It’s that time of the year that finding the motivation for training can be hard. The days feel short because of the limited daylight, the temps are cold, and the hustle & bustle of the holiday season is in full swing. Here are 10 tips to help you get out the door!
1. Run with a buddy or a group!
Not only does this increase safety during your run, but it also gives you accountability! It is easier to bail on yourself than it is a friend.
Having a set time to meet makes it easier to schedule your day around it!
2. Run a new route
If you are doing the same running route all the time, it can get boring! We are creatures of habit, and while the same routes can be enjoyable, it is nice to change it up. Try a new park, neighborhood or trail! This one is easy to combine with suggestion 1 - try meeting at a new location each time you meet a friend.
3. Run at different times of day
Another way to change up your routine. If you are finding yourself exhausted from waking up super early each day to get your workout in, maybe you need to switch a few days a week to lunch or evening workouts. This is also a good way to adjust for late start races and adjust your fueling.
4. Add in variation to your training
If you normally enjoy running 5-6 days a week but aren’t finding joy in that for whatever reason, consider reducing to 3-4 days a week and adding in cross training (cycling, elliptical, rowing, swimming) to supplement.
Add in strength training!! Strength training is ALWAYS a good idea, and it’s a great way to add variation to your routine. You can make one of your running days into a “boot camp” style workout involving some shorter running intervals plus some strength training / body weight movements in between. The mileage will fly by and you will get a good workout in!
Add in hills to your running routes! Hills are a great way to build strength and endurance, but they also will make the run more interesting than just a flat route.
Try adding in some intervals to your running. Not every run needs to be the same pace for the duration of the run. You can go to the track and do some repeats, or find a loop in your neighborhood and do some repeats. Another great way to make the miles click by and challenge yourself!
5. Understand the purpose of the training you are doing
If you are unsure as to why you are running certain paces, workouts, etc., ask your coach! Understanding the purpose of your workout and how it will continue to make you better can be incredibly motivating. Knowledge is power!
Voice your opinion to your coach if you really don’t like certain workouts such as repeats on a track. There are so many different ways to accomplish the desired stimulus, that we can find a way that works for you and is more enjoyable!
6. Consider the mental aspect of training
Majority of the reason we don’t feel motivated isn’t because of our physical ability, it’s because of the mental aspect.
Reducing stress in our lives in general is a good practice, but it can especially help to increase our motivation for training. A good way to reduce stress is meditation! This can be done easily while or after stretching, and before bed.
Does music help you while training? If so, use it! Do the things that motivate you!
Establish cue words & phrases that help you stay motivated and make you feel strong (more on this in a future blog post!)
7. Remember your why!
What is the reason that you run/train in the first place? Sometimes we need to remind ourselves why we are doing what we're doing, in order to feel the motivation we had when we first got started.
What is your goal? Reflecting on why you are running or training, whether it's for a distance you haven't tackled yet, or a PR you are hoping to hit, can help reset your mindset and revive your motivation. Talk to your coach if you are struggling to set a goal or not sure what a good goal should be for your current stage of training.
8. Take care of your body
Training is taxing on our bodies and can make us feel run down and unmotivated if we don’t take care of ourselves! Make sure you are properly fueling, hydrating, and recovering to aid the training you are doing. Otherwise, training may feel unenjoyable!
Recovery that you may not be considering:
Stretching & Foam Rolling
Adequate & enough sleep!
9. Enjoy the process!
Remember that not every run is going to feel perfect, and that is okay! Those are the moments that make us stronger and tougher. Try to learn something from the runs that didn’t go well. Brush it aside after that, it’s just a drop in the bucket, and you still put in the work!
Enjoy the runs that feel great!! Celebrate your successes and be proud of yourself!
10. Give yourself 10 minutes
When you are feeling unmotivated or unsure if you should train on a certain day, try the 10 minute test. Start your workout and give yourself 10 minutes. If you still aren’t feeling it, then it’s a sign to take the day off. But, most times, you are going to find you are glad you started, and might surprise yourself and have a great workout! Whether it be that you are tired, not wanting to go out in the cold, feeling stressed, etc., 10 minutes usually puts all those feelings to rest and puts you in a good mental state to enjoy your workout.
I hope this is helpful for you! Please reach out if you have any questions.
- Coach Jillian