Here are five questions to ask yourself to rekindle your fire!
I’m dedicating this post to someone who recently contacted me about this – however, I frequently speak to people with this issue.
They rarely run anymore because what they once loved now feels like a chore.
Perhaps you have the same feeling, but it’s toward another type of exercise, a job… or even a relationship!
So, instead of more sulking about it, bring back your fire by asking yourself:
What did I originally love about it?
Think back to when you loved to run. What got you to lace up your shoes and get out there?
Perhaps it was the feeling of being outdoors in nature, but recently you’ve been rushed and have just been putting in treadmill miles.
Or maybe the endorphins (feel-good chemicals) flowed through your body and left you feeling exhilarated, but recently you’ve been stressed, so push through your run to “get it over with.”
Maybe it was the freedom; however, when you run, instead of letting things go, you stare at your sports watch with demanding expectations each time.
Picture yourself back when you used to run and loved it. What elements were different that you can recapture now?
What caused me to stop enjoying it?
Feelings of irritation or avoidance can happen if we push ourselves hard for a goal, sacrifice, and end up with results that are less than stellar in our eyes.
Perhaps it was a race goal that didn’t pan out as expected or even a wrong string of workouts.
This can leave us feeling dejected and not wanting to participate or even think about that activity anymore.
Can you reframe the result from negative to positive if this is the case?
If you didn’t get the race time you wanted, what other good things came from the training you had put in?
Maybe you lost a few pounds or got into great shape. Perhaps you worked harder than you ever thought you could.
What did you learn about yourself in the process?
And if it was a bad race – sometimes we overgeneralize the situation. Just because one race at one time wasn’t ideal doesn’t mean that all future races will be the same.
You’ve gone through it – you’re wiser now. You’ve learned what works for you – and what doesn’t.
Now you can focus on improving your training, schedule, and strategies next time.
If you’re going through a bad set of workouts, maybe you can look at something that has been affecting you, such as poor sleep or compromised nutrition, that you can correct for the future.
Again, learning from it, rather than staying down for the count. Pulling out the positives can help motivate you to move toward new goals and heights rather than dwelling on perceived disappointments.
Am I overwhelming myself with expectations?
Sometimes we set our goals so high that it feels overwhelming.
We think it will take hours and hours, we must hit specific paces all the time, and if we don’t do that 100%, then we’ve failed. It becomes demotivating to even think about.
I’m all for setting high goals. However, it’s best to be realistic and put them to a level that you can achieve or is just above what you think you can achieve.
Maybe your first goal is to go for a run without focusing on time or distance but for the sole purpose of enjoying it.
With small wins, you can be confident to move on to bigger things.
Is my life in balance?
Burnout can often occur when we do one activity to the exclusion of other things we enjoy.
Even things we love to do need credit. If running feels like a burden, it’s OK to stop for a while.
Even elite athletes are known to take up to a month off in their off-season or after a tough race. Studies have shown that up to ten days off workouts affect fitness very little.
There are also health and mental benefits to cross-training or trying another type of workout. You may even find one you enjoy enough to incorporate from time to time regularly.
And, even activities need balance. Remember to integrate recovery into the mix of hard workouts.
This helps you become stronger both physically AND mentally.
Also, what else is going on in your life?
Are you highly burdened at work, or is a relationship or other issue taking its toll?
Do you allow someone else’s negative opinions about your running to influence your feelings?
Sometimes other issues can lead to an overall loss of motivation, so work on balancing things in your life.
Have I been doing the same ol’ a bit too long?
Perhaps you go out and run the same route at the same time every day.
Or, your pace and distance are always the same.
If so, spice it up!
- Add interval training – if even on the same route, alternate fast/slow running.
- If the route is convenient, try running it in the other direction or changing up a block here or there.
- Add cross-training, such as push-ups or squats, after every few blocks.
- Go trail running if you just run on roads.
- If you run alone, try running with other people or volunteering to run with a shelter dog.
- If you always run from home, try a different route. Driving a few miles away and starting from a new location can open up many new options.
- Run at a different time of day.
- Sign up for a race… or if you feel all you do is compete, don’t, and just run without your Garmin for a while, enjoying being mindful of the moment.
Overall, don’t be afraid to change things up for a while. And make sure to permit yourself to do so.
Feel good about what you are trying versus feeling guilty because “I should be…”
Do what you need to do to stay healthy AND feel good!
I work with people daily to develop strategies to improve health and wellness – check out your options for private coaching, change it up with a new training program – contact me to discuss your options!
Until then, keep Running with Life! – Coach Amie.