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8 Ways to Beat the “I Don’t Want to Run Today” Blues

We’ve all been there. It’s cold out, it’s raining, you feel tired and lazy and you just don’t want to run but you know you should. Be it because your training plans says so or maybe becaause you know you already skipped your last 2 runs and if you don’t run you know you’ll just feel worse.

Le sigh... I guess I should go for a run... I just need one more minuteLe sigh… I guess I should go for a run… I just need one more minute

So how to get yourself up and out the door? Here are my go-to methods.

1. Get Dressed!

Even if I don’t want to run right now, putting on my running gear reminds me that I need to get this outfit sweaty. It removes one barrier from getting yourself out the door so when you have a surge of “let’s go” you can get out the door before you talk yourself out of it agian.

2. Remind Yourself of Your Goals!

That marathon is still 8 weeks away, you have time, right? WRONG! Putting in the miles now is key to success on race day. When I was preparing for my first marathon, I would remind myself that logging the runs now meant not dying on the course (I menat this in both a literal and figurative sense). Remind yourself of the end goal to all this running, be it a race or just your health, goals are key!

3. Recognize It’s Just a Mental Block

You might feel tired and sore but guess what, runing might be the perfect thing to help loosen up achy muscles and clear your head. Getting out there always helps me “shake out the cobwebs” of the day. Usually it’s just a mental block but it’s good to know the signs of overtraining too!

Okay we are up and moving... getting thereOkay we are up and moving… getting there

4. Try Mixing It Up!

You know when I lose the most motivation? When I feel like I’m in a running rut. Call up a friend and see if they’ll run with you. Take some pics while you are out there. Play some Pokemon Go. Run a new route. Do something that feels different and exciting to motivate you to get out there. Getting stuck in a rut is the perfect way to lose motivation.

5. Weather Got You Down? Treat It Like the Perfect Race Prep!

Want to know a dirty little secret? You could have bad weather on race day. We all hope for the best but it happens and those raining, snowing, sleeting days are the PERFECT day to test out your gear and learn the best way to keep yourself comfortable so you can still perform your best!

6. Be Honest with Yourself

If you don’t feel like running, just getting out the door can be the victory. Even if you training plan has a certain workout planned, just play it by ear. Maybe you’ll start to feel great and you can tackle your workout with vigor. Maybe you won’t feel great so just a mind clearing easy run is all you can handle. Be kind and honest with yourself.

7. Know Your Reward

Some days take a little extra motivation so set up a really nice reward for when you finish. Maybe it’s a night relaxing and not feeling guilty. Maybe it’s finally ordering those new shorts. Maybe it’s soaking in a nice bath afterwards or enjoying a beer. Having a reward at the end will help motivate you to get started!

8. Just Give It 5 Min

I LOVE this advice. Just give it 5 min. If you don’t feel like running for 1 of a million reasons we can all come up with, just put on your clothes and start running for 5 min, or a mile, or some other distance you think is good and see how it feels. I bet you can run for 5 min even on your worst days so give it a try and see how you feel and take it from there!

You've got to be up and am 'em by now, time to tackle those miles!You’ve got to be up and am ’em by now, time to tackle those miles!

It’s up to you to get yourself out the door to complete those miles so having some tricks on those “why do I like to run?” days will help you out. The miles you log today will pay dividends for the miles in the future. Sometimes you just have to dig down and get it done.

What are your tricks to get yourself out the door? How do you motivate yourself to get going?

Leave me a comment!

18 thoughts on “8 Ways to Beat the “I Don’t Want to Run Today” Blues”

    1. I definitely do the same thing for my morning runs! If I don’t put my clothes out I end up fumbling around and wagon time. Thanks for reading!

  1. These are great tips. I didn’t feel like running today but now after reading yur post I feel like I should. Getting out there is half the battle.

  2. Definitely true on all fronts! I went through a serious running rut this past summer- I took two whole months off and probably looked a lot like that cat in your picture up there. Ha! Now I’ve joined a training group so that’s helping me keep accountable so far.

    1. Training groups and running groups are a great way to find motivation. If you know you’ll see some smiling faces it makes it easier to get out there!

  3. Love this! I’ll admit, I have lost some of my motivation this summer! I have been known to actually sleep in my running clothes the night before I’ve scheduled an early morning run…makes getting out of bed a little easier, because getting dressed really can be the hardest part! Thanks for the tips!

    1. I’ve heard people sleeping in their running clothes but I think sleeping in a sports bra would drive me crazy. Glad you found something that works for you!

  4. Great reminders. If I am not feeling it I 1) put on my running clothes, which always gives me a boost and then say 2) I will only run 20 minutes. After that I have usually found my motivation and want to go further. And if not, that is OK too, 20 minutes is better than nothing.
    I just try not to think about it too much, and it has become a habit like brushing my teeth. If I start thinking about it, then it is a really bad sign it won’t get done.

  5. Katherine these are great! I find that if I allow myself to blow off a run once, I’m more likely to repeat that behavior. So I set a rule for myself that skipping is not an option. Sometimes I’ll walk before the run or the run will be short but any run is better than none. Thanks for linking!

  6. Jennifer Lefforge (momof3boys37)

    Love this! And I’ve used all of them. Especially the get dressed and just 5 minutes rule. Because if I’m dressed, I might as well go, and the 5 minutes has only stayed 5 once and later that day I was diagnosed with bronchitis (so it was a good call;). Great post!

  7. If I’m in training, I don’t need any extra motivation. I don’t have time to waste! But if I’m not training for a race… eh… maybe later… 😉

  8. Whenever I don’t feel like I running getting dressed is half the battle. I tell myself I will just out our there for a few minutes and if I am not feeling I will turn around. And usually I never do. The only run you regret is the one you don’t take.

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