5 Tips For Running Motivation When You Just Can’t Be Arsed!
Running motivation can sometimes be hard to come by. Working a 9 to 5 job, finding time for blogging, looking after my little boy, then finding the energy and drive to go for a run or a session at the gym is hard. Throw Crohn’s disease into the mix and you’re looking for the nearest, darkest hole to crawl into. So what do we do when running motivation is lacking?
I’m always determined to get out for a run after work. I spend the drive home convincing or rather arguing with myself that it’s definitely going to happen. Only to slump down onto the sofa exhausted as soon as I get home.
Personally, I find this one of the more difficult aspects of having Crohn’s disease. The one symptom I struggle with more than any other, and coincidentally the one the people least understand.
And I don’t blame them for that. Let’s face it how the hell do you convince somebody that you’re beyond tired. Something that no amount of sleep will ever cure. That’s right it’s medical I’m not just a lazy sod.
It’s not easy right, and if the shoe was on the other foot I probably wouldn’t understand either. It’s something you need to suffer through to really understand the nuances of it.
So for me to get out running or to the gym, takes a hell of a lot of motivation. So, with that in mind. Here are my top 5 tips that I find help in dragging my tired backside out for some exercise. They work for me so hopefully, they’ll help you too.
Tip 1 – Create a plan and stick to it (Or try to the best you can)
Creating a running and gym plan really does help me find some much needed focus when I’m that certain kind of tired. Check out the post here for a more in-depth guide on how I created my own running plan and how you can create your own.
The main gist of developing a plan is to give your training some structure. Create a plan that works for you. One that fits around your week. Is manageable when you’re feeling like you just want to crash on the sofa and watch Netflix.
I also like my plan to be as fluid as possible, with a disease like Crohn’s the unexpected can always happen (and usually does). If I need to change up my plan for the week, or even the month, then it’s easy to do so.
Having a plan also helps you to track your progress over time, which is great for running motivation. Seeing how far you’ve come can really spur you on and try reach that next level.
Have some fun with your plan too. After all, we are creating something that should be enjoyable as well as challenge us. This ain’t a punishment schedule after all. Above everything challenge yourself, but plan what works for you. Nobody knows their body better and what it’s capable of.
Tip 2 – Choose your time of day wisely
When are your energy levels at their highest? Getting through a day with Crohn’s can be difficult. Somedays you might feel there isn’t a time when tiredness subsides just enough to enjoy a run. Have no fear, we all have these days (sometimes more than we care to admit).
What you need to find out about yourself is what time of the day do you feel best able to do cope with some exercise? Can you fit a run in around these times?
It’s hard, but it’s often the best way to go about getting in a good ol’ run. For instance, for me, my best times are in the morning. Before the day has contributed to grind me down.
Now, this can also have its drawbacks. Weekday mornings are near impossible for me to get out and run. I have too much going on thanks to work (neverending bills need paying, unfortunately). So I have to try and get some running in once I’m finished, when I’m at my most tired and it ain’t easy. But, on a weekend that’s when I really let loose and try to get some decent miles in.
Tip 3 – Don’t overthink it, running motivation will come
In fact, don’t think about it at all! I spend my working day and journey home fighting a battle with myself over whether I have the energy to get out for a run. Usually with negative consequences. When the dark side inevitably wins, I spend the rest of my night in a huff with myself for giving into the tiredness. Disappointed that I never went running.
I’ve found that if I put it completely out of my mind until the time I get home then I have a greater success rate of actually getting a bit of running motivation. Then If I don’t get out running I’m a little easier on myself because I haven’t spent my day battling those will I won’t I demons.
Tip 4 – Pick a soundtrack that turns your running motivation up to 11
My taste in music is quite varied. But whatever your taste we all like a particular beat to exercise to. Be it rock, hip-hop, or good old thrash metal like granny used to make. We all have our own individual taste in music and what gets us feeling good.
Music is such a great motivator and can generate a wide range of emotions. Stirring us to great deeds and herculean feats. Relaxing and unwinding us when we’re feeling stressed. Moving us to tears with a single verse. It has this amazing ability to manipulate and change our moods. Use this to your advantage.
My particular favourite running jam (at the moment) is a playlist made up from 90’s hip-hop. With a few older and modern rap gems in there too. 2pac “Only God can judge me” or Ice Cube “It was a good day” give me the right kind of motivation to try and hit those miles.
Pick your songs. Stick them on a dedicated running playlist. Turn that bad boy up and pull on them running shoes.
Tip 5 – Set yourself an overall goal
A big kick in getting you motivated to run is to have something you’re working towards. For example, one of my goals recently (which my training plan was set up for) was to run the Great North Run. Knowing that I need to reach a certain level with my training to complete the course in a certain number of hours instead of weeks gives me an extra little push. Goals don’t need to be big and grandiose though. The more realistic and attainable they are, the more chance you have of working towards them.
Your goals could be anything from running a marathon or half marathon. Running a certain number of miles. Completing a 10k event. Finishing a certain route in a certain time. Improving your distance or time by X amount, or any other goal you want to set yourself. Just make sure that the goal you set is attainable and realistic for YOU.
Bonus Tip – There’s no fire, give yourself time
I used to feel I had to get out running or to the gym as soon as I was home from work. Often this is when I was feeling the days strain. No way did I have any running motivation.
A full day in the office, plus travelling, plus personal work, a little boy that needs looking after, household tasks that need doing. All these things, on top of the Crohn’s disease, serve to make me want to crawl into a corner with a blanket and hope people forget about me.
Going out running was the furthest thing from my mind. And you know what I realised, that it’s okay, these things take time, and one of the things we need to teach ourselves is to learn to accept that they WILL take time and be okay with that.
Bonus Tip no. 2 – Learn to accept the things you can’t change
There isn’t a foolproof way of beating the fatigue we regularly get with Crohn’s disease. You just have to learn to accept that you can’t win every time.
Sometimes the fatigue we feel is just unbeatable, and learning to accept that is part of the journey. Living a new fulfilling life with Crohn’s or IBD takes time and a lot of understanding.
Acceptance of this disease, learning to manage it and work with it is an enormous part of getting the best out of life.
These are just a few tips that help give me that extra spark of running motivation when I’m feeling at a low point. I’d love to hear if any of these tips help or if there’s anything specific that works for you, so please comment below.