I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t Motivation Monday posts supposed to be positive? Hear me out.
Several years ago I had just completed my second Chicago Marathon. I PR’d by a few minutes but I really overall would consider it a lackluster run. I was burnt out. I was done.
I came back from Chicago and while letting my body rest from the race, I did a lot of thinking. I remember texting my husband from work saying, “I think I am going to leave the marathon running to you from now on.” I’d had enough at the time and the fun had been taken away.
Of course, you’ve all heard the story before – I took 3 months off and focused on strength training with occasional cardio here and there. It was nice for a change of focus and pace, but eventually the itch to run came back.
I started running little bits, and I remember the turning point very vividly. I went out for a run one Sunday and ended up doing a total of 10 miles. I didn’t go out with the plan to run 10 miles, but I knew I wanted to run a “longer” run and so I just went with it.
I went slow, I didn’t even know what my body would be capable of, but I remember feeling rejuvenated.
I’d been so focused on training for a race for so long I forgot what it was to run for the pure enjoyment of running. I forgot what it was to just go run and not “have to get in a 6 mile run after work.” My mind had completely stopped looking at running as fun and had turned it into a job.
Running should never feel like a job.
I’m not saying that every day when you go out your run is going to feel amazing. Your still going to have the days where it takes an extra push to get out the door. I’m talking about when you are forcing yourself to run because you feel like you have to.
I lost the passion, the drive and the enjoyment of running. My body needed a break and I actually listened to it.
As I began getting back into running I always remembered this time. I made sure to never make running a chore but rather a privilege. If I was training for a race or not – it had to be something that I truly wanted to do.
So now to the point, what do you do when running isn’t fun anymore?
Try Something New
Get out there and try something you have never done before. It doesn’t matter what it is. We all will eventually find that thing that really “clicks.” For me, running clicked (even when I got burnt out), but for others sometimes running just isn’t their thing and that’s okay.
Try to Remember WHY You Run
We all start running for a reason. Whether it is just to try something new, lose weight, be competitive, because everyone else is doing it or just because we were bored.
The start is not the problem, the problem comes from our reason we continue running.
The reasons I continue running?
- The feeling I get when I am running
- The joy that no other form of exercise has ever been able to bring me
- To accomplish my goals and dreams
The bottom line is I knew that deep down the reason I run is for the joy of it. The racing, speed, and goals are all secondary to the pure joy that running brings me.
What if your reasons for running are:
- Because everyone else is doing it
- I don’t know what else to do
You can run even if you don’t love it, but to make it such a big part of your life is just going to eventually make you miserable. You should instead focus on finding something you love that you look forward to even on the hard days.
Remember, you run for YOU
One question I used to always debate with myself was: was I running for ME or to do something that I can relate to my husband about?
After the 2012 Chicago Marathon I really thought the reason I was running was to do something with him. After taking the time away for 3 months I realized I was wrong. Sure, I love being able to relate to him on some level (though I’ll never fully relate in the same way) but I realized that I truly loved running for ME. I loved what it made me, the confidence I got from it and the joy that it brought me day in and day out.
Ask yourself, who are you running for?
There is probably someone in your life or a circumstance in your life that triggered you to begin to run. At the end of the day make sure you are running for you and no one else.
Do what you love. Regardless of what that is.
Running can be a beautiful thing, but that doesn’t mean it is for everyone. I found out that it was for me and it at the end of the day I would always come back to it.
For some, their thing is Cross Fit, walking, hiking, weight lifting or any of the other many options out there. The best thing you can do for YOU is to find what makes you happy and go do it! If it’s good for you, good for your body and good for your health – that’s all that matters!
Have you ever come to a point where you got burnt out from running?
What is another form of fitness you love?