One of the most common suggestions/requests for content that I receive from you guys involve tips to rediscover the passion for running.
As much as I love running, there are times that running can become boring.
Or any number of other adjectives that could be used to describe an ebb in passion for an activity that is near and dear to my heart.
The fact of the matter is that we all go through cycles where running goes from awesome to burdensome and back.
And while that may be perfectly normal, and it is you know, there are some strategies that you can employ that will help you to rediscover the passion for running once you realize that you’ve lost it.
5 Ideas to Help You Rediscover the Passion for Running
- Variety is the Spice of Life: If your motivation for running is waning, one way to rediscover the passion is to introduce a little variety back into your running life. If you’re more of a distance runner, you could do this by adding a couple of local 5ks to your calendar and then mixing up your training for several weeks to focus more on improving your speed. Or you could go big here, and sign up for an obstacle course race like a Spartan or a Tough Mudder. (For some tips on finding the right obstacle race for you, check out my interview with Jay Bode who’s a big OCR fanatic.)
- Adopt a Cause: One thing that always helps keep me motivated (in any area of life) is when I’m doing something for a reason much bigger than myself. If running is starting to wear on you a little bit, try signing up for a race and running to support a cause. Pick a cause that is near and dear to your heart, and you’ll not only rediscover the passion for running for yourself but you’ll be making a difference for others as well. (And if you don’t want to do it as part of an official race, get the Charity Miles app and make a difference every day.)
- Help Out a New Runner: Remember when you first started running, and you didn’t know anything? You made all of the new runner mistakes (which we all have made, btw), you didn’t know any of the jargon, and had to learn everything the hard way? I can pretty much guarantee that someone in your town/area is thinking about getting started as a runner and doesn’t have a clue what he or she should do. Help them. Make a new friend, or see a new side of an old buddy, and be their “coach” as they dip their toes in the running water. Sure, the pace is going to be slow, but as they begin to find a joy for running with your help there’s a good chance you’ll be energized as well.
- Mentor Others: This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. In this case, recognize that there are probably some other runners in your area that are slower than you. If you’re dealing with a case of the running “blahs”, try slowing your pace and running/mentoring others that are slower than you. Maybe you’ll help them get faster (or maybe not, if that’s not one of their goals), but making new friends is a great way to rediscover the passion for running after things have gotten a bit stale.
- Take a Break: You know what? Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. If running isn’t doing it for you at the moment, give yourself permission to take a break. Walking away from our sport for a few weeks or months (or even years!) doesn’t mean that you’re walking away from running forever. In my experience, taking a few weeks off from training is a great way to rediscover the passion for running because I realized I was almost taking running for granted. As soon as I stopped running, I started missing it. All of a sudden getting up early to run was enjoyable again, and so was running.
This Too Shall Pass
If you find your motivation to run has diminished, take a breath.
It’s a normal thing.
Give yourself permission to skip a run or two, and see if that helps.
And if it doesn’t, try one (or more) of these tips that can definitely help you rediscover the passion for running that you’ve had in the past, and almost assuredly will have again in the future as well.