A few weeks back one of Instagram followers asked me a great question. How do you get motivated again after a break from running?
We’ve all been there before. Whether because of an injury or just because we needed some time off to figure things out, we’ve all needed some time off from running. And sometimes we feel totally enthusiastic and pumped about getting back in the game.
But other times, not so much. And getting started again, and getting back to that place of having a healthy, happy relationship with running, can feel really challenging. At times it might even feel impossible.
I can honestly say I’ve been there myself. There have been times where after a break, even thought I missed running and knew in my heart how much I love it, I wasn’t sure whether I’d ever get back to it.
But I can also honestly say that if you truly do have a love for the sport you’ll come back around to it eventually. It will have to be on your own time because I personally believe that forcing it won’t help the situation. But when you’re ready, you can use these simple tips to help make the process a little bit easier and a lot more fun.
How To Get Motivated Again
1. Take it Easy
Just like if you we’re totally new to the sport, it’s definitely a good idea to take it slow and steady when you’re getting back in the game after a break. Not only will this help you avoid getting injured, but mentally it will make the process less stressful and more enjoyable.
Based on my own experience, I would suggest that you avoid putting any pressure on yourself. Just take it one run at a time and when you’re ready maybe set a simple goal. For example, running three times per week for one month straight. Once you achieve that and feel like you’re in a good place, then take another step forward.
The point: if you’re just getting back into running after some time off, there’s no rush to get right back to where you left off. In fact, if you try to do that, you’ll probably end up running too much, too soon. And that usually results in injury, which is obviously and most definitely a situation we all want to avoid.
2. Join a Group
I am all about the solo run. There’s almost nothing better than disconnecting and letting your mind relax over a few miles on your own. But at the same time, there’s definitely something to be said for running with friends, and especially if you’re in need of a motivational boost.
If you can’t join a running group, find one or two nearby running buddies to serve as your own run squad.
Running with friends will help you look forward to your workouts more since it will be a time to catch up (or if they’re new friends, get to know each other better) and it will also help your workouts pass by quicker since you’ll likely be chatting the whole time instead of paying attention to how many miles you have left!
3. Treat Yourself to New Gear
It might sound silly, but a cute new workout outfit can go a long way in helping you to get that running bug back.
It’s pretty simple, and this definitely holds true for me: the more excited you are to get dressed, the more excited you’ll be to get out there and get your workout done (while showing off your new duds, of course)!
4. Write Out a Plan
I sort of mentioned this in tip #1. But I’ll go into a little bit more detail here.
While I do think it’s important to start off with no pressure and to just enjoy the simple joys of running when you’re working on getting back into the groove, I also think it’s important to have some sort of framework in place to help keep you accountable.
As I mentioned before, this can be a simple, small goal. Decide what’s right for you, write it down and commit to it. Once you reach this simpler goal, than you can think about bigger achievements ahead.
5. Try Different Workouts
Without taking on too much too soon, one of the best ways to get motivated again is to switch up your routine with different workouts to avoid getting bored.
You can try short interval workouts, Fartlek workouts, hill workouts, drills … there are so many choices and the more variation you throw in, the more fun you’ll have (at least that’s what I believe).
Just make sure you aren’t doing too many speed workouts, because your body does need time to recover from them and most of your running should be at a slow or moderate pace. I suggest 1-2 speed workouts per week, tops.
You can check out some of my favorite running workouts here.
Bonus Tip: When you’re, ready, sign up for a race!
We all know that the prospect of a race ahead is super helpful when it comes to staying motivated to work out and run. When you’re ready and feel like you’re in a good place with running again — and you feel like added pressure won’t lead you back to the sidelines — choose your next race and sign up for that baby! Then, pick a training plan and get to work!
Have you ever taken a break and felt that it was hard to find your groove when you were ready to get back in the game? Let me know in the comments below!