Even the most committed of runners can find their motivation slipping from time to time. If your mojo’s gone AWOL, try these motivation-boosting tips from run coaches, NURVV users and athletes.
The coach’s tip
1. Keep a training log
There are plenty of reasons we might lose our running mojo but burnout, overtraining, and not challenging ourselves enough, are all up there.
Keeping a training log – whether that’s on your NURVV Run app or with good old-fashioned pen and paper – can help you spot any motivation-sappers, such as not getting enough rest or not training consistently enough to see progress.
‘Tracking your achievements will help you see where you’ve been and where you’re going, and motivate you to keep running,’ says NURVV Run’s US-based coach Jerry Faulkner. ‘That’s the great thing about running, it takes you places.’
2. Try something new
If you always run the same distance at the same pace, things can soon feel stale. Shake up your training by adding speed work, hill reps or intervals to the mix. Not only will it keep things mentally interesting, it’ll work different muscles and boost your performance, too.
Try beating your previous time over a favourite route using NURVV’s live in-run coaching. Hit the Pace Coach workout in the app, set the time you want to achieve and coaching cues and tips will guide you to your chosen pace.
The elite athlete’s tip
3. Run with others
Whether you run with a friend or a running group or club (if restrictions allow), running with others can make training more fun. You’ll encourage each other, offer advice, discover new routes … and the miles seem to go much quicker when you’re with others.
‘Finding a training partner holds you accountable for meeting at a specific time and not putting your run off,’ says British 800m runner Adelle Tracey. ‘I also find it makes training more enjoyable.’
4. Focus on a goal
If you have a vague goal, such as ‘get faster’, it can be overwhelming thinking about how you’re going to get there and sap your motivation if you don’t feel you’re making progress. Make your goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable relevant and time-based)
Breaking your goal into bite-sized chunks makes the end goal seem much more achievable, and you have lots of smaller milestones to work towards to motivate you along the way.
5. Go explore
Bored of the same old routes? You don’t have to stick to what’s on your doorstep. Discovering new places and scenery is one of the joys of running.
List some places you’ve always wanted to visit, jump on a train or in the car, and run there. Take a trip to the coast, a local forest, or beauty spot. If you don’t want to go too far afield, run commute to work, jog to a cafe for coffee or try your usual route the opposite way round.
6. Forget about pace
If you’re too focused on how your stats look on Strava or put pressure on yourself to achieve a certain pace each time you run, it can suck some of the joy out of training. Feeling disheartened by your speed and comparing yourself to others can do some serious mojo damage.
Take the pressure off by focusing on a non-time-related goal for a while, such as increasing your cadence or improving your NURVV Running Health Score. And remember, even if a run isn’t on Strava, it DID happen!
7. Cross train
If you’ve just come out of a big block of training or completed a race, it can be hard to find the motivation to go for a run. So don’t.
Sometimes we just need a break – mentally and physically – or we risk burning out. This doesn’t mean you have to lose that hard-earned fitness though. Cross train – hit the gym, play football, swim, cycle, dance, practise yoga, strength train – then when you’re ready, come back to running with new enthusiasm.
The NURVV user’s tip
8. Get social
Watching a movie about running, catching the athletics on TV, reading a running book or listening to a podcast can all give you the boost you need to lace up and get out of the door. Following other runners on social media can help, too.
‘I follow athletes, running coaches and other runners who I find inspiring on Instagram,’ says NURVV user Sarah Wells.
’If I’m struggling for motivation, I scroll through their posts and Stories. Seeing where they’ve run, picking up training tips and advice, or even seeing someone else saying they’re feeling the same way, inspires me to get out there and get my run done.’