Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Excuse #3: “I Can’t Run. I Have No Motivation”

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This post is part of my series about tackling the excuses people make for not running. See Part #1 (“I’m too busy!) HERE and Part #2 (“The weather sucks) HERE.

Part #3 of this series is for those people who don’t have the motivation to run. It cracks me up how some think motivation is going to fall from the sky like acid rain and suddenly bless them with motivation. You cannot wait for motivation to descend on you. It likely won’t happen. I have found that most of the time with running, the feeling follows the action. That basically means just shut up and get busy.

I get asked a lot: “How do you get motivated to run?” My answer is always the same. It’s kind of like sex experts say, “It’s only hard if you make it hard.”

Our brain has a story about everything. When we don’t feel like running, our monkey mind chatter has excuse-related stories: It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I’m too tired. I’m too busy. I’m too constipated. If we follow the story and let it run our world, we sabotage ourselves.

Excuse #49: I’d like to run, but my tights are giving me a wedgie.

If you are truly struggling to get out the door, try one or all of the following:

  1. Shut Up and Run. Did you think I’d start this list anywhere else? Stop being a baby. Provided you are not vomiting, wheezing, injured, or about to become injured, ditch the excuses for why you aren’t running and go do it. The longer you give your brain time to talk your body out of going for a run, the better the chances are you won’t do it. Don’t over-think things. Lace up your shoes and go.
  2. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane. Think of the last time you didn’t want to run but went anyway. Remember how you felt after the run. 99 out of 100 people say they feel better after a run and never regret having done it. Those are pretty good odds. The leftover person who did not feel better doesn’t count because they were probably lying.
  3. Make Contact. Call or text a friend or family member and tell them you are going running and you’ll let them know when you are done. Be specific. “I am going to run at 2:00 a.m. after last call at the bar and I will  be done by 2:30 a.m.” This tactic is a good one when being accountable to just yourself is not enough.
  4. Plan a Meet Up. This is so obvious and overused it is boring. But, the reason I include it is that it works. Plan to meet someone or a group for your runs. This is one time when being the victim of peer pressure is very effective. People will hate you if you don’t show up and you’ll hate yourself.
  5. Spice It Up. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a couple of incentives to get out there. Let’s face it, even if you really love to do something, you can have off days. That’s why there are books like “Adding Spice in the Bedroom.” So – add some spice to your run. Put a few new tunes on your iPod. Plan a small reward for yourself once you finish the run (Cinnamon Dolce Latte perhaps?). Wear a new piece of running clothing.
  6. Change Your Attitude. Listen you whiner, you get to run. There are many people who can’t even walk. There are some people, like babies, who can’t even crawl. Take a look around: half the blogging world is injured. Be grateful you can get out there and stop your bitching. Not that I would know anything about being injured.
  7. Find Inspiration. When you are in a slump, quickly pick up a book/magazine or pull up a blog that motivates you. Some of my favorites are Matt Long’s book “The Long Run” and the blog, “Marc and Angel Hack Life.”
  8. Take 10. If all else fails, give yourself permission to head out for ten minutes and to turn around if you cannot take another step because you are just that unmotivated. Something physiologically and mentally happens when you start to run. This transformation is so powerful and immediate that you usually want to keep running. Odds are you will not turn for home after ten minutes, but if you do, at least know you tried. Then email me and I will berate you for a half hour. Pussy! (JK).

 

Got any tips to add to the list?

What blogs, books, magazines, websites do you find most inspiring? Please share because I think most people will find them inspiring too.

SUAR

34 comments:

  1. I find the more consistent I am, the easier it is. As soon as I take more than one day off in a row, it gets harder and harder to get out there and easier to excuse myself from going.

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  2. Reminds me of the motivation-versus-discipline rants I always hear- basically the gist is "motivation fails you when discipline will not."

    This always reminds me (and cracks me up!) - warning, don't click if you're language-sensitive

    http://imgur.com/sM00I9Q


    -SNB

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    1. Good point about motivation vs. discipline

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  3. I've had one hip surgery with another one scheduled in july due to congenital issues. Haven't ran since june and went be able to run till at least Nov.
    For all of you out there with no motivation, be glad you CAN run!! Get your ass out the door and go.......I would give anything to be able to run!

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  4. I have a method that I call BCV - Bitch, Complain and Vent. I BCV for the first 5-10 minutes of a bike/swim/run - about my body, the weather, shape of the sidewalk - whatever. Then I have a great sunny positive workout.

    BCV also works when a loved one drops unexpected (as in unpleasant) news on you.

