How To Handle A Lack of Motivation

How to Handle Lack of Motivation

There will be days you are feeling like conquering the world and there are days where getting yourself to do anything is like pulling teeth. Sometimes your lack of motivation can be a result of feeling burnt out from too much training or maybe you had a bad day you feel like crap.

Whatever the reason, pulling yourself out of these moments is a job in itself. Here are 15 ways to convince yourself to put your reasons behind you and keep on your aspiring running journey!

1. Put on Your Running Clothes

This is a simple way to trick your brain into getting in run-mode. I’ve had days where I’ve not gone for a run altogether because I was still in my regular clothes and didn’t force myself to change into my run outfit. The times I did, I always went out. It acted as a way to tell my brain that a run is inevitable, even for a shorter than planned one. Which is better than doing nothing!

2. Write Down How Your Run Felt

Consider writing down your run details in a blog or physical journal after every session. This can motivate you in two ways. Firstly, to look forward to venting out your motivational struggles and how the ensuing run went (even if it went badly). Secondly, you can look back at all your entries to read how well the good runs went and how you found a way to run it out when you did not want to.

3. Remember Why You Wanted to start Running

We all start running for different reasons. To get in shape, for fun, for competition, to meet new people, to challenge yourself. The reasons are endless. In your least motivated moments, it can help to look back at the beginning and remember where you wanted to get to, you had a goal and were determined. You wouldn’t want to let yourself down, would you?

AspiringInstagram-14. Ask Yourself if You’ll Regret NOT Running

Asking yourself this simple question is sometimes the biggest motivator to get out the door. I know from experience that if I sit on my couch and do nothing all night I will wake up the next day feeling like I wasted the opportunity and disappointed with myself. Don’t do that to yourself, think of how future you would feel.

5. Join a Running Group in Your City.

Most cities have running groups that are open for anyone to join. These groups meet up at specific times and dates and go on various distance runs. They tend to split themselves into more groups on run day to accommodate the different athletic levels of the members. Having a scheduled run can be a motivator to be there and get the run done.

6. Get Addicted to “Runner’s High”

Runners will tell you that the feeling after a run is the best part. When you finish a run and the difficult physical aspect is over you’ll feel pretty great. You’ll feel very accomplished and happy you did this. This is because your body releases serotonin and dopamine after exercises like running which leaves you with a natural “high”.

7. Surround Yourself with ALL the Motivation

Follow Pinterest boards, Tumblr blogs, or Instagram accounts to reinvigorate yourself with motivating mantras and inspiring pictures. Find pictures wherever you can and consider printing out a copy of your favourite motivators and put them on your fridge, in your bedroom, by your desk – anywhere you’ll be sure to see them to remind yourself of your aspirations.

8. Give Yourself Some Challenges.

Challenging yourself to meet certain milestones can kick your butt out the door if you’re possibly going to come up short by missing a run. If you need to get just 5 more km to cap off a week and it’s Sunday, you don’t want to wake up on Monday knowing you failed your weekly challenge.

when you're struggling to keep going look back at how far you've climbed

9. Listen To Audiobooks Or Podcasts

The time out on a run can feel like a long time. This is a great opportunity to listen to your backlog of books or podcasts. Having a block of uninterrupted listening time to trim the list down while you cover your miles is like hitting two birds with one stone!

10. Think Of The Great Pictures

If you are a photo-taking junkie it may pump you up to shoot the different parts of your city that you pass during your run. The great pictures you could take when you get to the top of that hill, cruising through a beautiful park, or looking over a valley at sunset will be a constant reminder of what is out there if you just put on those running shoes.

11. Surround Yourself With Motivating People

I live with very active people so when they go to the gym or for a run it inspires me to do the same. When you’re around people who always find time to get a workout in you suddenly feel less confident about your excuses to do the opposite.

12. Compete With Yourself

We’re not all gifted athletes who will compete at the professional or Olympic level but that shouldn’t stop you from putting yourself in a competitor’s shoes. You may not reach their speeds but you can certainly find a way to push yourself to be better than you were yesterday. That starts with getting out the door for that run you’re not wanting to do and doing what the old you wouldn’t.

13. Do It For The Race Medal

AspiringInstagram-7You signed up for a race and that race won’t run itself. You want to do everything you can to get to that finish line, and that begins with proper training. Get your miles in or you may have a bad time on race day and could risk that sweet piece of post-race hardware that you’ll look upon with pride.

14. Log Your Successes

Similar to logging how each run felt, you should log how far and how long each run was. Did you manage to run your fastest 5k yet? Write that down! You now have a new motivating benchmark to beat and you know that you’re capable of doing so, so get to work!

15. Think About How Much Better You’re Getting

When you started this whole “running thing” you probably couldn’t imagine how far you could get. Now what was difficult barely gets your blood pumping, and what is now hard will soon be easy peasy. Let that guide you to greater successes!

Hopefully one or more of these suggestions gave you the shot in the arm you needed and helped you continue on without missing a beat!



An aspirational runner who has been at it since 2013. Eric started this site to help those like him find the information they need to get started.

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