When Motivation Wanes

I have always been fairly good at finding my running motivation when it’s nowhere to be found by using some tricks I have come up with over the years. 

Since my motivation is hiding somewhere lately, I thought it would be a good reminder to myself, and anyone else lacking motivation, to list out my tricks to finding it.

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Run with Friends

Running with other people always seems to work for me when I am having problems finding motivation.  When I have a friend to run with I don’t hesitate to get out the door, the time goes by fast, I am distracted and happy! 

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Find a New Route

Running the same routes day in and day out definitely get boring and can turn running into a monotonous chore.  I have different routes for different seasons (based on daylight) and I can always tell towards the end of a season because I am so sick of my running routes (ahem right now).  A great way to make running interesting again is to go run somewhere completely new!  

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Buy a New Outfit

This may sound silly, but it works.  When you have something you are excited to go run in, you want to go run!  New running clothes always make me feel happy, so this is a great way to find some motivation.  

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Find a Group

Having a group to meet is always a great way to get running.  I know on Tuesdays I will always find a way to run since I have team lemon run club every week.  It’s a great way to meet people, find new running friends (see point #1) and is just plain fun.

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Run Backwards

Maybe you have to run your same daily route and you don’t really have a choice in mixing it up.  Trying running your route backwards!  Things always look different from a different direction.

You can always run the backward time from when you typically run.  Maybe you always run in the morning… try running at night! 

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Change the Surface

Are you always running on pavement?  Change it up and try running on some dirt trails.  If you are always on dirt, maybe give the pavement a shot.  It’s definitely a different kind of running when you compare the two, so it’s nice to have a change.

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Play Games

Have fun with your running and make it fun by playing games!  I like to play stoplight games if I am running on streets.  I let the stoplights tell me which route to take depending on which light is green.

You can always play speed games by running hard until a certain point.  The miles pass by so fast when you are paying attention to other things while you run.

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Don’t Run

Try a different form of exercise!  Get on your bike, do some weights, go for a hike, get in the pool… some exercise is better than none, maybe your body and mind just need a break from running for the day.

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And when all else fails, maybe it’s just time for an extra rest day or a break to recharge those running batteries.

Now I am off to practice what I preach and go find that motivation!

What are some tricks you use when your motivation is hiding?

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25 Responses to When Motivation Wanes

  1. Marie @ Chocolate and Wine August 30, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Sometimes I just pack my gym clothes in my work bag and tell myself I’ll decide to go to the gym or not at the end of the day. Then, I force myself to put my gym clothes on and tell myself I’ll decide on my way out to the car. Normally, by this point, I decide that an hour and a half of working out is a way better use of my time than watching tv and I turn left out of the parking lot to go to the gym instead of a right to go home. Sometimes it works… sometimes it doesn’t. Reading running blogs at the end of the work day also helps!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  2. sarah k @ the pajama chef August 30, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    i second the “new running clothes” thing! such a budget breaker though, so i usually try to find a new route. that’s a little cheaper. :)

  3. Jennifer August 30, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I am so there with you. I am sick of all my routes…they have been run to death. I am looking for a new route for Saturday’s long run. It’s nice to know I am not the only one in a slump. I still have a month before my half marathon so I need to get out of this slump soon. I wish the slump didn’t come towards the end of training…ugh!

  4. Wendi @ A Southern Yogi August 30, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I am right at this spot right now. I just don’t really care about working out right now. It’s bad. I have my first marathon in 10 weeks and not only do I have no desire to run, I have no desire to bike or swim either!! What is going on??

    I am doing it, but only because I have to vs really wanting to. That’s very unlike me :(

  5. Jen August 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    I am also in a rut with 5 weeks to go before my marathon… I am sick of my clothes, my playlist, and my routes. I don’t have the money for new clothes so that’s not an option. I have done a couple of different routes but even that hasn’t helped break up the monotony – I don’t have much time on weekdays to go searching for new places to run, so I’m limited in that respect.

    If I had the money, I’d run a race every weekend. Races are the perfect way to break up the monotony!

  6. Jamie in Arkansas August 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I’m in a rut, but it’s because I can’t run. Not from lack of motivation. I’ve been injured going on 6 weeks and would KILL to run. So use that as motivation! Running is a privilege. There will be times went you can’t run, so do it NOW while you can. Just pretend there’s a sense of urgency. Now get out there and RUN! :)

    • Layla August 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

      I’ve actually found myself in a bit of a running slump, too, which surprised me because I’ve never really had that before. I’m injury-prone, so like Jamie in Arkansas pointed out, I’m always very grateful to be able to run. I think maybe I’ve had a long enough “streak” without serious injury that I’ve come to take running for granted. Then I see comments like Jamie’s, and I email with someone else who’s been injured for months, and I hear from a friend who’s going to have to pull out of the New York Marathon due to injury. And I kick myself for not honoring those people by running when I can.

      I’m not sure if that will help you, Aron, but I wanted to comment for Jamie and any other injured runners. Thank you, guys, for reminding me of all the times I’ve said, “I would give anything to be able to run pain-free right now.” And you injured runners WILL be back out there. I promise.

  7. Corey August 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I LOVE that Sugoi bike jersey you are wearing in the picture! Where did get that super cute top?!

  8. Kristine @ Running On Hungry August 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    The new running clothes idea is golden! I always want to go for a run when there are unworn Lulu items!

    Telling myself I’m only going out for a mile always helps too… once my legs get moving I always want to do more!

  9. Celia August 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    New outfits motivate me to want to run, something maybe not so good for my bank account. Usually once I start running, I am happy to be out there. Other times I will bring music along for motivation.

  10. Megan @ On the Road Again August 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    These are all great tips! I also like to sign up for a new race when I’m feeling a little out of sorts with running. Having a goal on the horizon makes me want to get out and train!

  11. Lisa August 30, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    when motivation wanes, mixing it up seems to work best for me (doing something totally not part of the usual routine/plan)

  12. Alyssa August 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    AMEN. Thanks for posting this. :)

  13. Kristen (inspiredbydooce) August 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    I enjoy good old fashioned bribery…a run to Starbucks means I get a treat, the promise of a macaron or a great coffee at the market…they sometimes work!

    Good luck finding your mojo!

  14. Naomi August 30, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    I am having some serious motivation issues as well and this post did me some good – thank you for writing it!

  15. Rachel August 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    haha i love that Ross is on your tv in that last pic! all great tips, and particularly useful for me right now. i know my biggest motivation issue right now is my routes, i’m just so sick of them! hope you get your running mojo back soon : )

  16. Jo Lynn August 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    I rarely have trouble motivating myself. My biggest problem is deciding *which* thing to do. I want to do everything, every day. I wish I was a “woman of leisure” with all the free time in the world.
    We should get out early Thursday. It’s supposed to warm up. ;)

  17. Rene (@runrenerun) August 31, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    Reading blogs like yours and hearing what other runners are up to helps keep me motivated. :-)

  18. Bethany August 31, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Great ideas! I laughed out loud at the “run backwards” one. My immediate thought was “oh no! Not her too!!!” then i realized you meant run the route backward, like in reverse. One of my friends recently discovered backwards running…yup,. he runs backwards. That’s what i thought you meant at first. phew. lol

  19. Denise August 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    i like the running backwards…and do it from time to time. it’s really different seeing things from the other direction. hope you found your mojo!

  20. marlene August 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Definitely using a lot of these tricks lately!

  21. Jamie August 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    I SO agree with all of these! Awesome! Especially, do something else! I recently took up road biking and it’s been amazing! Thanks!

  22. Stephanie August 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Great tips lady. I like to add read a book or watch a movie that is inspirational – Hood to Coast, Spirit of the Marathon, yes pleasee!!

  23. Leah August 31, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    I sometimes motivate myself by picking out really nice new running clothes – then “paying” myself a dollar per mile that I run before I can buy them. Double motivation!

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