colleenrtaversWelcome to the first installment of RockMyRun’s Q&A series with thought leaders from our favorite publications. Senior web editor of Fitness Magazine, Colleen Travers, shares some personal tips on how she stays motivated to work out as well as inspiring (and romantic) running stories. We’re so excited that she’s taken the time to share her thoughts with us and you, our RunRockers!

RMR: Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun (bad weather conditions, long work day, had too much to eat) – what are different ways you stay motivated?

CT: When I have a really, really good run or workout – I take that feeling and tuck it into the back of my brain. Then, when the morning comes where I don’t even want to look at my sneakers let alone put them on, I remember that one run, workout, etc. and it motivates me to get out the door. Even if I don’t feel that same exact high when I get back, I know I’ll feel better than if I just shrugged it off. Plus, the more days you stay consistent, the easier it gets. I wake up every morning at 6 a.m. automatically now (which I’ll be honest, is not that ideal on weekends), and it just makes more sense to get up and sweat rather than flip through my Instagram feed for an hour!

RMR: What are some workout goals you have?

CT: I have two at the moment! The first, increase my strength training. I’m a cardio junkie but I realized after my last marathon how much strength training even just once a week can helped me during the race, not to mention shave serious minutes off my time. (I dropped 13 minutes!) The second, train for the Newport Half-Marathon in Jersey City this fall.

RMR: How do you reward yourself when you meet your goals?

CT: I get a pedicure! Honestly, this is more of a must rather than a reward because no one should have to see my feet unpolished, it’s just not a pretty sight. But I’ll splurge and go to a salon rather than try to DIY it.

RMR: When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?

CT: It’s important to be flexible. I am typically an early morning exerciser, but I am also often a terrible sleeper. I know if I get a junky night’s sleep it’s not going to do me any good to drag myself through a few miles and then spend the rest of the day cranky and unproductive, so I have a stash of workout clothes in my desk just in case I have time for a lunchtime workout. If that’s not the case, then I move my rest days around. It’s good to have a routine, but it’s more important to go with the flow – not every day is going to be so OMG-busy, so regroup and try again tomorrow.

RMR: How does music help you keep moving and motivated? What are your favorite genres or artists?

CT: Music helps me zone out. Rather than think about every single step I can get lost in my playlist and before I know it, the miles are flying by. Lately, I’m loving the dance-y, techno stuff to get pumped up to pound the pavement. Artists I’ll always love: Tiesto, Rihanna, Afrojack and Beyonce.

(Editors note: sounds like Colleen would enjoy the Club Cardio 2 mix and the ACTIVE 5K Training Mix)

RMR: Do you have a favorite running story?

CT: I loved our reader’s recap of the Boston Marathon, both the year of the bombings and then a year later. It really shows you what a strong support system the running community is and how any marathon (but especially this one) brings people together.

RMR: How did you get into running – was there a specific moment in your life where you decided that you were going to start running?

CT: I started running when I moved to NYC (I was too poor to afford a gym membership) but it wasn’t until about a year later I started to actually enjoy it. I had just completed my 9+1 requirements for the NYC Marathon and at the same time was going through a bummer breakup. Training not only got me through the breakup, but it also made me love running. Every run was a chance to go a mile farther than I ever had and once I got past the stage where you feel like your lungs are going to drop out of your chest, I was hooked on every aspect – from the endorphins to seeing the same group of runners pushing past Cat Hill in Central Park on Saturday mornings with you. I remember running through the five boroughs during the marathon and thinking that it was such a cool experience that only a sliver of people get to experience and from then on, I knew this would become part of my daily life. Also good news for my breakup, a year later I bumped into him after stopping in a Halloween store post-run. Now he’s my husband who frequently joins me for morning runs. 🙂

RMR: What makes a great run?

CT: Good shoes (And I don’t mean pretty, I mean comfortable!), good music and if you don’t have good music – good friends to run with you!