RUNNING can be a great way to improve your health and fitness.

It’s inexpensive, you can do it pretty much anywhere and at any time. It’s also easy to track progress and improvement.

However, one thing that is needed is motivation!

You may have plenty of this at the start but, if you find it begins to dwindle, here are some ways to try to bring back your motivation.

Whether you run for fitness, pleasure or competition, it’s always important you have the right footwear.

This makes a difference to your performance, your enjoyment and also the amount of stress put on your body as you run.

If you are a regular runner you may well get excited about trying a new pair of trainers out for the first time.

If you are just starting out you may well feel the same, but more importantly you’ll need the correct footwear to help prevent injury or pain.

Trainers need not cost you a fortune, if you go to a specialist running shop or sports shop they will be able to advise you on the correct footwear.

Set yourself realistic goals. Keeping track of your running, how far and how fast will make it to easier to set yourself realistic goals each week.

Be accountable too. If you have a bad run don’t beat yourself up about it, just try harder next time.

Run at a time of day that you feel at your best. If you aren’t a morning person, then trying to motivate yourself at 5am may not be realistic.

Plan where you can fit a run into your day the night before and keep it as part of your schedule.

Register for a race. Sign up, write down the date and countdown the days. This is a great motivational tool. You’ll have something to work towards and a date that can’t be moved.

You could sign up with a friend too so that you have a somebody to encourage and that can encourage you.

If you prefer to run with others, there are running clubs on most areas that will meet up weekly.

Find out where your local running club meet and join them. Having a weekly meeting or social run with others can be much more appealing than going it alone. It will also give you a little competition.

l To get in touch with Claire, follow her on Twitter @CLKpt or email