Are you feeling less and less motivated to put your running shoes on and go out for a run? You are not alone. This can happen to any runner – new or experienced at some point, for one reason or another. The question is – how do you stay motivated to run, and if you are lacking motivation – what to do in order to regain it?

Here are some tips which can help regain your enthusiasm for running:

1. Trick your brain into believing it is motivated and ready for a run

Whenever you experience that feeling that you simple don’t feel like running, you can try tricking your brain into getting you inspired to go out for a run anyway. One way to do it, is to get your running clothes and gear on and turn off the TV, radio, the Internet, so that there is literally nothing to be distracted by. Sit around until you feel so bored and restless that you have no other choice but to go outside and run. If even this doesn’t lead to an urge to go running, make yourself go running anyway, so that you can get done with it and then return to procrastinating on your couch or whatever you feel like doing afterwards. Also, to help stimulate your brain and body, you can listen to some music which you find energizing and motivating.

2. Watch a sports movie

Movies about sports are usually incredibly inspiring for all viewers – runner included. Choose a favorite sports movie or documentary to watch before your run, and you are very likely to feel as motivate as ever after you are done watching it. Go for the classics, such as: Chariots on fire, Raging Bull or Rocky and you will find yourself wanting to get those sneakers on and run as fast as you can!

3. Read a sports or running book

Due to the growing interest in running and more people becoming runners, it comes to no surprise that there are hundreds of books about running available. Start with the classic “Born to run”, and we guarantee that your motivation for running will be back in no time at all!

4. Revisit the memories of your past running achievements and victories

Take the time to go through your photo albums from different races and running events. Go over all medals, cups and awards you have won during the years. If you don’t have any wins, then looking through your race participation T-shirts and medalmotivation-everything-is-in-brains should be an inspiration enough to keep you running.

Think about the good times when you achieved excellent results, and the feelings which you were experiencing in those moments of your life. You will feel motivated to keep running so that you can achieve this kind of success and even surpass it once again, pretty soon.

5. Take some to visualize your run

Sit back, close your eyes and visualize a run or race which you have experienced which has brought you particular joy and sense of achievement. A win, an euphoric runner’s high, an unforgettable race…pick any run you want and try to re-live the emotions, the physical experience and the satisfaction at the end once again. This type of visualization is highly likely to make you love and want to go on running once again!

6. Go ahead and register for a race

Nothing is more motivating than actually registering for a race. Once you have the date checked on your calendar and you have paid your entry fee, you will feel motivated to prepare properly for the race. A set race date is bound to keep you motivated to stick to your pre-race training program, and to actually go to the race. Some runners find registering for races the best way to remain motivated to go on running throughout the years.

7. Ask others for motivation

Talk to other runners to hear their stories and how they personally motivate themselves to go on. You can check into one of the many online running forums and groups, read the blogs of other runners, or join a local running group to speak to the other runners in person about their experience and their advice for staying motivated. By joining a running group, or by getting a running buddy, you will feel much more motivated to go out and run, because you will know that other people are waiting for you and possibly relying on you for their daily run!

If none of these work…

If after you have followed all of the above steps, and you still do not feel motivated enough to continue running, then basically you have two options ahead of you. One of them is to set a break from running but still mark a date on your calendar when you will resume your running regimen. The other is to actually force yourself to go out and do your daily runs. Sometimes, taking a break is the best way to deal with this kind of crisis and lack of motivation. You can take a rest, enjoy some time with your friends and by pursuing your hobbies. If you do that, you will probably find yourself going for unplanned long walks and impromptu runs while enjoying your favorite music or beautiful views. This method can make you naturally reinstate your motivation for running which is probably the best way to restore your love for running!

References:

2. What Factors Determine Academic Achievement in High Achieving Undergraduate Medical Students? A Qualitative Study, Abdulghani, Hamza M et. al., published on National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine