Salomon Running guest blogger, Addie Bracy, gives tips on how to motivate yourself to run, even when you don’t want to. Addie is a 3-time Olympic Trials qualifier, 2-Time Team USA member and 5-Time Beer Mile Champion.
Even the most dedicated and driven athletes have days when they think “ I just don’t feel like going for a run.” Both recreational runners and Olympians experience these thoughts and none are immune to the lack of motivation that sometimes creeps in. Here are some tips that help me get in the miles when I’m in a bit of a slump.
Shorten your run. If you had 7 miles on the schedule, let yourself off the hook with 4. Chances are you’ll end up doing the whole run once you get moving, but the idea of letting yourself run less may do the trick to get you out the door. If you still aren’t feeling up to it 4 miles in it’s probably better to call the run, anyway. And, something is still better than nothing.
Download a podcast. I always save that “super interesting podcast I can’t wait to listen to” for a day when I need an extra shove out the door. When you’re not feeling great and the motivation is lacking, a solo run alone with your thoughts can sometimes make it even harder to want to keep clicking the miles off. When I listen to something that I’m really interested in learning more about, I get swept up in the podcast and before I know it I’ve covered 8 miles without even realizing it.
Use your lack of motivation as motivation. If you’re a distance runner and you are training for a longer event, there’s a chance that a point will come in the race when you’re ready to call it quits. Be it a marathon, an ultra marathon, or a tough and challenging trail race, there will likely come a time when you’re tired and fatigued and you will think to yourself “I can’t keep going.” What better way to train yourself to push through the hard points when you feel like quitting than to simply go run when you don’t want to? Instead of getting caught up on why I don’t feel like running that day, I try to use it as a training opportunity. Having the discipline to get the miles in when you’d rather be doing something else will make you a stronger, tougher athlete.
Run with friends. If I’m really struggling to get out the door, I result to phoning a friend or I look to my four-legged buddies for some accountability. Having company along for a run that you are dreading almost always makes it more bearable. The run will quickly turn into an opportunity to catch up on life or swap stories. Running with my dogs is one of my favorite ways to spend time with them. Those runs are the highlight of their day and seeing them frolicking along with their tails wagging and their tongues hanging out, it seems a little less terrible to be out there.
Motivation comes and goes. While there are days that you feel psyched about the upcoming workout there are also those in which you can think of 100 things you’d rather do than go for a run. That’s normal and a feeling that everyone experiences regardless of the level at which they compete. However, I can’t think of a single time I have regretted going for a run when I really didn’t want to.