Image Three


The likelihood is you’re not going to enter the event and win… after all, this is an event that Mo Farah won back in 2018. But who cares? The last person across the finish line has completed the same distance as the first, that’s the important thing.

The first step is the hardest. But once you’ve pulled those trainers on, headed out the door and completed your first run (or jog or walk), you’ve started the journey. Building up your time and distance gradually will be more sustainable long term than setting yourself unrealistic targets that become huge mountains in your way. Tell yourself, regularly, ‘you’ve got this!’

2020 01 03 The Manchester Run Image Four


A good way of keeping yourself on track and motivated is to tell your friends and family what you’re doing. It always makes it that bit harder to give up on a challenge if you have to explain why you’re not following through.

On the flip side, the more people who know, the more praise and encouragement you’re going to get as you get to grips with your training regime. So soak up the praise, enjoy well-deserved compliments and take in the cheering crowds as you run down the home straight!


Don’t want to run today? Don’t have the energy? It could well be boredom of running the same route, or running the same distance. Mix it up and make it a mission to explore your local area – guaranteed you will discover an amazing location, shop or even a sneaky pub.

Try also mixing up the time you go for a run. If you’re always out early in the morning, then give the evening some love.  If you’re able to jog out of work at a lunchtime then you’re on to a winner - or even run or part run commute to work.

A practice run event for the big day will do wonders for your confidence; join a free Great Run Local event in your local area (there are five in and around Manchester) and start clocking those times. Find out more at here.

2020 01 03 The Manchester Run Image Five


If you can persuade friends or relatives to join you on your fitness campaign, you’ll naturally motivate each other and sharing the experience will be more fun. When running at a steady pace, you should still be able to hold a conversation - and now you’ll have a captive audience instead of only having the birds to natter to. Result!

Training with others will also help you test your abilities against each other and push yourself that bit harder. Consider joining a social running club (they aren’t all too serious) to get some tips and meet new people – around 30,000 people take part in the Great Manchester Run so you’re bound to run into people in the same boat as you.  


You don’t have to wait until you cross the finish line of your chosen event to celebrate. Each milestone you tick off on your journey to the start line is worth a little reward - even if it’s only an extra five minutes in bed a week on Sunday.

Make a note of when you reach your own personal milestones so that you can look back and see how far you’ve come, a black and white reminder that you’ve cracked this challenge. Because you will…

Read all of this and realised running isn’t your thing? Then why not try an exhilarating open water experience in the Lake District or Alton Water? Dip your toe in nature’s very own outdoor ‘swimming pool’ and check out the Great Swim Series here.