How to stay motivated as a runner

Colin and Anne explain how you can keep your enthusiasm intact in order to stay motivated as a runner.

What does it feel like when you are motivated as a runner.

Running feels easy. You always get back from a run feeling like you could have done more.

You finish one run looking forward to the next, knowing what your next run will be.

Training is progressing well. You feel like you are improving and perhaps you want to do a bit more.

You can’t wait to get your trainers on and step out of the door.

In order to stay motivated as a runner you need to create this positive feedback loop.

What does it feel like when you lose your running mojo?

Running feels hard. What felt easy last week suddenly feels much harder. You finish runs feeling tired.

You finish one run and you are not looking forward to the next one.

Training isn’t progressing. You don’t feel that you are improving.

It’s a struggle to put on your trainers and get yourself out of the door.

You may feel irritated with life and have some injury niggles.

Lacking motivation is not your fault!

You may feel that your lack of motivation is your fault because you are not working hard enough. This is not true!

In life we are conditioned to think that to achieve anything we need to work hard for it. This attitude makes us push through any pain or difficulty in the belief that we will come out the other side a better person. Apply this to running and we think that we have to push on through the tiredness in order to become a better, faster runner.

In fact, this is the opposite of what is needed. The work harder mentality actually creates a negative feedback loop and a downward spiral.

You lose your running mojo. Thinking it’s your fault, you push on through the tiredness and work harder. This makes you more tired. Eventually you are so tired that you have to stop running.

What is your lack of motivation actually telling you?

Lack of motivation is a sign that you are doing too much. You are tired and your body is calling for a rest. It is likely that either you are running too fast or too often and not giving yourself enough recovery time. See our videos on the importance of recovery.

External factors might be influencing this. If your life is stressful it is important that your running is stress reliever. A short-term loss of motivation might also be sign of illness. Both factors are telling you to do less and recover.

Lack of races or having no one to train with may be affecting your motivation. If you think this is the case take a look at our video on running goals and challenges, as this may help.

What to do to get your motivation back

Rest, recover and do less.

Give your body some time to recuperate. Keep active by running very gently. We recommend running at Superchatty pace which is slower than Chatty. Don’t be afraid to walk for a few days. Walking is perfect exercise to aid recovery.

Be patient and listen to your body. Treat it gently until the spark returns. Then get back to that wonderful state where running is motivating in itself. Remember to learn from your mistakes by listening to your body. If you overdo a long run or go too fast on a shorter one, then make sure you recover afterwards. Never push on through the tiredness to complete your next run. Throttle it back and go Superchatty instead.

Enjoy every run that you do!

Join our Facebook group for more advice and support with your running.

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