How to find motivation to run when you don’t feel like it
In this post I want to share some thoughts about why I run, even when I don’t feel like it sometimes. It might sound crazy to anyone who doesn’t like running, but my philosophy is ‘run while you can.’
You’ve probably seen that quote as a social media meme. I really like the simplicity of it, because you really don’t know what’s around the corner. What next year, next week or even tomorrow will bring, so you’ve got to make the most of every part of your life.
And that includes exercise. I love being able to run. I feel fortunate that I enjoy it and I feel blessed for every day that I’m injury free. That’s why I usually push through the days when I don’t feel like it.
Dealing with low motivation
We all have those days where we wrestle with “will I, or won’t I?” Those low motivation days when you know you should, but the question is will you?
I’m sure we all have those days more often than we care to admit. Will you allow one of the many negative thoughts that enter your mind all too easily to influence your decision, or will you ignore them and just go do what you know you need to do?
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I’ve trained myself to banish those thoughts as soon as they begin, most of the time, but I’m not perfect!
You see, it’s the post exercise endorphin rush that I think I love most and that’s what I think about when the excuses start to creep into my head.
A little bit of planning helps
If you plan ahead, you’ll have even less reason for the excuses. Doing things like packing your gym bag ahead of time, so it’s ready to throw in the car when you head off to work. Or having your training gear laid out so it’s ready to put on first thing in the morning.
I like to run outside whenever I can, so the weather always plays into my excuse set, especially in Winter. This simple plan is what works best for me when I have a dog to walk everyday.
Simply use the dog walk as your warm up. Wear your running gear under a warm jacket or coat while you walk the dog. Then just drop the dog and the coat back home afterwards and get straight back out on your run.
Once it becomes a habit, you’ll be in autopilot mode and back home stretching in the warmth of your living room in no time. Not to mention how good you’ll feel knowing that it’s done.
Push any negative thoughts straight out of your head as soon as they start. Or remind yourself how good you’ll feel afterwards vs. how you’ll feel if you don’t, eg. regretful, guilty, plus you’ll still feel tired, etc.
When it’s too cold or wet to go outside
On those days that just feel too cold, wet, windy, or snowy outside, there’s always the treadmill, at home or at the gym. Same in reverse, if you live somewhere that’s just too hot in summer.
I’m not suggesting that you should plan long, steady pace runs on the treadmill, that’s just boring! Do a little bit of research on line though and you’ll soon find some treadmill workouts to suit you.
In fact, sprint and interval sessions should form part of your run training (if you want to improve, that is.) So just keep your schedule flexible and swap around your sessions if you need to.
Above all, try to be in the moment and enjoy your runs.
Run while you can and make the most of it!
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