Running motivation, it’s a struggle that most of us had to fight with, on a day or another. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by this unmotivated state. When it happens to me I think that I am not made for running anymore. When I have those depressing thoughts, I often say: ”I should get fat, eat fast food and start smoking”… I think it would be so much easier then to get up every day and go for a daily runs!!!!
The unmotivational status is not easy to accept and takes sometime to get over it. In my case, since I recently moved to a new country, I had to deal with a deep unmotivated running crisis. As a runner, running takes a big part of our life, our daily routine is made of running. As a ultra-runner myself, I am running a lot of kms week after week. In the last country I lived in, I was lucky to have some truly fantastic running friends that were there to run and help me to create crazy running adventures that we all did alongside. I cannot count the hours I passed with them running all around the country. Together we were like a family running in a foreign country. I cherish those memories, and I find myself very privileged to have them as friends because friends stay friends wherever we are!
Life is made of changes, whether we like it or not, we have to accept it and make the best of it. I want to share with you a few tips who helped me to keep moving, stay motivated:
Go for a run even if you don’t feel like it
In my case running is not something that I do if I have time, my running is on my daily routine, it is not negotiable. The first step to regain motivation in my opinion is to go for a run even if you don’t feel like it. I just go running without thinking about it too much. Because when you are overthinking about the factors, you increase the risk of staying on the couch!!!Once you are outside running you know that a bad run doesn’t exist. Push through it for yourself!
Live for the moment
When I am running, I just live for the present. I just enjoying listening to the birds, watching the sky, looking for animals around me or listening to the best music playlist. When I am running, I often remind myself that the world can go upside down, and it won’t stop me from running and enjoying all those little things. The concept of time simply disappears. This feeling give me a huge sensation of liberty: priceless!
Think of the past
When I feel unmotivated, sometimes I look back and look at everything that I have done since I started running. When we start to look backwards, we realize everything we have actually achieved, how much stronger we have become physically and mentally. When we start looking in the past, it makes us proud of how far we have come and helps us push forward.
Leave your watch at home
My running watch means everything to me: it coaches me, helps my focus, the friend that tells me when the race is almost over… Apart from that, sometimes wearing your watch can also be stressful because you might feel like its slave. From time to time leave your watch at home, just go for a run without focusing on your pace or on how many kms you accomplished.Doing so gives you the opportunity to run mind free, going back to your roots and for the pleasure of it.
Coffee shop to coffee shop run
A precious friend of mine runs from coffee shop to coffee shop, that is her way to maintain her motivation level up for her entire runs! Its simply Awesome! Before going for a run why not look for a local coffee shop in your area and make it your goal to stop to as many coffee shops during your run.
Another pleasure of life: rewarding yourself with food that you enjoy. The most rewarding process is when you come back for a run, you eat a food that you really like to. While you are running if your thoughts become negative, change your mind by thinking of food or the drink that is waiting for you back at home. You can also stop and have a nice drinks in between or at the end of the run. Sometimes, only that warm feeling can support you for hours!
Find the right playlist
Running with music is a personal choice, but sometimes when you struggle with negative thoughts having a uplifting running playlist can make a huge difference in your mood, and you might find that the times goes quicker. I now have multiple playlists: a playlist for my intervals session, a playlist for the in between runs and another one for the longs runs.
Find a running buddy
As a runner you spend hours by yourself on the road. Sometimes a running mate can make a huge difference on your motivation level. This mate can be the factor that actually gets you off the couch! Where to find running mates? By running groups, creating events online, going to races…. It’s sometimes not easy to meet new people, but for only one running partner, it can make a positive change in your running routine.
Change is good. Leave your running shoes at home and take your swimming suit, bicycle or football to get your motivation back. Cross-training works on other muscles and makes us feel refreshed, go for it!
Having a goal is the major reason I have regained my motivation. My of goals are to look forward to running in new places, discover countries, meet new people that are ready to run just as I do and take part in new challenges. Goals do not have to be associated with races or competitions. I never load my calendar by races, a few years ago when i did, I became unmotivated…. Every goal that i’m striving to achieve mean something to me, each goals needs to have their own spirit and vibe. Personalizing your goals and making them meaningful to you should help you stay in the right direction and keep your motivation level high.
During runs, give yourself running strategies.For example: not walking for more the 5 mins, setting a timer, keeping your attention on certain times for intervals or a pace you which to maintain, etc. By setting objectives that are measurable, it will allow you to focus and perform better, keeping your motivation level higher!
Planning your weekly runs in advance can make a huge difference on motivation levels.Variation in your runs: adding intervals, hills training, tempo and long runs helps to make the body stronger and keeps motivation level up!If you want to push yourself more, go search online for plans or running coaches, they will level your running level up and push you to the extra mile! For a few years now, I had the pleasure to be coached by a super coach: Andy from Mile 27. His coaching really helped me to push myself and brought me kilometers ahead of what i thought i was able to achieve!
As a runner we live longer, we look younger, we can eat the food that we want without feeling guilty, we have awesome stories to tell, training, adventures, races and travelling the world for runs.What more do we need?Moreover, the runner communities allows to have stronger connections as humans! As a runner we are seeing life in a dynamic way with tons of projects in front of us because we keep moving.We look out for races, events, try to improve ourselves etc…We, as a runner, know deep down that our lives are simply amazing only because what running brings us.
You’ve got enough tips to now put your shoes on and tackle a run like a pro!
See you on the road.