Q&A: Love your run, again!

2014-03-11 07.49.19

“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.

Get Social
Join the #runchat, #racechat, or other twitter groups. Check out TheRunningForum.com. Log your training and interact with other runners at DailyMile.com.

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

Slow Down
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!


Kyle is a running coach who works with people all over the world to help them run more consistently & be resilient to injury.

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Ben - April 10, 2014

I hate that de-motivational slump. I get it especially during late winter/early spring when I’m waiting for the warmth to come and the roads to open up.

Mix it up, if you can. Try a different time of day, different route, different workout. Do a speed workout, or a tempo run of sorts. Nothing seriously long, just short and simple, see if it doesn’t help wake up the muscles (and the inner child that loves to go fast). Wait for the weather to get nice and sunny…

Evelin - April 5, 2014

Great suggestions!
When my motivation disappears I take a few days break (or longer) and won’t go for a run until my body/mind REALLY craves a run. I know that when that (usually very strong) feeling comes around I will have an enjoyable run and most likely find that spark again. I also try to leave my watch at home, to just run on feel – without any pressure on distance/pace. It always works for me.

Another thing I do is to focus on other activities such as biking, yoga and strength training. Changing my workout priority for a while usually makes me realize that running will always be my #1, even though I really enjoy other activities too.

What I also recommend is to ask yourself why you run? What does running give you? Do you run for yourself or because of pressure from outside?
When I think about those things myself, I find that my motivation comes back as I know just how much running has given me, both physically and mentally, and how much it will continue to give me when I keep moving forward.

matthew - April 2, 2014

Thanks a lot! I’m definitely gonna try out a bunch of these ideas and i hope they work out! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to answer this. I also thank you guys for the comments too!

Mike - April 2, 2014

The above are all great suggestions. Burnout or lack of motivation is something I think we all face from time to time. Here are a couple of my favorite remedies.

1) Run trails! If you usually run trails, run the streets. A simple change of surface can be transformative.

2) Run with a kid! If you don’t have a kid, borrow one from a friend. This puts your focus on someone who probably could not care less about mile splits or any of the other stuff we get preoccupied with.

3) Create an “unconventional” route, run with a camera, and snap interesting photos along the way. My favorite place to do this is alleyways.. This makes running the means to a different end… Art!

Have some fun out there. -mike

Tyler Hurst - April 2, 2014

What works for me:

1. Sign up for a race at least three months away.
2. Focus on ONE thing, like speed, hill strength or distance.
3. Log your miles with DailyMile or Nike+ so you can see your accomplishments.
4. Run on different surfaces. Every trail I run on renews my love for roads and vice versa.
5. Eat really well.

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