“I’m too swamped lately”, “I can’t leave my children at home alone”, “The nearest running area is too far from my condo”, “I’m too exhausted from work and have no strength to run”… these are a few out of hundreds of excuses people make to avoid running. Why? The most common reason is the lack of motivation and discipline to hit another running challenge. Having no motivation to run? Specific goals, comfy shoes, and the right people can help. It should be no surprise that running is a healthy movement promoting our health and physical appearance.
The problem here is different: despite the benefits, you still don’t want to dab those sneakers and get outside. You don’t want to exasperate yourself to the state of running tiredness. Simultaneously, you despise yourself for not trying or being too lazy to do this. Self-destruction started and it’s just 8 AM. Let’s make you motivated for your fresh running challenge with crucial and simple tips. Not all of them are applicable to you but they are helpful enough to invigorate and change your routine.
How Do You Stay Motivated When You Don’t Want To Run?
It’s harder to do than to say. Everyone thinks that motivation is like a puff of smoke coming from a cigarette. Perhaps, but this smoke needs a spark – the valid reason or reasons that keep you moving in the right direction.
If you’re feeling unmotivated, you lack the energy, guts, or strength to complete any action out of your comfort zone. But you can “fix” your thoughts promptly with crucial ideas and most importantly simple steps.
The reality is like this: there is no magic word or action you take to automatically load yourself with motivation in the morning, for instance. Besides, different ideas suit different people. And, there is a slight chance these tips will not help you enough.
However, if you take them seriously and ruminate on them for a few minutes, you’ll understand how engaging your life can become by implementing a running schedule.
Check out 6 motivational hacks to hit your first run this day.
- Change your attitude to running
- Set specific goals
- Prepare shoes and workout garments
- Start small
- Run in the morning
- Take some time to rest
Change Your Attitude To Running
You don’t binge-watch your favorite TV show with the thought “Oh no, another hour of wasting my time on the next episode. That would be really tiring”. Still, when it comes to running, you feel like it’s a chore you must complete (3).
You build negative associations around it, which affects your behavior. The reality is, your thoughts impact your attitude to certain actions and this attitude controls your behavior. You imagine the worst-case scenarios where your muscles ache, you hardly breathe, and get exhausted so badly you won’t be able to do any work at all.
Change your mindset from an obligational chore to a rewarding procedure. Running gives you the feeling of euphoria, jazzes up your mood, and makes you look more healthier and attractive. Think of all the benefits you obtain from running, like weight loss, and toned physique. Exercising in general makes you more concentrated and “high” (6). Plus, you are going to be so proud of yourself for making the effort to run.
Set Specific Goals
This point is highly essential as without specific goals you may see no sense in running whatsoever. Some individuals have the motivation to run a marathon while others desire to trim those irksome calories. Think of your goals and jot them down somewhere. Preferably a piece of paper or using an online fitness app.
Track your progress and if you lose 5 pounds instead of desired 10 (if your objective is to lose weight) don’t get frustrated but reward yourself as you completed already important steps for big changes.
Prepare Shoes And Workout Garments
Your workout clothing and shoes impact your running quality. The right shoes may eliminate the risk of injuries or tripping over something. Trek your way to a running specialty store where experts evaluate your foot and recommend the best shoes for you.
Clothing matters either. Ensure that your clothing is applicable to any weather condition. Running gear is made from fabrics of nylon, wool, or polyester. Running in cold weather in technical fabrics will keep you warm and dry while during hot weather runs they wick the sweat from your body to prevent chafing (5).
Additionally, always keep your sportive clothing visible in your room. This will always remind you of your next challenge.
Whether it’s the motivation to run in the rain or in a marathon, you should start with small steps to reach those higher goals. Besides this, overwhelming yourself from the first runs can demotivate and injure you.
You have a running area, for instance, around a big lake. Start by running only one circle. Always stop when you’re out of breath or experiencing nagging pain in muscles. After two weeks you can double to two circles instead of one, etc. There’s no point in excruciating yourself with unrealistic challenges especially when you are a newbie.
