Have you felt like you can’t be arsed anymore? Have you muttered the words ‘why do I bother? I’m not getting any better!’ Then carry on reading…
When you start running you can progress quite quickly, you start to get that ‘runner’s high’ that everyone talks about. What happens when you hit that barrier of not beating your 5k times week in week out or having that feeling of wanting to give up? I’ve listed a few tips on what to do when you lose motivation and feel like giving up.
1 | LEAVE YOUR GPS WATCH AT HOME
Are you mad? My run won’t count if I don’t record it! RUBBISH! Just go out and run, listen to your body to pace yourself, relying on your Garmin to pace you can be a bit of a mood killer. If you are bothered about not knowing how far you’ve gone, then do a route that you already know.
2 | TURN OFF ‘AUTO-PAUSE’
Not everyone has this turned on anyway but you might find that last time you ran a 10k you did it in 70 minutes then you did the same route 3 weeks later but took 80 minutes. It’s a bit of a kick in the face isn’t it?
The first time you ran it, did you stop to take photos of that cute little duck on the canal or stop to talk to someone you haven’t seen in ages? Your body was recovery the whole time you were gassing (guilty), this enabled you to run a little faster than if you just ran the whole distance without stopping. Turn off auto-pause to get a true representation of your pace.
3 | FIND ANOTHER ROUTE
Are you bored of your current route? Is the thought of running on that bloody canal again sending you into denial abut your love of running?! Find somewhere completely new. Drive to another village and just set off…see where it takes you.
4 | MIX UP YOUR TRAINING
Throw some hill sessions or some speed work into your training. Mixing your training up like this can improve you running as you are forcing your body to work harder.
5 | KEEP A TRAINING LOG
I wish I had done this from day 1! My first run was…let’s say, bloody awful! I ran half a mile and thought I was going to keel over! Now, that half mile saunter is my warm up to a race or a ParkRun. Recording your progress helps when you feel like you’ve had a rubbish run, you can have a read back through it and see how far you have come in the time you have been running.
6 | ENTER A RACE
Entering a race can boost your motivation as you’ll also want a training plan to follow. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, it could just be a 5k. Asics do brilliant training plans, they can be adjusted to suit different distances and there’s an option to put in a previous race time so you don’t over do it on your training (click here to start your Asics training plan).
7 | REWARD YOURSELF
Plan a reward for yourself. Whether it’s a spa day or a trip to the cinema (or even a full tub of Ben & Jerry’s), reward yourself! Once you’ve done 100 miles or you’ve managed to consistently run 3 times a week for a month then reap your reward! (Feels good doesn’t it?!)
8 | DO SOMETHING ELSE
Try a different sport for a couple fo weeks, try swimming or cycling. Just do something different, you’ll soon start to miss running. You might even find that doing another sport will improve your running.
9 | REMEMBER, YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN
Sometimes, you just need a break. Maybe the reasons for you wanting to start running aren’t there anymore. Take some time out to realise what you want. There’s no point forcing yourself to do something that you really don’t want to do.
If all else fails…take the time to watch this short documentary on Nicky Spinks (click here), she is such an inspirational person, completing the Bob Graham round after battling cancer.
Until next time, AAUK