fitness · running · training

How to get excited about your workouts again

Image description: Headshot of Tracy in foreground, short hair, sunglasses, earbuds, smiling. Background is trees, partial view of park bench, distance marker and pavement.
Image description: Headshot of Tracy in foreground, short hair, sunglasses, earbuds, smiling. Background is trees, partial view of park bench, distance marker and pavement.

Last week I was talking to my friend Violetta about how amazing it feels to get back on track with my running. Not too long ago I was complaining about a winter of being thrown off my game by travel and illness. But now, after a few short weeks of regular training, I feel that familiar pull that gets me out the door for my runs most days.

The thing is, it doesn’t take all that long to feel good about it again. Sometimes it’s easier than other times, but with a bit of consistent effort, you can start feeling pretty motivated again after a couple of weeks.

Here’s what I did this time:

  1. I set a goal — my summer goal is to get faster at the 10K distance. I’ve already done one race to set the bar. See my race report here. Next up: Guelph Lake 10K on Sunday.
  2. I enlisted some friends to make events more fun. I blogged about that too.
  3. I like to plan my running schedule and make sure each training session has a purpose. There are all sorts of running apps and training programs online that can help you with that. This is an area where I treat myself by working with Linda (from Master the Moments). I find her to be incredibly motivational and she gives me a new training plan every two weeks. She assigns me a lot of easy runs, but also intervals at specific paces that challenge me and tempo runs.
  4. I’ve found it useful to have something specific that I’m working toward. Yes, I want a faster 10K. That’s my main goal. But I’m also working on continuous running. I realize that there are all sorts of arguments for 10-1 intervals (See Aimee’s post about how they got her through the Ottawa Half Marathon). I’ve used them successfully for quite awhile. But I’ve also got friends who say that once they start walking they lose momentum. So for me, at this time, I’m working on continuous running. You might experiment with 10-1 intervals. Changing it up keeps it fresh.
  5. It helps me when I’m accountable to someone for my workouts. I check in with Linda after each workout and tell her how it went. But I also check in pretty regularly with Anita. It doesn’t need to be a coach. A running buddy for mutual support is great.
  6. Some days, especially a couple of weeks ago when I was still not quite back in the habit, I make plans to run with people. In the past two weeks I’ve had an early morning run with Linda, and an evening run with Julie, in addition to my solo efforts.
  7.  Not everyone does this and I don’t do it all the time, but lately I’ve gotten into the habit of posting about my workouts on Instagram. I get that some people find this annoying (so far no one has said anything about it), but I mostly post to the blog’s Instagram account, and if you can’t post about workouts on a fitness blog’s Instagram account, where can you post about them!?  What I like about that is that people give you positive reinforcement and encouragement. I’ve also had a few people comment that they feel motivated by seeing me so motivated. That’s kind of how it works, too.
  8. I think for me it’s easiest to get excited again when the weather turns beautiful, as it has lately. Not only am I running regularly, I’m also walking and riding my bike to work. It’s a lot easier to get that momentum going when you actually want to be outside again.
  9. Besides being accountable to someone, it’s fun just to share your successes and good feelings about training with friends. Anita is in the UK for the year (back August 1!) , but we love letting each other know that we just got out for a run. And if it feels difficult, we share that too and help nudge each other out the door with some encouragement.
  10. Though not perfect at it, I’ve done my best not to skip my morning running. There is no better time of day and I have never once regretted having gone out running once I’m out the door.
  11. I got a great tip from Linda today, which is not to try making up for missed workout. Just move on to the next scheduled workout. I was out of town this past weekend and only had time for a shorter run on Sunday, not the regularly scheduled longer run.  I reported that to Linda, and she said not to worry about it. Just move on (and a few more words of encouragement, which is one of the things I love about her).

And that’s how I got back on track this time. It really only took a couple of weeks. I’ve got my 10K on Sunday and I’m feeling reasonably good about it. I don’t think it’s going to be the best race of my life or anything, but I’m looking forward to getting out there with friends.

How do you get back into it when you’ve lost your drive and/or momentum?


5 thoughts on “How to get excited about your workouts again

  1. Loving your blog and I enjoyed Samantha talk yesterday very much. I’d love to see a ‘subscribe’ button here at the very top, as the bottom pop-up doesn’t always appear and not everyone will be scrolling down and looking to the side on their first visit (they may never return after making the mental note to revisit the blog). I’d also love to see the “copy link” share button at the bottom of every post, as not all social media platforms are listed and there are great many shares that you are missing out on. Both these things should be added to the mobile version of the blog as well. Back soon and thanks for all your hard work on this!

  2. This was exactly the post I needed right now. I (once again) re-started my fitness journey last spring, the kids being out for summer derailed all well-laid plans, and then sprained my ankle in September. I now have kid-proof plans, but I haven’t been able to find the enthusiasm I had before. I’m a librarian, found your book on the New shelf and felt like it was meant just for me. Thanks for being out there. I’m gonna catch up to you, one step at a time.

    1. So good to hear that our message resonates with you. Please report back about how it goes! I stand by my point that it only takes a couple of weeks of reasonably consistent effort to turn the ship around. Good luck!

  3. Thanks! This helps. When you’re out of the groove, it’s sometimes hard to get back into it again. I was glad you linked to your 10k without prep too! Both posts are motivating as is the run I signed up for. With any luck I’ll be feeling the same way you are in a few weeks time! See you at the race!

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