10 WAYS TO GET YOUR RUNNING MOJO BACK
Recently I have been reading A LOT of posts on social media regarding the loss of running mojo. As an avid runner, I know how it feels when you simply don’t have the motivation to do it anymore, it’s hard to get out, your feet are heavy, and you just don’t want to.
You may have just finish your training and big event, and not sure where to go next. Your training may have plateaued. You’ve had a few more days off than you expected. Work/life has got in the way. There can be a lot of reason as to why you’ve lost your running mojo.
Every runner experiences losing their mojo, and that is okay. Take a break, look after yourself, and maybe have a look at the following tips to help you get your mojo back:
1. Join a running club
This is probably the recommendation that you see everywhere. It does change a lot of things for running. I joined when I started my training plan, I tried 2 different clubs and then found the right fit for me (just remember, make sure to trial out different clubs, they may not all be the best fit and don’t feel pressured if they’re not). There was a range of runs, from tempo, interval, social, beginner – so many to choose from; there was at least 2-3 different runs a week.
Have a go at running with a running club, it gives you chances to go run with groups of people and not feel the pressure of doing it by yourself.
2. Try somewhere new
Maybe take that time to go somewhere new, drive somewhere different, or just run a different route. Many runners tend to just stick with the same route each time and that can get really boring. Even if it seems inconvenient, just maybe heading 10 minutes further down the road to where you usually start, or running your route in reverse – do something to mix it up, you may find some fun surprising things on your new route.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel and run, and I use running to explore a new place. To see new sights and just try a new route, it’s a great way to change up the routine.
3. Focus on a different goal
I think we often spend so much time focusing on the distance, time or pace – and that can get in the way of our enjoyment of the run. So maybe it is time to focus on something else? If you’ve spent time on hitting marathon distance, maybe work on your 10km. If you are spending a lot of time focusing on speed, maybe focus on slowing down and taking it easy.
If running competitive races aren’t floating your boat at the moment, why not try something fun? A colour run, or obstacle run or a fun run with friends can be a great way to just enjoy your running without any pressure.
4. Run with friends
I suppose similar to joining a running club, but I ended up leaving my running club just to run with friends. A couple of my non runner friends asked me if I would take them out for some runs, and it was so much fun. It was better, we walked, we ran, we chatted, we just enjoyed ourselves. No pressure of running with the club and no pressure of what time or how far we were going. It’s just the best way.
Friends can also count as our four legged friends. I go out with my dogs all of the time, they keep me company, when they want to stop, we do, we get out and have a good run. During my university years, I didn’t have my dogs with me, so I ended up borrowing a friends dog who did most of the training with me for my marathon.
5. Sign up to a race
This may only work for a few runners, but after having a chat with a few friends, I know it can work. Signing up to a future race really gives you that motivation to train, and get out and run again. Finding a nice training plan or having an end goal is definitely a way to get back out on the feet. Last year I ended up signing up to a race nearly every weekend – for me, it just kept me going, and was something I really enjoyed.
6. Listen to podcasts
I used to listen to music during my runs, but after a while, it started losing it’s affect. I turned to podcasts, and started listening to some that just felt like I was involved in the conversation (radio 1 or something else). I ended up forgetting I was even running because I was so into the podcast. Or, you could try one that really empowers you, a fitness specific podcast, I’ve been through a few and found a list of the ones I really enjoy listening to – check out some of my recommendations here.
7. Read a book
Sometimes taking that time off is needed, and you can fill in that time by reading some books. There are plenty out there to read and enjoy, even a running specific book. It is something that can help you really understand running, maybe one of the authors has also lost their mojo and found ways to get back into it.
My personal favourites – Running like a girl, It’s just four times round the village and Your pace or mine.
8. Try the 5 Minute Rule
I only learnt about this recently, but it is something I do myself. Say you are meant to go for a run but you really don’t want to. There’s so many things stopping you from going out for a run, so many excuses. Then there is the 5 minute rules – you get out and go for a run, if you still feel the same way, then stop. If your body or head really isn’t feeling it after those 5 minutes, don’t continue, don’t push yourself, just head home and relax. If you head home, you still got out and ran.
If you still feel like you can keep going, try another 5 minutes and see how you feel after that. Just keep going, add the 5 minutes and when you’ve had enough, that is time to go home.
9. Cross train
I know not directly running, but is it because all you’re doing is just running and that’s hard to get back in to? During my first marathon, I found training tedious because all I did was running; I didn’t incorporate any other exercise – I was a bit clueless to be honest. During my second training cycle, I incorporated strength work, swimming and cycling into my plan. I had a great time during my plan because there was just so much variety by cross training. It would be worth taking a look at some cross training plans so that you can add variation and have a good time with your running again. We could always discuss a training plan, check it out here.
10. Take your time
It is okay to lose your mojo. It is okay to take your time. There is no pressure on you to rush your running comeback. It is hard getting back into it, but you will get there. Take your time, enjoy it and get out running.
So hopefully these tips can help you get back and running. It is okay to lose your running mojo, and us runners are here to support you when you don’t feel like running. You will get your running mojo back, it is a process, the most important thing to remember is that you should enjoy it!