“Hello! I’m writing here today to ask for your help. running was always one of my favorite parts of the day. I would look forward to getting my run in and it was always a great time to get out my emotions. But recently its different. I’ve been plagued by injury after injury and its starting to drag on my love for running. Running has almost become a chore for me lately. its hard to get up enough motivation to go for a run or to even think about running. I’ve tried changing up my running style, the time i run, the people i run with, I’ve even tried running alone but nothing seems to work. I was wondering if you have any tips or ideas on something that could help me. I would appreciate it very much.”
Get a Coach
This is not only on the list because I’m a coach, but because I have a coach and it has given my running a renewed sense of purpose. The simple fact that someone is taking the time out of their life to prescribe me training and looking at my log is huge motivation. I want to do my best for them and for myself! Also, you mention recurring injury. Coaches can be a great tool to help an athlete who’s been having injury issues. An outside view (aka someone telling you what to do or what not to do) can be a good asset.
Sign Up For a Race or a Race Series
I just had an athlete finish up an entire series of races. Each event gave finishers points based on their placing and the number of other runners. This was a fun series as it gave more meaning to each individual race, as well as having a nice schedule of events for a number of months. He seriously enjoyed doing this and tracked his improvements compared the same races last year.
Take a Break
There is a quick and easy solution for people who have lost their love of the run. Don’t run. Go on a running holiday, give yourself permission to not run at all. Maybe within a week or a month you’ll find yourself wanting to go for a run. There you go, now you can go run 🙂
“If you don’t enjoy running, why fight through it? You need to enjoy running or you won’t be able to take on new challenges.” – Renato Canova
Honestly, the runs I enjoy the most are the slowest and most relaxing ones. The ones that my only concern is to “run easy”. I do track the distance and I do wear a heart rate monitor, but only view them afterwards for review. Slowing down and the below suggestion can both help keep athletes from over-extending and becoming injured, which you brought up in your question.
Buy a Book, Start a Training Plan
Having a schedule laid out for you so you can visually connect with the next 3-5 months of training can really help put things in perspective. I’d also suggest having at least one goal race at the end of this plan.
Back before I was a runner, I was a cyclist, and became bored. Adding two other sports into the mix led to new adventures in training and racing!
Do you have any other suggestions for the bored runner?
Have a question you’d like me to answer? Please contact me!
Self talk is something I’ve begun to use recently, during races.
This is simply me cheering myself on when things get difficult, generally the last mile or kilometre of a race.
Generally these are slightly under my breath and come in the form of short easy to say words.
Go go go!
Sometimes I’ll take a note from Yuki Kawauchi and think to myself “If I die at this race, that’s ok”
Research has even shown that this self talk can benefit performance. A study recently looked at how this technique can benefit cycling time trials.
How the study worked as 24 volunteers cycled to exhaustion.
12 of them received a two week self talk intervention.
And then they all did the cycling test again.
The control group stayed the same, while the participants who received a simple self talk intervention improved an average of 18%!
Their rate of perceived exertion also was decreased, which meant they “tricked” themselves into thinking the effort was actually easier than the first one.
“push through this”
They used such statements during training and of course during the test.
I also used them during my recent two 5k PR runs, and they definitely helped me push through to finish strong!
I awake with stiff legs from yesterday’s miles and from last night’s immobility.
My first thought every single day is something along the lines of “This morning’s run is going to be difficult.”
Already I feel apprehension, yet I arise, knowing that movement is the cure. Through the morning routine I flow.
The sun is not up, but through the trees it teases us with waves of orange, blue, and red. As I step out through the threshold, there is a chill in the air. No wind touches my face, yet the cold air soaks through my clothing.
Autumn in South Dakota has taught me many things about being cold. Chiefly, and ironically, that it’s never as cold outside as I think it is looking out through the windows.
I also know that movement is the best way to keep the cold at bay. As I run, the negative thoughts recede and I am taken over by the flow of the run.
All mortal thoughts and feelings have disappeared. My feet barely touch the ground. The air disappears as I no longer feel its resistance and my lungs no longer require its use. I’ve transcended, if only for a few miles, to something not of this Earth. I no longer experience suffering, resistance, or even happiness.
I simply experience the flow.
Today I woke up tired.
I drove to the rec center and felt tired.
When I arrived, I sat in my car for about 5 minutes trying to convince myself to go home and sleep.
I told myself I’d just do a half hour of flexibility, strength, and drill work. After that I could go home and go back to bed, do the run later in the day.
When I finished up all that gym work, I walked on the treadmill for a few minutes, and told myself to just do an easy thirty minutes and do the second half of the prescribed hour later in the day.
Finally I finished the slow half hour workout and realized I felt pretty good! I decided to pick up the pace a bit and do some 2 minute accelerations every 3 minutes. I even cranked the treadmill’s incline down to do downhill hill repeats.
Boom! Training done for the day!
Lying to myself is something I’ve done frequently, when lacking motivation.
Never judge a run by how you feel before or during the first mile. Always go into them with an open mind, they’ll almost always feel better after than when you started!