Sometimes all of us runners, even the most dedicated ones, go through periods where our motivation slips away. It’s kind of like having a case of “The Mondays”, where we just lose that fire for running — just a little bit or maybe a lot — and we need a little help to rekindle that lovin’ feeling that we have for our favorite sport. Whether you’ve been sick, put on a couple of pounds, or just gotten busy at work, today I provide you five ways that to rekindle your desire to go running in a snap!
Step 1 — Get back out there today! — If you’ve been slacking, even with a marathon or race coming up on the horizon, the first thing you should do is put those shoes on and head out the door; and you need to do it today. I know that seems obvious, but it’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll start back up tomorrow, at next Saturday’s group run, or when you “feel better.” There’s nothing that gives you a better reminder of why you run — or perhaps how far you’ve fallen behind (see the next step) — than just going for a run. You feel better after a run, even a short one, because your body changes after running. Things are going on, both mentally and physically, that will jump start your desire to run again. So step one: go today!
Step 2 — Start with a short run — Perhaps one of the worst things you can do when you’ve lost your motivation is to bite off more than you can chew on the first run out the door. You may have a picture in your mind of what you need to do to get back on track, but I pretty much promise you that a if you start out with a 10 or 12 miler after taking even a week or two off, your body is going to be in full revolt. Again, the body changes when we run, but the opposite side of that is also true. On that first run, the pump is not primed to go. Whether you metabolism has slowed a little or your just dehydrated, take it easy on the first one as you get back out there. Step two: keep the first one short!
Step 3 — Sign up for a race — You may be training for a marathon that’s months away, but a race this weekend or next brings things into the near term. Races help our minds focus. Sign up for a 5K or 10K race and then go through the motions to get out there and do it. It’s a great reminder of the fun of organized runs and the competition might just spur you on to a good high-energy workout too. Step 3: race!
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