Like anything else worth doing, becoming a better runner requires real discipline and dedication. Consistency is paramount. But what happens when that fire inside you — the one that pushes you out the door each day — starts to dim? How do you keep yourself moving when you just aren’t feeling it?
Fret not. This happens to all of us. Motivation has a habit of ebbing and flowing, but there are ways to counter those days when your drive needs a little boost. Here are some of my tips.
Change up your location.
Sometimes you just need a little change of scenery. Looking forward to a brand-new backdrop for your run can light a fire that gets you out the door faster than ever. Check out my favorite local spots for some inspiration.
Lay your clothes out the night before.
I know. It sounds like some corny first-day-of-school stuff here, but hear me out. Laying your eyes on your pre-prepped running gear first thing in the morning can work as a reminder to “present you” that “past you” really wanted to make sure you got out there, and it can help reinvigorate that feeling.
Just get dressed.
Taking the previous tip one step further, if you force yourself to go through the motions of getting dressed, you might find that looking the part is enough to get you out the door.
Update your playlist.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laid in bed at night, aimlessly perusing new music and adding song after song to my running playlist. I find myself so excited to hear all my newly added music the next day, I can hardly get out the door fast enough.
I’m not a huge fan of handing out rewards for anything and everything, but on an especially low-motivation day, go ahead and put a reward on the table. It could be something extravagant, like a splurge meal, or something simple, like giving yourself a pass at yard work for the day. Whatever it is, stand firm that you cannot collect until you complete your task.
Cut your route in half.
Maybe you run 8 miles every day, and today is just not the day for that. Well, get out there anyway, but cut down your distance. You’re still clocking a run — plus, you may find that once your feet hit the pavement, nothing will stop you from doing your full mileage.
Know when you truly do need a break.
All this said, rest days are imperative to any successful running regimen. Running yourself ragged can not only demotivate you long-term but can also lead to injury. Be sure to schedule regular rest days and enjoy them! Just be ready to lace up the next day.