Ask a runner what they love to do, and it’s probably running, right? Lately, I look forward to my ‘run days’. Yet, had you asked me a few weeks back, id tell you, our spark was fading. I’m not the only one, (and neither are you!)
Our shared love for running comes in waves. One day you can’t imagine your life without it, the next, you start to question why you’re even bothering. And it’s perfectly normal.
Likewise, Winter has to be the lowest motivation for most runners – dark damp mornings and dark nights drawing in earlier and earlier. The weather is pretty grim, cold, wet and everything gets caked in mud. Even the most dedicated runners struggle to lace up.
I have tips and tricks to help you and running rekindle your love and not look back. (All personally used by one at least once, so I can vouch, they work!)
(my number one motivator) Who doesn’t love to shop? Investing in a new pair of shoes, a new GPS running watch, or T-shirts always boost my desire to get out running again. Without fail, every single time. In a bit of a slump? head straight to the shops and see how much your motivation immediately skyrockets.
(number two motivator) whether you have one, or 50… decorating a spot in your house with your medals and race numbers can flicker fond memories, fill you with the runners high or, in my case, challenges me every day. On the top left corner of my mirror, is a 50k medal – the race where I attempted 100k but only got halfway. This medal challenges me daily, reminds me to put more work in. And I’ve placed it right next to the front door – so every time I leave the house, it’s a cheeky reminder. And I couldn’t be more motivated to get that 100km medal next to it!
(my number three motivator) Be it virtual or face-to-face. Nothing will get your mojo back quite like signing up for a race. Pick a destination one, a new distance, or even the local one you never got around to, and start training for it. Honestly, this one works a treat!
Even when you’re considering skipping a run, track or gym session that’s on your run plan. Somehow a looming race date kicks you into gear. It takes you to our workout and keeps you there until you’re finished.
There is a big tell-tell that you are fatigued when it seems far too much effort to get your shoes on and hit the trails (or roads). So make sure you take a few days rest – active with walks and yoga or full of a couch potato if that’s what you need. And bask in sleep.
Ladies week to week your motivation for running style sessions fluctuate naturally, as do your hormones. It’s super important not to fight yourself on this one, and give in. There’s a time of the month where you’re biologically better suited for rest, and another that is optimal to push for the PB, so, it’s in your best interest to be clued up.
Maybe in the past, all you focused on was 5k PB’s get faster and faster each route. What about if you changed the way you trained? Trying interval training or fartlek training. Or, even ignore your Garmin, and just run to how you feel. Think you can push it and go faster? Go for it. Feel the need to slow down and enjoy the scenery, there’s no problem with that either. Heck, even try training with your heart rate – VO2 max can take your fitness to the next level, without running at your maximum week in week out.
Knowing you have a set time, and place to meet a group of people. And not having to worry about a route. A dedicated hour or two a week with like-minded people (who might also be going through a blip). Running clubs are good fun and have a true community feel, don’t be shy. I found trail and fell running thanks to my friends at the running club, and have never looked back!
Okay maybe you don’t want to make running a social event, or you can’t adhere to the times they have available week in week out. Instead, how about having a running partner? Four-legged or two. Canni-cross is a growing sport, worldwide, so why not spend some quality time with the pooch running beside you? No dog? Easy, take a friend. Knowing someone is relying on you, is one sure-fire way to get you out of bed in the morning and running the streets. Even better if you can ask someone more experienced with you, and work through your lull together.
Bored of the roads? Try the trails. Sick of the trails? Ramp it up and try fell running, or even obstacle course races? Colour run or seasonally themed 5Ks? Trying something new gives you that beginners buzz again.
There’s a beautiful moment, watching someone else overjoyed. Helping out a local Race, even to Marshall, help with the drinks stand and cheer everyone on, you can get caught up in the moment and the motivation to join in seeps back.
Sticking some post-it notes on your mirror, by your shoes, or even reminders on your phone can be so effective. I scroll through Pinterest for running quotes and mantras to go through pain to come out on top. Find your fave, and put it everywhere. Some I use:
Essentially, you need to get to the route of the problem. Figure out why you have lost your mojo in the first place. The issue could be one or a combination of things: mental or physical. So we can try to fix it. Give them a go, and see how you feel.