What I do when I lose my running mojo
One of the reasons I enjoy your newsletter so much is conversations like this one. I experience *so* many ups and downs with my running motivation, but I don’t often see that experience reflected in mass running media.
It’s so refreshing to read something I can see myself in, rather than the typical “go out and crush it!!!” narrative. Agreed with Clark that I’d love to see you write a book!
I run 3 miles 3 days a week. And on Saturday I do like a 5 mile. And then Sunday is my long run 8 miles.. This is all the time I have because of all the crazy jobs I have. I normally walk with both chops about four miles a day. No matter what you do Long as you go out there every day Or period of the day. It makes you feel good. It's a great way to relax and distress.
Terrell, your take on all things running is refreshing. You speak to “Everyman” and “Everywomen” in a voice with which they can resonate. Perhaps there is room for yet one more running book authored by you?
My goodness, this is the second newsletter inn a row that seems to be speaking straight to me and my current situation!
After a lot of thoughtful consideration, I'm relocating 500 miles away with a four-year-old in tow (husband's relocation time table TBD) to start a job in a community I really want to be in, and that long term will allow me to balance work and family. (Short term it's going to be a circus of starting a new job, single parenting, and temporary housing!)
It's also 500 miles further away from the Marine Corps Marathon I signed up to run! And with so much to do and I've been putting running on the back burner. I looked at the weather forecast to day (95F) and decided it was more important to organize my son's stuff for the move that run 10 miles. My motivation has fundamentally changed.
Like Andrew, I'm just recalibrating my plans. I'm going to try to do the last 8 weeks of a lower mileage "beginner" plan three days a week, and if the next few weeks don't go well cut my losses and give up the marathon. Priorities change! If I do run the marathon, it will be "to finish" with no time in mind ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I guess I am considered an “older” runner (65yo) and that I have a hard time accepting! I’ve got in my head they if I don’t maintain 6mph, or better, that I am only a “jogger”. I’ve got to let that go and just enjoy being outside and doing what I love, running (or jogging as it may be). Having a race in the future is definitely a motivator for me. I’ve got the Eugene Or. 1/2 marathon coming up next spring, which will be awesome. Need some shorter races until then. Thanks for the great subject Terrell!
I started running in high school, stopped for a couple years and started again to run a marathon with a friend. Stopped again, gained too much weight and started again and decieded never to quit again. A lung infection put me down for six months. Hell, I was happy to breathe without coughing my lungs out. Now at 75% I've started again, Why? Because anyone who has run a race of any distance knows the feeling when you cross the finish line. The uforia of actually finishing no matter the time. I can still remember finishing my first marathon with little or no training. A little old lady passed me when I could finally see the finish line. I vowed that would never happen again. So I train and give it my all each time I compete....not for any medal but to see how far my body has come and at 73, it's come a long ways...
Agreed. Great post. I do the same thing. Just 2 or 3 miles. A couple other things that have worked for me:
A) I've found that creating a short new playlist or bookmarking a TED talk or sermon or audiobook to listen to helps my motivation.
B) This is stupid and vain, but I go into the run knowing that I'll switch my Strava setting to "viewable only by me" so that I won't think about pace or distance or location.
What I've experienced being around runners for about 2 decades now is that those who push through and force themselves are miserable and make everyone around them relatively miserable as well. Then they often end up injured, which compounds everyone's misery!
When my mojo wanes, I review all the basics - how is my sleep, my diet, my training plan? Are there external factors like weather or stress which may be compounding my malaise? Is there any low hanging fruit I can address to increase my motivation and performance? This is what I go to first. I control what I can and mitigate what I cannot (running before sunrise with an ice block in a fanny pack during hot summer days). Often I allow myself to miss a run or two because I've found this doesn't make or break the training, but pushing through can.
I've overtrained myself into a long-term break from running and the only symptom I had was lack of enjoyment and motivation. No weight loss, lowered immune system, cycle disruption, or injuries. Running was just a chore. And then one day i couldn't summon myself out of bed and that was the end of it for 3 months. I laid in bed and did nothing that wasn't essential for 3 months. I did not feel like running again for nearly 3 years. This happened the year I did Boston and 2 half marathons in 4 months while teaching spin classes 4 hours a week. I won't make this mistake again!
I know where you are and my way I would not recommend. I have have walked away for years at a time. This time I am fortunate in that we had a discussion about this month’s ago and completion times and the forever upward no longer matter. The joy and the peace does. And when that happens the body performs
I am a day late but decided to chime in.....I can relate to so many of the comments on motivation! I’m going to be 58 in December and I am pondering my running in the future every dang time I Go out for a run! I definitely put in more walk breaks and it’s hard because I want to maintain that steady pace as my ego gets in the way. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not in my 20s anymore(haven’t been for a long time). I’ve been trying to add in a trail run every couple of weeks and that really is a reality check on speed! It is not possible to maintain the same pace as I would on the road so I just spend more focus looking around me and enjoying the view. I honestly don’t know if there is another race in my future but either way, I want to keep moving forward albeit at a turtle pace!
This is what I needed, I lost my motivation when I got rear-ended by a car last October. I had been training for a half marathon I was so excited when that happened. I had horrible neck, shoulder, and back pain. I couldn't run for months. It's almost a year later and I just couldn't find the motivation until now. I wanted to be the runner I was before, but really what I need is to love running again with my mind-body, and spirit. Thank you!
And I wish I could be in the half that everyone on this thread is training for but I’m doing Chicago marathon with grandsons and then New York!
My husband is my motivator! This summer has been the worst to train for any race. But I’ll come in and he’ll say you got this. He even tells friends that I could do a marathon tomorrow! This make me think ...yes I can do this!!
Outstanding topic and the personal responses are incredibly powerful and beneficial. Each one comes at me in a different angle but every response hits home. Like “yeah, that’s me”. My style has been to put my head down and just run harder, faster. And I have learned, as well, that the bottom line is the inner peace running gives me. I love the completion of the race and the feeling of being around so many others experiencing and hurting in a similar way as me. The runner’s spirit is very infectious in such a wonderful way.
I appreciate your genuine approach to the topic of running Terrell; it helps me to stay grounded in the sport! If anyone follows Molly Seidel on Strava, you’ll notice that she keeps it real too although she is an elite runner.; I appreciate her candid comments on Strava! Every runner experiences ups/downs during their running journey! Thank you Terrell for keeping it real, I appreciate it so much! Yes, you should really consider doing the book!!! For me, I simply take a break on a day that I don’t necessarily feel motivated and start fresh the next day. I’ve noticed that the lack of motivation hits me about every 4 weeks and coincidentally during month end close (a stressful time for finance folks). I’m not sure how some runners stay motivated for so long and endure the stress of balancing life and work, but they do it - God Bless them! Once I take a break for a day or two, then my desire to lace up and hit the road is much stronger. I have to remind myself that taking a break is ok and then I can start over again.