The Thin Line of Buying Motivation

The Thin Line of Buying Motivation


I mentioned in my Guide to Working Out that I run because it is cheap. Like anything, there are expenses.

A Dollar A Minute

After I was running for a bit, I decided to run some 5k’s. Unfortunately, it was discouraging. At $30 to run for 30 minutes, it seemed silly. For me, I was going to run 3 miles anyway, that was a normal run for me. I am not competitive and not beating my PR became depressing. I grew tired of runners’ attitudes and found the whole thing to be a very stressful $30 (not to mention being up at 7a on a Saturday), so I stopped running 5k’s altogether.

Buying Motivation

It was not until I ran more challenging races that I felt the money was well-spent. 10k and 15k races were totally different. The snobby runners were of course still there but the race was not just my normal workout.

These races were not about time for me, but about distance. When I ran the 10k, I had only ran 5 miles up to that point. The race gave me motivation to keep pushing myself. And because I had already signed up prior, I knew that I had to do it; I could not back out.

The 15k was a personal distance record as well. Since I had only ran 6 miles up to that point, completing 9 was an accomplishment. My money was well-spent because, for one, my $30 lasted a lot longer than 30 minutes, and I am not sure I would have ran 9 miles all on my own.

The Thin Line

For me, running a 5k race was a total waste of money because it was not motivating or encouraging. For many others, it is both of those things. Signing up for a 5k is great motivation for those not running 3 miles in a normal workout. For me, spending the $30 on the longer races is what I needed to do to stay motivated to run that distance

However, when it comes to spending money on motivation, you have to be careful. I spoke with a friend who was not running at the time but decided she wanted to run a marathon. She bought a bunch of snazzy workout clothes, $100 running sneakers and read a whole book about marathons. After all that, she went outside for a run. By the third mile she was exhausted and has not ran since.

The “Shoulds” and the “Wants”

Money spent on motivation is well-spent when it is for something you want to do. What can get you into trouble is spending money on something you feel you should do but your heart is not into it. For example, a gym membership or a home treadmill.

Unfortunately, when you spend money on that treadmill but never use it, you will become emotionally stressed over not working out and over spending money for nothing. Save yourself some stress by making sure that you “want” to do it first.

So Readers…

What are your successes and failures with buying motivation?


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