We can all be motivated runners; waking up early every day, eating clean, foam rolling and stretching whenever we get the chance… That’s how we get fit, run personal bests and lose weight. But what do you do when you wake up and you just don’t want to run that day? You want to go back to sleep, wake up at noon and watch Netflix all day with a packet of custard creams and a hot chocolate. A lot of people’s response: they’ll do just that.
You could be the Olympic Marathon Champion and still have days like these, where the last thing you want to do is run. It isn’t a weakness, a weakness would be a trait that you possess that the majority do not, wanting a lazy day is just your humanity checking in to make sure you know that running countless miles a day is not exactly normal. A day like this is fine from time to time, that’s one of the reasons why we have rest days – not only to let our bodies recover, but to let us mentally reset after a tough block of training. It’s human nature: put your body under stress every day, eventually you don’t want to anymore, regardless of the goal.
So now we have cleared that the will to run will not be there everyday, there are a few things you can do to not let these days affect your training. Firstly, take full advantage of your rest days! Lie on the sofa all day with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, watching awful daytime TV with your family and friends. Do all of the lazy acts you want to commit during the week whilst training, this way you will relieve your mind and body of the stress that comes along with training commitment. When you go through a decent block of training, you find yourself counting down the days until your designated rest day, so it seems silly not to take full advantage of that day when it comes around, right?
If your a couple days away from your rest day, yet you wake up feeling unmotivated and lazy, another top trick is to get your workout done early! The longer the day goes on, the longer you delay your workout, the more likely it is you will skip the workout all together – that isn’t going to help you get fitter and faster. You have to be confident in the knowledge that it only takes a couple miles for you to achieve your ‘runners high’, where you fall in love with the sport again, thinking you were a loser for not wanting to run today. Even if you force yourself out of the house to get your workout done, and you don’t enjoy a single stride of it, if you get it out of the way early in the day you have the whole day after that to be as lazy and unmotivated as your heart desires. You will thank yourself a few days after, or when you next race, for forcing yourself to workout that day.
The bitter truth is that every runner has days or weeks where they struggle with their motivation, regardless of their ability. If we succumb to our inner psyche when these periods roll around, then we are going to gain weight and lose fitness, leaving us two steps behind where we started. Play tricks on yourself, tell yourself “If I get this run out of the way, I will feel better after it.”, keep on running when you are unmotivated and you will count your lucky stars when you are motivated again.