How to Love Your Run, Again
I am sure I am not the only runner who sometimes struggles with a bit of a lack of motivation.
Well, who am I trying to kid here? Complete lack of motivation. Yeah, it happens to the best of us.
While it is completely normal to suffer a lack of motivation at times, I think we can all agree on the fact that it isn’t great… You may be in the middle of training for a race, or in between races and in need of starting up training for the next race and there it is, that feeling of just… Blah.
You wake up at 4:30am, your normal running time, and there is just nothing (NOTHING) in your mind or body that says “Let’s run!”, the energy seem to be completely drained and the mind is screaming for more sleep. Or just anything but running.
So, what can we do to get past this obstacle?
Get back to basics
Take a step back. Leave the watch at home. Run if you feel like running, walk if you would rather do that. Just move.
Remind yourself of your why
Ask yourself the question ‘Why do I run?’. Really think about it, remember what your reason is… There are so many different reasons as to why we run and all of the reasons are good ones, as long as they keep us going, healthy and happy.
Change up your routine
Are you the type of runner who always runs the same time of day and generally stick to the same running route? If so, it might be time to change things up a bit?!
Set your alarm early in the morning for a morning run if you are normally an evening runner or the other way around. Who knows, maybe a simple change as watching the sunrise instead of the sunset makes a difference and sparks your motivation?
Head out for a run in your neighborhood and make a point out of taking new turns, head onto a street you never go down or drive to a new park or trailhead. There can be something almost magical about exploring new areas by foot. Or to just mindlessly wander (run) wherever your feet end up taking you.
Note: If you are in a new area or on new trails – it might be a good idea to have a GPS tracker/app/map with you so that you can find your way back to the starting point. Do not get (completely) lost!
Gains and goals
Look back at the gains you have made since you started running. Think about how you struggled with those first runs, and how you recently have been able to put in x miles with a smile on your face. You have put in the work and I am sure it has paid off, right? Keep going and you will keep seeing those gains, one mile at the time.
Think about you goals, both short and long term. If you visualize yourself crossing the finish line of that 5K in 6 weeks or that 26.2 that might be your long term goal – are you feeling a bit of a spark? That right there might be the motivation you need to go out for an easy run today, instead of resting..
Bring the wallet out
We don’t want to encourage you to spend all your hard earned money, but you know… Who doesn’t love brand new running shoes, apparel, a watch or just a few pair of socks? I know I do and the days when a new pair of shoes are delivered might just be the best run days ever.
Find a running group
If you are normally a solo runner, finding a running group to run with could do wonders. The company of other passionate runners who understands you, with all the runner quirks, makes for a great place to share and receive motivation and inspiration. You’ll get an extra push and maybe even an extra high five when necessary. Having to schedule runs after not just your own, but also other runners’, schedule will help with keeping you accountable (who wants to ditch out on a running buddy?). Oftentimes running buddies becomes close friends due to the ups and downs they take each other through.
Sign up for a race
Find a race – any race – to focus on. Preferably a shorter race happening sooner rather than later so you will have less time to get second thoughts and start feeling the pressure. Go into it with the goal to just make it a fun happening and who knows.. You might just find the spark somewhere along the way?
Take a break
Give yourself a few days, a week or more with no running. During this time, focus on other activities – try a few yoga classes, go for a hike, reunite with your old basketball buddies, bring the spouse to the local tennis court… While taking a break, maybe even kick your feet up, brew a cup of tea and read some books? There are numerous books out there which could motivate and inspire you to get out there and run again.
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