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  5. Recognize that your motivation waxes and wanes throughout the day. I work in health care, spend much of the day on my feet and otherwise physically engaged. By the time I'm done my shift, I don't have the energy or motivation to do much. So as much as I hate getting up at 5 AM, it's easier for me to roll out of bed into my running gear and onto the treadmill than wait until the end of the day.

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  6. I find motivation and inspiration in my friends' social media posts about their own exercise routines (running, biking, cross-fit, swimming, going to the gym, etc). I know some runners don't like to post when they do a workout because they don't want to appear to be bragging; but for some of us, it's motivational to see that others are out there getting it done on a regular basis.

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  7. Run without electronics.
    Run a new route, somewhere you've never been.
    Borrow your neighbour's dog for a run. Don't forget the little plastic baggie.
    For the advanced version of this, borrow a cat.
    Promise yourself whatever treat you like, as long as you have to run to get it.
    There are a bazillion different run workouts out there. You can't have tried them all. Pick a new one.
    Plan your run around taking the most awesome selfie ever, and send it to your friends.
    Think of all the times when you couldn't run, and why. Too cold, hot, wet, icy, humid, whatever. Now get your ass out there and make up for it.

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    Replies
    1. I am going to start borrowing my neighbor's cat for a run. Do you have to pick up cat turds?

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    2. Excellent list, Keith - though I think I'll skip taking Nemmie (aka "Nemesis") for a run. LOL!

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  8. Your blog is very inspiring!

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  9. Testify.... I find that for me, the most important thing is to make it part of my routine. My run is like work or eating, not negotiable except in very extreme circumstances. I run after work, so my routine is simply to walk in the house, take off my coat, pat the dog, get changed and head out the door. My family knows my after work time is run time. If I waver and start reading the paper, watching tv, looking at the mail...chances are I won't get out the door. Also, it's really motivating to have a goal race on the calendar so you know you're actually running to prepare for something, even it it's just a local fun run. I can only think of a handful of runs in over 25 years where I was out the door and turned back. Any running related reading can also get me pumped. Great post.

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  10. I always think about how yucky I feel when I don't get to run. If I skip a run, I usually spend the day kicking myself, and that's no fun either.

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  11. You and stuftmama are the go to inspirational blogs that I have been reading recently. You really do motivate. Thank you. Yesterday at lunch time, it was 70, sunny and breezy. About as perfect as you can get for running weather. So I got in a 7 miler around the office neighborhood. That was nice.

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  12. Oh I should have read this yesterday. Finished work, had an hour planned for a run before school "it's too hot, I'm so tired, I should study instead, missing one more won't hurt, I'm racing Sunday not running is just an uber-taper, [insert any number of other whiney-pants excuses here]". It got the better of me and I didn't run. Dammit.

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  13. Of course, your blog inspires me! Great excuse series. I look forward to shoe shopping every 500 miles so those miles are not going to be put on the shoes by themselves. So there's my motivation! :)

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  14. Put it on your calendar, like any other "meeting". We have shared calendars at work so everyone can see when I have blocked off "run". then they ask about it. then i have to tell them i went, or else they will schedule a work meeting for me next time!. great motivation. ReneeW.

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  15. Great post for me today! I have to head out for a 9 miler today that I skipped over the weekend because I was sick:/ I guess I should say "I get to";)

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  16. New running clothes and meeting up with friends for a run both help to motivate me!

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  17. Jo-Anne SheffieldApril 30, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    I love Runner's World print magazine and website and find loads of inspirational stories, tips and oh ya, Bart Yasso there!

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  18. LOL! One of the best posts I have read in a long time! I especially love the picture. Mmmmmm....Cheez-its.....

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  19. I kind of hate Dr Ukaka. I agree with Ali, skip even one work out and it all seems so much more effort. Even though I love it once I'm out there! Rache

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  20. The first one is the best advice you can give anyone. Just get ya ass out there and do it.

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  21. You had me at "Listen, you whiner..." Ha! Love it!
    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

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  22. When I find myself in a running slump, I will google "qualifying for boston stories" or something similar and then read amazingly motivational/inspiring blog posts about people reaching their goals. Works for me every time.

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  23. I signed up for a half marathon trail race. Couch to half in 16 weeks...maybe not the best idea but I'm motivated to run!

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  24. I'll write excuse #4....just had the worlds worst vasectomy and can't even walk.

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  25. More than once, recently, I've hit the snooze and told myself I'd workout in the evening instead...and did not. By the time work is done, dinner made, etc, sometimes you just run out of day. I rarely regret doing a workout, but I always regret missing one. Just gotta suck it up.

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