I don’t feel like going for a run

Sproat Lake, Port Alberni, hiking trails, and running trails, Vancouver Island

I don’t feel like going for a run. Well that often happens. Even though in the “bigger picture” you know you want to exercise, sometimes at the actual moment you just don’t actually have the motivation to make yourself get out there and do it.

This just happened to me. (And it was not the first time!).

You plan to go for a run, you know you should go for a run… but you just don’t feel like doing it.

In my case, I had been feeling a bit under the weather for a couple of days. (And I don’t know why! With all of this COVID stuff, I have still been very isolated from people, so it wasn’t any sort of bug I coud have caught).

I don’t know what it was. But I’d had a few slow days, and it was hard to make myself get moving again.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

If you have had a few days (or weeks, or months!) off – it can be hard to pick up the routine of being active again.

But I’ve been through this before, and I know what to do. Here are my three exercise tips for motivating yourself to get running again:

Set yourself a bigger goal. If your goal is just “I’m going to go for a run this afternoon” – well, it’s easy to just make an excuse and say, oh, today’s not my day, I’ll just go tomorrow. (Which may or may not happen). That, really, is why I have set myself this goal of running the 47 km Juan de Fuca Trail in a day.

NOT because running the trail is my actual goal! Rather, because having that goal motivates me to get out and train, even on the days when I feel like wimping out and not doing it. It makes me maintain the lifestyle, and live according to my values.

Drink a big glass of water. Many of us – and especially women – tend to run slightly dehydrated. So if I am not feeling very motivated, I drink a glass (or two) of water and give it about half an hour. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

So I drank my big glass of water, and then decided that yes, I can at least do a slow jog-walk of the loop trail above the house – which might take me 20-25 minutes. Not long enough to build any strength or endurance – but at least maintaining.

Go easy on yourself. (But not too easy!) So yes, I decided to at least do a slow jog-walk of that loop.

I wasn’t feeling into it. But there is no point in me being hard on myself and thinking I still need to go for a fast one-hour hill run.

It still needs to be fun – and if I am not having fun, I sure as heck am not going to stay motivated. So fine, I will just do that 20 or 25 minute jog-walk, who cares about pace or going long.

Don’t be hard on yourself – just doing something is better than doing nothing.

And guess what.

Just like it always does… once you get going, it’s not so bad.

In fact, it often gets better!

This little loop goes up a big hill, so it’s uphill for the first half, and then downhill for the rest. And by the time I made it back down, I felt like going again! And even better… first time around I hiked most of the uphill, and second time I actually ran it!

So even when you feel unmotivated, it’s just worth it to push and go do it anyway. Nearly every time, you will feel better for it.

Have a bigger goal in mind, to keep your motivation up (and focused on the big picture). Drink a big glass of water and give it time to settle in. And go easy on yourself (but not too easy!).

My Keep it Moving solo expedition run is set to take place in – um, maybe early August – and the short film will be released towards the end of 2021. Find out more by exploring this site, or by signing up for updates here – I will never spam you or share your info!

Published by Jacqueline Windh

I'm a writer, photographer, and radio broadcaster who is concerned about our planet and how we live our lives - hoping my work helps people to find new ways of thinking about issues such as personal health, wilderness, the environment, food security, thinking about the future. These things are all connected, you know...

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