If you’re a keen runner but you’re struggling to find the motivation to run, don’t worry; there’s nothing wrong with you. Many people experience a peak or a plateau at which running suddenly seems unappealing, as though there’s no reason to do it anymore.
You aren’t on your own, so in this article, we’re going to look at how to reclaim your running mojo after you’ve lost it. These tips are aimed at helping you rekindle your love for getting out for a good, hard run.
1) Find Your Why In Running – Why Did You Start Running In The First Place?
What prompted you to run? What created that initial spark that pushed you to grab a pair of trainers and get out there and run?
There will be different reasons for everyone, but try to go back to the space you were in when you first began running. Were you motivated by a desire to get fit? Did the adrenaline help you deal with stress? Did you run with a friend for social reasons?
Understanding what originally pushed you to become a runner can help you get back into it now that you’ve lost your enthusiasm. Spend some time working this out, and you might find yourself dusting off your trainers.
2) Be Patient
If you’ve had a break, don’t start out too hard, even if you want to “get back into it.” You need to build your muscles back up and that will take a bit of time. Shorten your runs and lower your expectations until you’ve recovered your previous strength and stamina, or you’ll make running a chore.
3) Start Walking
If you find you simply can’t run – either because you don’t have the mental or physical resilience at the moment – then walk. You can either walk familiar routes or try to find new paths that perhaps are less suited to running.
This will keep your muscles conditioned and help you to stay on your game, and may make you feel better mentally. Hopefully, this will lead you back toward running after a period of time, or ignite your love of another sport.
Related Post: Is Walking Better Than Running?
4) Make A Plan
Many runners thrive on goals and achievements; if that’s you, it’s time to make a plan. Scrap your old one and forget about lost targets; this is now, and you need to be in the present.
Whip up a quick running plan that will be easy to achieve. This is crucial. You need that buzz of success, even if it’s not at the level of your previous achievements. Set some easy goals and make sure you hit them if you can. This can be enough to push yourself out of the rut.
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5) Make Yourself Run
Sometimes, you just have to push. Go for a short run. Make it just ten minutes, just enough to get your blood pumping and your heart racing. You will feel good afterward. You will not regret it.
Sometimes, this is sufficient for your goal; don’t set any time or distant targets, but just count the days that you successfully get out and run. If you’re struggling with your motivation, targets can seem overwhelming, so just keep track of “run” days and feel proud of them.
6) Get Something New To Listen To
Running with music can be a great experience, and if your running mojo has turned dry, you may find some new songs (or podcasts if you prefer) to get you going again. Limit those songs to your running list, and choose ones that are upbeat and powerful.
This is a great way to motivate yourself and give running a kick of euphoria again.
7) Be Okay With Taking A Break
Despite the “just do it” tips, some days, you’ll find you can’t just do it. That’s why you’re in a rut. If you could “just do it,” you probably wouldn’t be reading this. It is okay to take a break.
It is okay to miss targets and goals. It is okay to feel a bit low about them. The important thing is that you don’t let this feeling consume all the good of running. Put the missed targets behind you and get up to try again the next day.
8) Get A Running Buddy
Change the focus from running to socializing, and get a friend to run with you. This can provide a great boost to the run and also get you over the mental block of not wanting to run.
9) Remember That It’s Okay To Be Demotivated
If running is a big part of who you are, not wanting to run can be devastating. It can make you feel like you’ve lost a piece of yourself and you’ll never recover it. It can crush your confidence and make it hard to feel enthusiastic about anything.
Try to remember that you will rekindle your love for running at some stage. The enjoyment and pleasure will return to you; you just have to push through this difficult time, like any other difficult time you will encounter in your life.
Whether that means continuing to go through the motions or taking a break, remember that you will love running again one day and be kind to yourself in the meantime.
Doing other exercises can get you back in the right headspace and keep you fit while providing a break from the actual running. Get out other exercise equipment and train different muscles. Let your mind focus on something else for a while. This is healthy.
Cross-training not only keeps you fit in between your running days, but it also helps relax your mind and gives it a much-needed break from racking up the running miles. Here are some other great ways to cross-train in between your run days: Best Cross Training Activities For Runners
11) Set Some Long-Term Targets
Don’t be unrealistic, but having a goal to work toward can be a good way to get yourself back into the goal-and-success pattern that running offers, giving you a motivation boost. Having a target in the long term can be easier to work toward than lots of short-term goals you constantly feel you have to hit.
Make this target realistic and not too challenging, or you may feel daunted and never start.
12) Run in a different location or terrain
Sometimes simply changing up where you run can do countless positive things for your running. First, if you switch from a flat park running route to a more hilly neighborhood route you also be working different parts of your running legs. Your mind will also appreciate a change of scenery even if you suddenly take an unexpected turn onto a street you’ve never ran on. Explore, Go-Wild, but always be safe when running, especially on unfamiliar running routes.
13) Virtual Racing Just Isn’t For You
I totally get it if virtual racing isn’t for you. If you need a good virtual motivational kick-in-the-rear, check out these 17 great tips to help get you motivated to possibly run that virtual run you’ve been hiding from.
Getting back into running after a slump can be a challenge, but you can do it. After all, you got into running in the first place. Be kind to yourself, and don’t expect too much all at once. Recognize when you need a break and when a push will be healthier. You can do it!
If you’re still feeling that gut-wrenching paralysis that prevents you from running, check out this post made just for you: Why is running so hard – 35 times to get you back up on your feet!
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