First of all, running isn’t something a lot of people want to do all the time.
It’s perfectly okay to not feel like doing something – but the defining moment is when you decide to do it anyway.
Running is only hard if you make it hard, so don’t sabotage yourself.
If you are feeling unmotivated to run, here are some tips to get running again:
1. Minimize social media time
You might be getting bombarded with negative vibes when visiting Facebook, Instagram, Strava, and other social media sites.
Just like yogis sometimes start questioning their practice when they see complex poses being pulled off on Instagram, runners can get demotivated by seeing distances logged by friends, sports photos, and other misinformation.
You might begin to feel that you are weak or slow or not fit enough to be out there running.
In short, disconnect from social media.
Reconnect with yourself.
Go for that run, and don’t care what anyone else thinks.
2. Fix your running form
Many runners think that running is simple and requires little technique.
That is why more than 80% of runners get frequently injured.
If you find that running leaves you feeling worse for wear, or if you are developing aches and pains during your run, poor running technique could be to blame for your lack of motivation.
That is why you should train your technique first.
Good technique will minimize injuries and improve your running economy.
Make it a priority to see a certified running technique specialist near you.
3. Have realistic goals
In order to make running a commitment, you need goals.
According to Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi, the right goal is one that has personal meaning, is specific, challenging, but most of all, realistic.
For example, you don’t want to make running the Ironman race your first main goal, especially when you are just starting out.
Instead, think in terms of modifiable goals, such as “I want to run 2 minutes faster than my last 10K,” “I want to eventually run 5 days a week,” or “I want to lose 3kg within 2 months.”
4. Stop overloading yourself
Sure, you might love running; but you are eventually going to run yourself into the grave.
With the lure of hundreds of running events throughout the year, you might find yourself swamped by race after race, vying for shirts, awards, and photo opportunities
While participating in these events is great, too many will overload you mentally and physically.
Think about quality, not quantity.
Allow yourself to train appropriately for 3-4 months as a training cycle.
A typical training cycle begins with phase build up (a lot of easy runs), followed by speed training, improve your lactate threshold, and tapering before the race.
This periodization will allow for improvement as well as flexibility to keep your workouts and runs fresh.
Other things you can try…
Other solutions to try might be joining a run club to meet new people, take a new route (safety first), or cross train like swimming or biking.
The most important thing, however, is NOT TO FEEL GUILTY about being demotivated.
Sometimes, the best solution is just to take a break from running.
Use that time to learn something else and wait for your running passion to reignite.
Running, after all, should be fun and make you feel better, freer, and healthier.