20 Running Tips To Inspire You If You Have No Motivation To Run Anymore..
Well if you’ve been following me in recent days on Facebook I’ve been back to my old “I’m gonna pack this running shit in again” mood.
To help counter my negativity, here are some tips to help you through those days where you have no motivation to run whatsoever and feel like giving up on the sport altogether.
- Go for one last run – If you want to give up running now because of it no longer being enjoyable, then just go out one last time with no expectations. Go slow, listen to your heart beating and breathe. Try to feel good about running again.
- Reinvent yourself as a runner – For my first 24 months as a runner I ran in the same waterproof jogging trousers and tech top. I decided enough was enough and bought myself some new running shorts and tops. I feel like I’ve given myself a new lease of life. Here are my before and after shots. First one is from Liverpool 2012 when plastic trousers were all the rage and the other from Belfast last month. Same trademark scowl.
Me as a special needs runner in 2012.
Me looking slightly less special in the Belfast Marathon this year.
- Run for fun – Sometimes you can lose yourself within your goals and expectations. From time to time it pays to run for the sheer hell of it. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not shit in your hand and throw at the home of someone you hate and run away fast? Use your imagination and you’ll go far in life, lady!
- If you’re suffering from runner’s burnout, then rest and restart – If like me you have the tendency to try to too much too soon then it pays to take some time off or at least exert yourself a little less on your runs. You’ve gotta recognise your own symptoms of burn out. Everyone is different. When I’ve been running too much all I want to do is weep, eat discount chocolates and watch Lassie movies all day.
- Kick start your motivation with an ambitious goal – If you’re starting out with running and you’ve hit the point where you’re bored with it, why not kick start your ambition with a half marathon or marathon 6-8 months in the future? You can do it!
- Try training at different times of the day – The most effective ammendment I’ve made to my training in recent months is to run immediately after work. I was losing the inspiration to run at 5am 3 times a week so instead I starting bringing my running kit with me to work. This means that I have more opportunities to run and I don’t panic as much if I miss one session.
- Don’t feel bad about your lack of motivation – It’s natural to want to pack it in from time to time. You spend many hours a week stomping around and over training can kill your will to exercise. The key is to find out why you’ve lost motivation and to work on improving your situation. You don’t wanna make it worse by hating on yourself.
- Lower your expectations – I’ve made myself miserable this month by striving for the sub 2 hour half marathon mark. The main reason I missed the Larne Half Marathon was that I knew I wasn’t gonna achieve my goal. I regret not running it now. I wish I’d ran the race at a sub 2 hour 5 minute pace so that I had more experience and a platform to build upon.
- Be inventive with your long runs – I hated long runs until I took the wise notion to use it as a means of transport to a restaurant in Belfast where I’d celebrate my successful run with a nice meal. What I would do is allow myself 100 calories of food and drink for every mile I did on the long run. If I ran 20 miles, that would mean a pizza and 4 pints of Guiness and a wobbly journey home via the train.
- Anticipate the good times – Training sometimes comes at a cost and it can take a while for the benefits to filter through. If you’re jogging for weight loss then you might not lose weight immediately, but you will over time if you stick to your schedule and eat well. If you do this consistently then you will reach your goal. Let that thought motivate you through the more trying periods of your regime. It won’t always suck. Things will get better. You can make it happen sooner by eating better and training more.
- If necessary cut out the speed work and the hill running – If the intensity of your training is leaving you jaded and in a position where you want to cease running altogether, then cut out the intensity in your training and focus instead on enjoying running again.
- Run for something close to your heart – If you’ve no reason to run at the minute, then create a reason. Enter a race and run it for a charity that’s close to your heart. My charity of choice is the Northern Ireland Hospice.
- Reach out for help from other runners – If you hate running at the moment, speak out about to your friends on Twitter. You will encounter runners who have experienced the same problem and they will be in a position to inspire you . Be wary of those who have stopped working out altogether and are in process of setting up a colony of cats and becoming documentary-fat on Doritos. They will kill your buzz and try to make you like them!
- Run and better your mind at the same time – A good way of passing the time whilst running and being more productive is by listening to podcasts or e-books when you’re outside. Not only are you becoming more fit, but you’re also improving your mind too (unless you’re listening to absolute filth).
- Running won’t get any easier unless you exercise and/or eat healthily – If you think running is too hard at the minute, then work towards making it easier either by doing slow jogging or another form of cross training. If you can’t do any exercise, then adhere to a stricter diet concentrating on eating lots of fruit and vegetables whilst adhering to your key RDAs. If you train and eat well consistently then you should find that runner becomes easier. You will then have the option to run more easily at the same pace or up your tempo. Healthy living gives you more options in life.
- Disconnect yourself from the negative pre-run internal dialogue – If you experience thoughts like “This run will be painful.” “I can’t run 10 miles today” “I hate running” “What’s the point, I’ll never be the best” “I’m never running again” then disconnect from them at once and get out there and trick your body into running for 10 minutes. Once your body is in motion, then you’ll wonder why you didn’t start earlier. Out of fear, our minds will try to sabotage our success.
- Set a goal for yourself and organise a holiday around it to celebrate achieving it – The thought of going to Crete the day after the Belfast Marathon not only powered me through my training for that race, but it got me through the race itself. I’m thinking of doing the same thing in October with the Dublin Marathon. I might well go to Portugal again!
- Focus on the running “after-glow” – I always have some level of trepidation before a run. This is intensified if I haven’t ran in a while. If you’ve no motivation to run now, then think about how you’ll feel after you’ve finished. If you don’t run then you will continue to feel frustrated. Nothing will change if you don’t run. However if you do run, you will feel magnificent and rightly proud of yourself!
- Stop considering yourself a failure – If you’ve got low self esteem and are new to running then if it isn’t going well then you can tend to think of yourself as a failure. There’s nothing wrong with the act of failing. The more times you fail and learn from mistakes, the closer you will come towards success. If you mess up, learn from your mistakes and keep on trying. Don’t let one bad run ruin your fun!
- Don’t give in, you can inspire beginner runners! – You might think that you haven’t progressed enough to offer advice or encouragement to anyone other runners, but the truth is that they are plenty of people who look up to you for being able to run at all and you owe it to them as well as yourself to keep on keeping on. Don’t fucking quit!