Sometimes it happens that you just lose it.
You love running, but you lose your motivation.
It may just be a bad day, or a bad week, or a bad month.
You are tired, you haven’t been eating healthy, work is crazy, you’ve gone back to smoking/drinking/doing drugs/whatever addiction you may have. You’ve fallen off the running path.
I’ve had a couple of tough weeks, and although I’ve been keeping my training and my healthy habits for the most part, I just haven’t been really feeling it. The worse thing about that, is that if you are not enjoying what you do, then you aren’t going to keep doing it for long.
Here is what has been helping me get my motivation back:
1) Relax: Sure, you probably aren’t exactly at your best moment, but stressing over the runs you didn’t take or how bad you’ve been feeling is not going to help you. Before you can get back in the game you need to breathe deep, relax, and clean your mind.
2) Forget about the future: We usually have all these long term plans of things we want to do, races we want to run, PRs we want to achieve. And although I think those goals can be great motivators, sometimes when we are overwhelmed they act against us. So I try to think about today and tomorrow only, today’s HIIT and how it’s going to make me feel so much faster, tomorrow’s long run which always leaves me tired but happy. And that’s it. Anything beyond that, I’ll deal with later.
3) Let the past go: Whatever it is that we did or didn’t do, it’s over. Forget the runs you didn’t take and the overindulgences, it’s all up from here.
4) Change your training for the upcoming week: Never mind what’s in your calendar for next month, season, etc. This week it’s OK to take it easy. Get back into running slowly but surely.
5) In a few days, revisit your goals: Sometimes the main reason we lose our motivation is because we just trained to hard, too much, too soon. Think about what may have been the trigger for your lack of motivation, and if it may be a good idea to change a few things in your training plan.
6) Google your motivation: There is so much online that can help get your motivation back. Maybe it’s reading running quotes, or running blogs, or running websites, or online shopping (for new running shoes of course).. whatever helps you get out the door and run, go find it.
7) Go for a run with a friend: Even if you don’t usually run with people, going for that first run after a bad period with a friend will help you remember how much fun running is. Don’t think of pace or miles or training, just go run and enjoy the company.
8) Update your music: If you run with music, a few songs will get you going again. Do a Yutube search of new disco/techno/country/yourstyle songs, try them at home, and if you like them take them out for a run.
9) Get it together: It’s OK to be weak every now and then. But then it’s not. Think of your kids, your health, your significant other, whatever is important to you in your life, and just get it together, for everybody.
10) Remember we have all been there: I hate to find comfort in the misery of others, but truth is there is something about others having gone through what I’m going through that makes me feel good. It makes me feel less weak, less sad, it makes me feel like I can reach out and look for support, because I will find it.
Have you ever lost your running motivation?
What helped you get it back?