Regardless of how much you enjoy the sport, it’s natural for running motivation to ebb and flow over time. After months or years of training, many runners lose their mojo or have a hard time maintaining running motivation.
Whether the season, life obligations or changes in circumstances are making it hard for you to maintain running motivation, remember that a few simple tweaks may be all it takes to maintain your love for the sport.
Learning how to maintain running motivation is key to long term success.
There is hardly anything more challenging than constantly having to force yourself to do something that just doesn’t feel interesting or fun. After days and weeks of failed attempts to lace up and log some miles, many runners give up altogether.
They have lost their running mojo.
Regardless of whether you’ve lost your running mojo completely or are just proactively looking for ways to stay motivated during a long training season, these 5 tips will help you enjoy running each and every day.
Looking forward to a run is something that all runners should get to enjoy. Here’s how to improve your running motivation and keep running through all seasons of life.
5 Tips to Maintain Running Motivation and Get Your Mojo Back
Make things interesting.
One of the biggest reasons that runners lose their mojo is because their training feels boring or monotonous. There is certainly no fun in running when you run the same route, distance and pace every single day.
Mixing things up to keep your training interesting is key to maintaining running motivation for the long term. Throw in different workouts, test out new trails or routes, and run in different environments every single week.
Try running solo, with a friend, a group, or with your dog. Run on the track, through your neighborhood, on a bike trail or in the woods. Complete short interval sessions, moderate tempo runs and easy-paced long runs each week.
Setting up an interesting training plan will help you quickly get your running mojo back and maintain motivation throughout the entire year.
Sign up for a race or set a goal.
Feeling purposeless may be another reason that you have lost your running mojo or are just having trouble maintaining motivation. No matter how routine it may feel to head out for a run, continuing to log miles without a clear goal might be the cause of your lessening motivation.
When your running motivation is low, try signing up for a race or setting a goal that you’d like to accomplish in the future. Try to pick something that gives you a challenge so you’ll have to work for it, but is reasonable enough that reaching your goal doesn’t feel impossible.
Related: 10 Steps to Achieve Any Running Goal
Sign up for short, fun races along the way during training to help yourself stay motivated to regularly log those miles. Aim for a big goal race if you’re hoping to regain your running mojo and maintain motivation for a new season of training.
If races aren’t your thing, try setting a personal goal. Aim to complete a certain amount of mileage, run your fastest mile, or beat your neighbor on the track. Anything that keeps you excited to get out there will help you stay motivated over time.
Stick to a schedule.
It’s so easy to make excuses to skip a run and just lay around when you have the option of completing it at any time. Before you know it, the run you put off before breakfast gets pushed to the afternoon and then suddenly it’s dark outside and you still haven’t left.
Establishing a schedule is a great way to maintain running motivation because it helps your mind and body learn when to expect a run. Before you know it, running has become part of your regular routine and no longer requires as much thought or willpower to complete.
If you’re looking to get your running mojo back, try forcing yourself to run at the same time every day for a few weeks in a row. Getting out the door may feel a bit challenging for those first few runs, but before you know it, you’ll be lacing up at the same time each day without a second thought.
Try sticking to a schedule that works best for your lifestyle. Whether this means waking up before the sun, squeezing in a lunchtime run or running in the evening after work, establishing a running schedule will help you maintain motivation for the long term.
Test it out for “just a mile”.
When all else fails and your running mojo is nowhere to be found, try tricking yourself to get started. Tell yourself that you’re going to run for just a mile, and if things don’t feel good by the end, you’ll call it quits and head home without guilt.
More often than not, getting started is the hardest part. However, once you’ve finished a mile, your legs will be warmed up and your body will be falling into a groove, feeling better and better with each step.
After completing your test mile, you’ll be more likely to want to continue the run and finish what you originally had in mind.
Telling yourself that you don’t have to complete the full run is a great trick to get out the door. Getting started will feel easier, and once you’re moving, you’ll probably find that your running motivation comes flooding back.
Keep track of your progress.
Staying motivated to run often means giving yourself a purpose for every single mile you complete. However, once you’ve been running for a while, it’s natural for things to start to plateau and that purpose might not be as noticeable.
Keeping tracking of your progress over time is a great way to maintain running motivation and quickly get your running mojo back.
Looking back through past training logs to see just how much your endurance or pace has improved might help you stay motivated to continue. Seeing results from your weekly efforts will make you less likely to want to quit and help you push through periods of low motivation.
Experiencing feelings of indifference is natural with any activity that we complete on a regular basis. After months and years of repeated activity, many runners lose their mojo altogether and struggle to get it back.
Avoid having to conquer the challenge of regaining running motivation by testing these 5 tricks to maintain it for the long term.
Without even realizing it, you’ll be looking forward to each and every run.
More tips to maintain running motivation:
- 5 Ways to Overcome Low Running Motivation
- 7 Tips to Get Your Running Groove Back
- 5 Ways to Break Out of a Running Slump