What do you do when your get-up-and-go has… got up and gone?  You’re not alone, every runner has days when they feel demotivated.  Your “personal best” isn’t just about beating a PB, so just like training your body; you need to train your mind. 

Working a few of the following strategies into your every day life you’ll rediscover your motivation and continue to enjoy your running journey:

  • If you need a small boost, there are some practical steps that can make running feel exciting again.  Why not treat yourself to a subscription to a monthly running magazine or invest in an awesome new running outfit you can’t wait to try out?

  • Listening to motivational music before you even start your run will get you pumped up for the task ahead.  Music is subjective and different genres, artists and songs make different people ‘tick’.  Why not check out this list for suggestions of what worked for Great North runners in 2014?

  • Don’t run alone, we know you run better if you run together! Arranging to run with a friend is a great way to combine exercise and socialising!  Having somebody to run with (and talk to, if you’re feeling fit enough!) will make the miles speed by.  It’s easy to bail on yourself if you feel tired/stressed/upset but if you have a running buddy, you will feel less inclined to let them down by shirking a planned session.

  • Use social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as a diary for your running.  Having a sense of accountability will keep you focused because you will be held to your run by the whole Internet and you know you can’t let down the Internet!  In addition, by diarising your running on a public forum, you never know who you’re inspiring.

  • If you’re in a running-route-rut, check out greatruntraining.org to help you find new routes in your area, or if you’re keen to expand your horizons, why not look a bit further afield for a new run in driving distance of where you live?  Not knowing exactly which tree or lamppost marks each mile can help you focus on your running instead of how far you’ve run.

  • Enter an event, which will push you out of your comfort zone.  A race on different terrain, e.g. an off-road event if you are a road runner, a different distance or a new location, where you stay with family, friends or in a hotel, will enrich your running journey and prevent it from becoming tedious.

  • Many runners undertake the same 3 mile, 6 mile, 10 mile and long run routes at the same pace, and when their times plateau they feel disheartened.  Try to add hill repetitions and sprint sessions to your training schedule; running clubs are excellent for this, even if they are the only sessions you attend.  Cross training such as HIIT, lifting weights, pilates and yoga can maintain variety in your regime and your body will respond well to the new stimulus.

  • Lastly, in order to feel motivated and dedicated, re-establish your ultimate goal and set small goals that will lead you to achieve it.  By doing this, you will experience a sense of advancement and progression about your journey, instead of feeling overwhelmed with the enormous task that faces you.

Just remember, the hardest step is the one out the front door so if you’re waiting for the ‘perfect time’, you will never get anything done! 

Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do, just run!