Getting back into running . . .


. . . when you’re not feeling it

I didn’t really take time off running during the last week of my Dad’s life or the following week. I did run less the following week, for obvious reasons. With no big goal races on the horizon, it would have been so easy to just skip running.

There were plenty of excuses:

  • It was too cold
  • It’s too hilly at my mom’s
  • It was too rainy
  • I was tired
  • I’m not training for anything

Fairytales and Fitness

 I wanted to share with you why I keep running, even when I’m just not motivated.

Starting over is Painful
That last one: I’m not training for anything. So why the heck should I run when I wasn’t terribly motivated?

I’ll tell you why: it’s not easy to start over. It’s a lot easier to keep on running than start over after a hiatus. Maybe that means running less than you planned. Maybe that means all easy runs. Just keep moving forward.

Movement makes you feel better
It’s pretty rare to regret getting out there and getting it done. The hard part is getting out there.

Movement gives you energy
Not always, I will admit, but most of the time you feel better once you’ve moved your body. If you’re not into fitness, this seems completely off the wall, but just try it some day. Are you really tired, or are you tired because you’re not moving? Noticing what does and doesn’t give you energy is half the battle!

The 10 minute rule
This works for pretty much everything in life you don’t want to do: cleaning, decluttering, cooking — and yes, running when you really don’t want to run.

Tell yourself you only have to run for 10 minutes. Usually what happens is that you want to keep moving after your 10 minutes are up (because of points 1, 2, & 3) — but if you don’t, that’s okay. You’ve actually gotten in just a smidge of running. The whole point is that you can quit after 10 minutes if you want to — that makes it easier to start, because you can do anything for 10 minutes, right?

Sometimes those 10 minutes can help you get back into your running routine. If it doesn’t you’re still helping your body stay used to running. Someday I guarantee you’re going to want to run longer.

Sometimes you feel closer to a loved one . . . 
. . . when you’re out there doing something hard. I know there’s been times after I’ve lost a beloved furkid when I can actually feel them running with me, even though they’re gone.

I think that it’s actually that time alone, when all you have is the road and your thoughts, that is healing. If you’re struggling through grief, I suggest ditching the headphones. Be alone with the road and your thoughts and just feel your feelings.

Final Thoughts

There is no way around hard things. You need to go through them. The way forward is really the way through. When you bury your feelings, you’re dooming yourself to struggle for a much longer time. Get out there, feel your feelings, and let nature help you heal. — Chocolaterunsjudy

How do you keep motivated to move?

What happens when you hit a roadblock in your training?

What other tips to you have to get back into running when you’re not feeling it?

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22 thoughts on “Getting back into running . . .

  1. I love that 10 minute rule! It’s true, you can do anything for 10 minutes.
    I usually remind myself of how I’m going to feel after my run. I’ll feel energised and great. If I won’t run, I’ll feel sluggish and lazy. That usually gets me out the door! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Biggest motivator is call a friend. If someone is waiting, you’ll show up.

    No fun to run alone especially when you’re not motivated.

    Sign up for a race. That’ll get you out for a run or two.

    My problem is usually the opposite. I want to run but I’m busy or it’s raining or I’m injured.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Same.
        But you have a bigger window of time… so you are lucky to be able to procrastinate.

        Coming to run with the group tomorrow?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. supposed to go down to 8 degrees Sat night… besides I’d rather have company on my runs. I know you prefer to run alone which is fine. We’ll catch up at some point! Spring LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t prefer to run alone. But I also don’t want to run in the 20s with 13 mph winds. I don’t have to get out first thing in the morning on Sunday. I do wish I’d done my long run on Wednesday, but I didn’t so oh well.


  3. Bingo!!! A new mantra I thought of recently is “Movement is Medicine” and it’s something I believe (in a figurative sense,obviously). When I was sidelined after my surgery, I was worried about losing all that marathon endurance I’d worked for…and daily walking helped me maintain a huge chunk of that. When I returned to running (almost three months later), it didn’t take long for my “running stamina” to return. That’s how I make the running streaks work for me…I tell myself “just one mile a day.” For me, a 1-mile run can be done in 10 minutes (give or take), so it’s a great minimal benchmark.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are all so true! It would definitely be tougher to start over from zero. And I’m with you on the ten minute thing. I always try to remind myself that something is better than nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I adhere to the 10 minute rule because normally the first mile of my runs pretty much suck. I know that if I give him to that feeling I will cut my run short. I always feel better after knocking out the first mile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny, I never really know how I’l feel til I get out there. Sometimes the first mile is great (and sometimes it most definitely is not, especially in Winter when it takes warmer to warm up!).


  6. Judy, I love your final thoughts. Amen, sister! We need to feel our feelings, even if we don’t like them. Suppressing them is never good. Movement is good for our physical and mental state and it is SO hard to start all over again. Are you thinking about signing up for a race or two to keep motivated?

    Liked by 1 person

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