Shout out to my awesome mom for giving me the idea for this post, Thanks Mom!
Staying motivated can be difficult sometimes. Grinding on the same trails at the same time, day in and day out can cause you to burn out. I’m fortunate enough to live in a town with many hills to run and a rail trail by the river. It’s also close to a state park with multiple trails.
Even with all these resources for running, I still sometimes lose the motivation to run. It usually follows a holiday where I party a little too hard (4th of July always wrecks me!) or after a race I’ve trained hard for. I get out of the groove and it is tough to get back into it.
Maybe you can relate or maybe you’ve had trouble getting excited about your running where you live. Over the years I’ve gone in and out of those demotivated spells but every time I do eventually find a way to kick myself back into gear.
Here are a few tips I’ve used to keep things interesting or to BOUNCE BACK from a slump:
Run With Friends
I always would rather run with someone than alone. It is a great distraction from the mundane route you always run. It is especially great if you can run with your significant other. Life keeps us busy and sometimes my long runs on the weekend are one of the few moments I get to actually talk to my fiance.
Run your normal loop backwards
I really like to do this on the trails. Sometimes seeing the same trail from the reverse perspective make it feel new!
Last year I trained for my first full Ironman. I had never swam or cycled before that much but throughout the training I realized that changing up my exercise had multiple benefits. It made me more cardiovascularly fit, it made my legs stronger, and it made me faster. I ran my marathon PR during the training for Ironman and I totally attribute that to cross-training. But above all else, it made me look forward to running again because I had less opportunities to run.
Use music or an audiobook
I used to not be able to run without music. Then I found audiobooks and I would forget I was even running. Since the Ironman however, I’ve stopped using music. Headphones aren’t allowed for the big race so I trained without them and I’ve gotten so used to no music that I actually find it distracting now! I love running just listening to my breathing and getting lost in my own thoughts.
Change up your workouts with intervals, hills, stair workouts, etc.
This one speaks for itself. Just do a different running activity once in a while.
Take a weekend and go on a workout vacation
This is a great tip. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to kick your butt back into gear. My favorite thing to do is find a new brewery or restaurant to try after a long run!
Start/join a hash group
A running scavenger hunt to find hidden beer….need I say more?
Run with your dog
Abby is my 3-year-old red heeler mix pup. She loves to run with me and sometimes she’s just the motivation I need to get me out on the road for a run.
Sign up for a race
I saved the best for last. My number one tip to motivate yourself to run is to enter a race. Pick one that has a distance that is going to test you or set a goal time that will test you. Paying money for a race is a good motivator, let alone setting goals. So pick a race that you know will challenge you. You’ll be surprised at what you are capable of!