Three things to help make you run again

If you have had a break from running it can be hard to get the motivation to get out there again, even though we know we will enjoy it when we do.

Sometimes we worry about not being as good as we were, or as fast as we were. Sometimes it’s the fear of being a beginner again. Sometimes we um and ah and procrastinate until it’s too dark or too late in the day.

There are lots of reasons why motivation can be hard to find, but here are three things that might just help you to get out there.

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Time not distance

If you have had a break from running or haven’t been running as often as you’d like, then you may find yourself running a little be a bit slower than before. And if you’ve not been able to run as far as you’d like then going back to your usual distance could feel a bit hard.

Slower or harder runs can be a bit disappointing and disheartening. Which is why I recommend starting back by running by time and not distance.

Running by time will mean you know exactly how long you should be running for and won’t have the pressure of maintaining a certain pace or hitting a certain distance.

Start off with a 30 minute run. Keep it easy and conversational (even if that conversation is only with yourself!), don’t look at your watch, and just enjoy being outside.

Increase the time bit by bit until you feel comfortable running again, then you can start measuring by distance.

Set yourself a challenge

Many runners find motivation from having a race booked, it gives a real focus to training.

But with so many races cancelled and uncertainty about whether races will happen later this year many of us will find our motivation to run disappear. I know my race calendar this year looks a bit different from what I was expecting!

And that’s where virtual races and challenges come in!

If you train better knowing you have an event then sign up for a challenge.

This could be signing up for an organised virtual race or by creating a challenge for your friends.

There are so many to virtual races choose from – ranging from running a 5k to running a marathon distance over a month. Some virtual races are free, but for most you pay a fee like a normal race and get a medal for it.

Many charities are now turning to virtual races as a way to raise vital funds. For extra motivation you can sign up for a fundraising race for a charity you support.

For a free and social option you could challenge your friends by setting a goal and doing it ‘virtually’ together. A relay race is a fun way of doing this. Set a distance and divide it between your friends. For example, divide a marathon distance into seven 5k legs and one 7k leg. Or challenge each other to run or walk a mile a day for a week.

New or rediscovered kit

Who doesn’t like new kit? A new t-shirt or leggings can really encourage us to get out there!

Even something as simple as a new, colourful pair of laces on our trainers can brighten things up and give us a bit of pep in our step.

But many of us already have something of a collection, and probably have a shirt (or two) languishing at the back of our wardrobe. It might be a race shirt you’ve not worn before or an old favourite that you’ve forgotten about.

So, how about looking at the clothes you already have and wearing something ‘new’? Good for the environment and good for your pocket!


What helps you get back in the habit when you lose your motivation? Let me know in the comments below.

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