How to Get Out of a Running Slump (Just Run Round Up)

How to Find Your Running Mojo (Just Run Round Up)

It happens to many runners: one day, you just don’t want to go for a run. Then the next day, and the day after, and for several weeks, you don’t enjoy running. You have no motivation to get out the door and you don’t experience that runner’s high anymore. You have, in short, lost your running mojo. So how exactly do you get out of a running slump? In this month’s Just Run Round Up, runners share how to find your running mojo again when you’ve lost it.

How to Find Your Running Mojo (Just Run Round Up)

Change Your Routine

Most runners follow the same routine for years: an hour run on Mondays, track on Tuesdays, easy on Wednesdays, tempo Thursdays, long on Saturdays. Repeating the same stimulus with little variation can lead to mental burn-out or physical overtraining.

So if you feel like you’re in a running slump, alter your routine completely. Change the number of days you run, your average weekly mileage, and the types of workouts you do. If you typically measure your runs based on distance, try measuring by duration instead.

Consider the Stress Factor

The most basic equation in running is stress+rest=adaptation. Like any equation, if you increase one factor, you need to increase the other – so the more stress in your life, the more rest you need. Stress includes mental and physical stress – so that new baby or big project at work might be hindering your ability to recover fully. For many runners, poor recovery is one of the first things to sap their running mojo.

If stress is the reason for your running slump, be kind to yourself. Release yourself from expectations, only run as far as you want, avoid any grueling workouts that demand intense recovery, and grant yourself the permission to skip a run. Chances are, once life returns to normal, so too will your running.  

Do Something Different

Some athletes I coach have found new life to their running by shifting their focus to trail running, 5K races, or other events. Out of habit and comfort, many runners train for the same event season after season, which can sap the joie de vivre from running. Too much of the same thing can become monotonous, while variety is fun.

Don’t just run a marathon because you have every year in the past. Genuinely assess what sounds the most appealing to you right now. If something has piqued your curiosity, like trail races or snowshoe running, then try it. Do what sounds the most appealing to you, not what your friends are doing, what you’ve done in the past, or even what you’ve qualified for.=

Take Some Time Off

If you feel really burnt out, stop running until the desire returns. Maybe it will return in a couple of days, or perhaps you will cross-train for a few months until you yearn to pound the pavement again. Forcing runs will only make your burn-out worse.

For more advice on how to overcome a slump and find your running mojo, read more in the Just Run Round Up:

Nellie – Brooklyn Active Mama

How to Find Your Running Mojo (Just Run Round Up)

Angela – Happy Fit Mama

How to Find Your Running Mojo (Just Run Round Up)

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Linking up with Coaches’ Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday

Have you ever lost your running mojo? 
How do you overcome a running slump?

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9 Responses

  1. As add as it sounds, I lost my running mojo while not being able to run because of an injury. I know something is up when I don’t feel like running so I didn’t force it. I focused on other things that made me interested. My mojo came back eventually. It happens to all runners at some point so don’t force the run love!

  2. I definitely think outside stress can play such a big role in our running. The problem is, usually when im stressed I want to run more! But Ive learned that i need to find a balance between running and other life stuff otherwise I get burnt out, sick, or injured.

  3. I love the simplicity of your equation and YES mental and physical stress count…my coach is always reminding me of that 🙂 Great tips for when you eventually find your mojo waning – it happens to the best of us!

  4. After this most recent half, I was looking forward to some time off from training. But boom, another half presented itself in January and at a fun destination. So I’ll recover this week and next and it’s back on the hamster wheel for me. Sometimes having a fun race to train for helps me with my mojo. I hope that’s the case this time!

  5. yes we all lose our mojo at one time or another. It’s usually a sign that I need to take a break or try something new for a week. Running with new friends or in a new place helps too!

  6. As much as we love it, running is a commitment and it is hard. I agree, when we have a lot of outside interference (stress, family issues, just being downright busy), running, which is usually our go-to stress reliever, can sometimes become just another stressor. Great tips.

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