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Run In The Morning
This tip is good for two reasons: fresh air and a sense of satisfactory accomplishment from the very morning. Plus, you might have a job or other responsibilities and your morning is your only free time for sprucing up. Morning air will fill your lungs with more power, and you’ll meet other morning bird-runners.
Additionally, a study in 2014 shows the benefits of morning workouts on the quality of your sleep. You also enhance your performance and improve weight management.
Take Some Time To Rest
Believe it, or not, the motivation to run again comes with proper rest. Giving yourself breaks helps you stay motivated and reduce the risks of injuries. Your weekly running schedule requires rest days for your muscle recovery.
During the rest days, you may switch to cross-training activities, such as walking, biking, or swimming. Active recovery helps your body heal and recharge faster as your blood, lymph, and muscles stay active (7).
How Do I Mentally Get Back Into Running?
Dusting off your running shoes for a fresh start may be tough. You had your reasons to stop running: pregnancy, a painful breakup with your beloved partner, job promotion that squeezed a lot of your time.
No matter the reason, getting back to running mentally is no easy feat.
Luckily, your muscles retain the memory of their former strength which helps you start from scratch all over again, faster and reach desired results.
There are many ways to restart the running routine, and here are the 3 hacks to mentally get back into this activity:
- Ruminate all the benefits you gained from running in the past. Could you boast a stronger healthier body? Or maybe you had a chance to encounter new individuals who inspire you for the next improvements.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that joining specific running clubs or joining running tournaments with friends or relatives doubles your chances to start it all over again. You’ll be mentally prepared to immerse into another physical activity with enough support and fun.
- Convince yourself that all you need to do is to give it a short start and the process will smoothly repeat itself. Sometimes we just need a push from others. Your planning and discipline are also two crucial points that prepare you for your next challenges.
Why Do I Feel Unmotivated To Run?
Human beings are not that different from each other especially when you flip through their demotivation for running. Check out these 3 top reasons why you lost the motivation to run:
- You see no progress
- You got an injury and have just come off it
- You have accomplished your goal and haven’t set a new one
You See No Progress
Do you have a running routine? Do you stick to it? You had a goal to trim more fat but you didn’t. You desired to tone your legs, but they stayed the same. The main reason for that is your lack of consistency and too high expectations. As I mentioned already, you need to set specific but realistic goals to eliminate frustration.
Plus, you’ll never reach desired results fast, especially without the proper running schedule. One week you run two times, the other you decide to skip, and the next one you run only one time. You should stick to the schedule and set adequate aims.
You Got An Injury And Have Just Come Off It
It’s difficult and even fearful to restart running after you got injured from it. Yes, you’re scared of the next injury and prefer switching to another activity no matter how healthy running was for you. But let this fear not take you over as you need to focus not on one negative aspect of it.
Instead, concentrate on all the benefits you gained due to running and gradually hit the energetic activity.
You Have Accomplished Your Goal And Haven’t Set A New One
You ran marathons, or lost the desired fat around your body – then what? Interestingly though, this might be a problem for a great number of individuals. Let’s look at this from another angle – you reached your specific goal, not knowing what’s next but you continue running just because it makes you feel and look good.
Also, why promptly ruminate on the next goals? Why not take some time and be thankful to yourself for all the challenges you fought with? Don’t focus on new challenges right away, take a break, and new ideas will come along naturally.
How Do I Love Running Again?
Remember those times when you had the motivation to run after work? Or that morning run with the polite neighbor? One day something stressful or unbelievable happened and you no longer felt like continuing it again. Is it possible to love running again?
The short answer is yes, you can love running again only with enough contemplation about the potential benefits you gained via running.
You imagine benefits, happy hormones whirl in your brain reminding you of the positive outcome of this activity. That’s why the key way to love running again is to understand the value running gives to you.
Each value is your reason to start running again. In the next section you are about to disclose the real benefits of running. Additionally, you’ll remind yourself of one simple action that positively affects your performance and elevates your chances to reach attainable results.
