Do you ever find yourselves falling out of love a little with running or perhaps just lacking in motivation to run. Maybe you have been waking up and thinking “nope, it’s not going to happen today?” Whether you are just tired or you’ve lost your mojo a little, it’s not unusual sometimes to just find yourself completely lacking any kind of will to run.
How do you get past these days, weeks or even months where you just don’t have the motivation to run? For me, it’s the end of day runs I struggle with. If I get up and go out early, I rarely have an issue. If I am sat at my desk building up to it, the chances are I have talked myself out of it by 3/4pm. This is happening right now as I type. The wind is howling outside, it’s raining intermittently and the day is getting away from me. I need to do 5/6 miles. I also need to cook the kids dinner, do the washing, finish up my work and the Olympics is on – its athletics, I want to stay in the warm, eat nice food and watch the athletics. I know that I am going to feel rubbish however, if I don’t get out today.
With this in mind, here’s a few tips to help with your motivation so that you don’t feel so uninspired to put your trainers on and head out of the door because if you do, you know you are going to feel better.
Remember the Best Runs
Cast your mind back to the last time you finished a race and how good it felt, or the last time you had a great run and how fab it felt. Relive the memories and see if that inspires you to head out of the door.
Just Run 2 Miles
I do like this trick. Promise yourself a mile out and a mile back. It will take 15-20 minutes, maybe a little more. You are just going out for a 2 mile run. It’s not loads but once you get to that mile point, we reckon you might just go another half or mile and make it 3,4 or even more.
You Will Feel Great
You know this is true. You have run enough times to know that running is the pick me up you need to feel great and remind you why you run. All you have to do is get dressed and step outside of your door. What are you waiting for and what is stopping you from doing that right now?
Explore Somewhere New
How many times have you wanted to check out a new route or see where a path goes. Go and do it. If you have to drive to get to it then do it. If you really want to check out a route, what better time than now? If you don’t do now when will you do it?
Call a Friend
We all have those running buddies that are probably sat there feeling exactly the same. I know I do and luckily for me she lives round the corner. I usually message her and ask if she wants to run and she usually responds with a ‘yes’. In fact, this happened yesterday. I wanted to run but was struggling with motivation so I dropped her a message and we met half an hour later for a 5 mile chatty run.
Just Get Through the First Mile
How many times have you started running and thought “urgghh” only to find your rhythm within a few minutes and feel OK by the end of the first mile. Just promise yourself you are going to enjoy it after 5-10 minutes.
Sleep in Your Running Gear
Now I can categorically stress that I have never done this. Not even if I am running an ultra. But… I have seen it recommended elsewhere. If you have to try and drag yourselves out of bed early doors and you wake up ready to go, there really is little to stop you.
Promise Yourself a Treat as Motivation to Run
A piece of cake (always works for me), a glass of wine maybe, a takeaway. We all have different motivations and a treat is usually a good way to motivate yourself. Get out and earn that treat. You could even reward yourself with a new pair of running shoes!!!
Do Something Different
If your default run is to go out and do 5 miles at 9 minute mile pace and the thought makes you a little bored, mix it up. Go and do a Fartlek run where you run a warm up mile, then add some pick-ups into the next 3 miles before doing a cool down. Do some mile reps – run a mile fast, rest and recover and go again. Run a progressive run where you get faster for each mile. Go out on your favourite trail, find that hill and run up and down it a few times. Sometimes just doing something different can be motivation enough.
Go For a Walk in Your Running Gear
I really don’t like walking but you might. Put your running gear on and go for a walk. Now that you’re outside, just start running. How hard was that?
If you really can’t find the motivation still, don’t be hard on yourself. We are allowed to rest. If you are the kind of person that likes to run a specific pattern of days, you can always swap your sessions or days around. Don’t be hard on yourself. We run for fun and we don’t have to do it. A day off won’t hurt but just be careful that it doesn’t become weeks or months.
Edit – after writing this, I took my own advice and went out to do 2 miles – that soon became 6! Turns out I did have the motivation to run after all.