Has Anyone Seen My Motivation?

As a runner, what do you do when running motivation is hard to come by?


Every year, the holidays naturally become a fallow period for me: time off work and away from the routine coupled with less free time to workout (and more time at parties and celebrating with family) means I get a little break. It also works out for my racing schedule, too: I tend to race in the fall and spring, so I like to give my body a break after my big goal races in the fall to be well rested for spring PRs.

But almost every year, when the calendar clears up again, the junk food has been eaten and the routine is back in effect, I run into the same problem that I’m experiencing at this very moment: I don’t want to do anything. 


I KNOW I have a spring race in a little more than 3 months. I KNOW I’ll sleep better and feel less bloated if I were to just lace up and put some more work in each day. But [prepare for whiny voice] I’m tiiiiired and I already did stuff today! I worked 8 hours and just want to relaaaax!


So. This brings us back to my original question: What do you do when running motivation is hard to come by? I’ll start you off by answering my own question with some things that have worked in the past for me (and that I should probably start doing now, but again, I don’t waaaaannna):

  1. New Music – Yes, it’s a simple fix, and this is actually my plan for my lunch break tomorrow: find some new tunes with good running beats to help me move and keep a solid pace.


    Actual footage of me run dancing.

  2. New Gear – What some might call materialistic, I call motivating. There’s something about showing up for a workout in some fresh threads that just puts that extra pep in my step.
  3. Rewards – kind of similar to #2 above, but instead of treating myself pre-run, this is a post-run reward like a pedicure or a stop at Starbucks for a big cup of tea and a cake pop.
    giphy (1).gif

So how about you? How do you put the fire back under your ass when you know you’ve got a goal coming up and still don’t have the *uff* to work towards it? I want to hear your tips in the comments.

12 thoughts on “Has Anyone Seen My Motivation?

  1. I wish I had any good advice, but I don’t. My basic plan is … get up and run. And I do it about 300 times per year. And let me be honest, the last few weeks with the arctic blast there have been *plenty* of days when my thought was ‘I don’t WANNA’.

    But I am not perfect – I started 2017 up ~5 lbs from my target weight (I know that is not much on a 6’1″ guy, but with my weight history I tend to obsess a little), did pretty well for much of the year, but never settled back after our vow renewal/anniversary/europe trip … and start 2018 up ~10lbs. Ugh. Too much wine, and I have slacked on portion control. So we start again.Yes, I ran ~3650 miles last year and gained 5lbs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have let myself slide a bit since the holidays. I was sick for one day, then spent the four days after covering shifts at work. My cross-training has recovered, my running has not. My run on Monday had a solid pace (2 miles at 11:01-dead even splits to boot), but I felt like shit the whole time. I start RunAPalooza training Tuesday, so I am letting myself have one more “fun weekend” at the gym, then time to get to work! Having my schedule written in a planner hopefully will do the trick for me! Oh, and Chick-Fil-A. Always Chick-Fil-A. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My recommendation to you is to pull a Donald Trump. And by that I mean, turn off your brain. I’m in my second week of training for my spring marathon and I just do what the training plan in my running bible tells me to do every day. I don’t think about how tired I am or how badly I want to watch ALF on Amazon. The running bible said I had to run 11 miles today, so that’s what I did. Not obeying the plan isn’t even an option. I don’t think, I just do as I’m told. So my recommendation is to find a plan, dont think, and just obey. As far as behaving like Donald Trump, you might want to skip the whole racism, sexism, homophobia and anything else he does other then turning off the brain. Your fellow runners will thank you.


  4. New music helps so much! I have 5 different Spotify playlists I use on runs (each with a different genre) but just changing one of them up a bit will get me out the door faster. Also I think for me just running first thing in the morning is key – I get it done and then don’t have to think about working out for the rest of the day.


  5. Is there any way you can run in the morning? I think because I run first thing I don’t really need motivation. It’s just a habit now. I have been struggling with the polar vortex but for days when it’s truly unbearable I stay in and treat myself to yoga.

    Don’t beat yourself up though. You just ran a marathon. Everyone needs a mental break after that!

    Good luck!


  6. I found my routine of exercising in the evening wasn’t working, just because I’d have the entire day to talk myself out of it and find any excuse to not go, since I’ve switched to morning running I find it easier (mostly)! I know for a lot of people early mornings are busy enough though 🙂
    Having a deadline helps as well, I always find it harder when I’m running just to exercise, my legs just don’t want to do it.


  7. Pingback: The Lies We Tell Ourselves | Jess Runs Happy

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