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What Can Running Do To Your Body?
You have already read about the main reasons people stop running and the crucial ways helping them regain the desire to run again. Here comes one question – is running worth it? All the buzz around running is justified by the number of benefits you receive.
- Running improves your cardio health which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. This means you reduce your chances to die from a stroke or a heart attack. Plus, you learn to control your breathing which positively impacts your overall performance.
- Running enhances your sleep quality. Forget about the turning-in-bed night when it’s almost impossible to turn in. However, try to run in the morning or in the first part of the day as your body will release endorphins that will activate your brain.
- Running improves your knee and back health. Marathon runners have lower arthritis than other people.
- Running may improve your memory. When you sweat during running, your heart rate increases, boosting the size of your hippocampus. This is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
- Running promotes your immune system. Do you have those days when you’re feeling off? Dash out the door and move your body at a comforting speed.
- Running makes you happier and more satisfied. Your concentration and mood get better. Besides, you are genuinely proud of your day to start that way (2).
Overall, running is the perfect way to jazz up your boring days healthily. Remember to purchase comfy clothing suitable for every season and work out that schedule, so that you stay consistent.
Another essential thing to remember is that warming up before running is a big must. You don’t want to get hurt, so complete a 10-minute warm-up activity to prepare your muscles for the invigorating action.
How Do I Motivate Myself To Run When Tired?
It’s not beneficial to run when you’re exhausted as you won’t get the most out of it. However, if your tiredness turns into a never-ending excuse, you can complete these four actions: promise yourself a reward for your efforts, prepare yourself for the run, go out and start walking while listening to a podcast or music (or without it), start jogging and gradually move to a run.
What To Do If I Don’t Want To Run?
Firstly, mull over the real reasons why you don’t want to run. Something might be bugging you: family issues, stress at work, or an unpleasant conversation with a partner. Secondly, change your route: instead of running in the morning, go for a run in the evening. Or, choose another area. Also, asking your friends for a run is a good idea as it may be more exciting.
How Do You Overcome Mental Barriers To Running?
Mental barriers can interfere with the running routine and so many other activities we would enjoy in the past. You can overcome mental barriers to running by setting realistic goals. Plus, you don’t have to call yourself out for not achieving the desired results. You’re a human being who deserves compassion, especially from yourself.
How Can I Run Without Thinking About It?
There are many ways to distract yourself from running but two of them are the most vital: turn on the music or your favorite podcast and pay attention to the surroundings around you. A good idea would be talking to yourself about what you’re seeing, hearing, smelling, and how your body feels.
How Do You Stay Committed To Running?
You stay committed to running only with the proper schedule. Your consistency and discipline are beneficial as it does bring results. You can’t attain commitment to this activity by skipping running sessions at any time you want. Of course, life is unpredictable but breaking the schedule on a constant basis can negatively affect your health and motivation.
The Bottom Line
Running is a healthy activity that benefits your sleep, knee and back health, your mood, and immune system. Having no motivation to run? Specific goals, comfy shoes, and the right people can help.
There are effective ways to gain motivation to run: change your attitude to running, set specific goals, prepare shoes and workout garments, start small, run in the morning, and take some time to rest.
You can mentally prepare yourself for running by collecting all the benefits you gained from it, surrounding yourself with like-minded people, and convincing yourself to give it a shot.
The most possible reasons why people abandon their motivation for running lie in the lack of progress, past injuries, or not making up new accomplishments. Drum up your motivation by building discipline, staying consistent, and tracking your progress.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Effects of exercise timing on sleep architecture and nocturnal blood pressure in prehypertensives (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Health Benefits of Running (2021, webmd.com)
- How to stay motivated (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity (2022, cdc.gov)
- Spatial and temporal migration of sweat: from skin to clothing (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Truth Behind ‘Runner’s High’ and Other Mental Benefits of Running (n.d., hopkinsmedicine.org)
- What to Know About Rest Day Workouts (2023, webmd.com)