Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your motivation for running? If so, I think that’s perfectly normal. Life can get crazy sometimes, and throw us curveballs. We all handle that differently. Some of us may dig our heels deeper into running, while others may need a break from it completely.
Recently, I’ve fallen into the latter category. I’ve been walking about 20 miles per week, but running…it’s just not happening. If I’m to be completely honest, I don’t even have a good excuse. I’ve been focusing on my writing, some baking, and my blog. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of time.
The one thing that does have me unmotivated is the heat recently. Is it just me, or is running so much harder when it is deathly hot outside? Every step just seems to take more effort. Most of my walks are mid-day when the temps are at their hottest. During a 6-mile walk, a few running intervals may happen, but nothing serious.
Another culprit for my lack of motivation is that I didn’t really see much progress with my running. Sure, I was able to go a little longer before taking a walking break, but my pace wasn’t really getting faster despite how hard I tried. Frustration is the killer of motivation, am I right? We are our own worst critic, and I have been judging myself hard!
So what do we do when we’ve lost our running motivation? When in the back of our mind, we have that nagging thought that we really need to get back out there, but deep down, we know that we are going to keep on procrastinating despite our best intentions.
Here are some tips that will hopefully help you to find that lost running motivation and get back out there, doing what you love!
1. SET SMALL GOALS
If you’re trying to get motivated to start your running routine again, setting small goals may help. Tell yourself that you just need to get out and run a mile. The hardest part is putting on those running shoes and getting out the door. Once you’re out there, chances are you’ll keep going past that 1-mile goal. If you chose to stop after that, you at least did a mile. If you go longer, great!
When I was trying to get into a routine, I made it a goal to get out and run 1 mile every day that the weather permitted. If you think about it, 1 mile is nothing. It takes no more than about 15 minutes out of your day. Yeah, some days, I stopped right at that 1-mile mark. More days than not, I ended up running 2 or 3. It helped to tell myself I couldn’t get a shower until my mile was done. Now that was motivation all by itself!
2. FIND A RUNNING PARTNER
Finding a running buddy means having somebody else counting on you. If you have a set schedule of days and times that you meet, you’ll be more likely to stick to it. After all, if you cancel, you will be letting somebody else down as well.
Having a friend to get out and run with can make your workout more fun too. Before you know it, you’ll likely start to look forward to your runs again.
If you don’t have a current friend that you can run with, look into running groups in your area. There are plenty of ways to find like-minded people to get out there with including Facebook groups and groups sponsored by your local running store.
3. DITCH THE APPS
Sometimes, we focus so much on comparing one run to another that we forget to just enjoy the moment. I found that when my running app started to glitch out, I became super stressed. Like, I couldn’t stand that I didn’t know if my runs were improving. It got me so worked up that it made me start to dread going out for a run. When we stop enjoying something, it isn’t long before we stop doing it.
I truly believe that running apps can be our own worst enemy. Once I deleted said app and started just running based on how I felt, it didn’t seem like a chore any longer.
So consider ditching the app and just running. Some days will be better than others, but every run will feel so much more enjoyable when you aren’t always trying to outdo yourself.
4. GET NEW GEAR
Am I the only one who gets excited to show off my new running gear?
I have a brand that I absolutely love. They come out with new super cute leggings just about every month. Seriously, they should have stock options with how much I buy from them.
More importantly, getting my new leggings (or shorts) gets me wanting to go out for a run to show it off. Add in a color-coordinated tank and shoes, and I’m feeling stylish and like a million bucks. Hey, it’s the little things, right?
Something as simple as just getting new workout gear could be just what you need to find that lost motivation.
5. FIND A NEW ROUTE
If we’re running the same routes every…single…day, our runs can start to feel stale. I know for me, it began to get SO mundane. While the predictability of a known route is great and all, some variety is always nice too.
By getting out and finding new routes, it may give you a renewed sense of motivation. New scenery may be just what you need to get you looking forward to your runs again.
I found a trail near me that is absolutely beautiful. There is so much wildlife that I look forward to getting out on the path to see what new animals may be off in the distance. It sure beats running past houses down the sidewalk!
6. SIMPLY JUST…TAKE A BREAK
If you really, truly, just are not feeling it, embrace taking a break for what it is. There’s nothing wrong with putting running on the backburner for a while. Especially if it is something that you are dreading doing lately and drains your energy just thinking about it.
Find other ways to stay active in place of running. Who knows…you may find a new passion in the meantime. Then one day, you may wake up and find you want to run again.
When you start again, you won’t pick up right where you left off. But you know what? That’s okay! Start fresh and with a renewed energy. It won’t be long before you’re back up to where you left off from and even setting new PR’s.
We’re all bound to lose our motivation for running at one time or another. There’s nothing wrong with taking a few weeks off or even a few months if we feel we need it. Don’t look at it as a flaw, but rather a chance to reset and find yourself again. By remembering why you love running in the first place, you’ll be back out there in no time.