Help! No motivation!

Hi. I graduated a week ago and felt great. I set myself two new challenges - do a park run and join my local running club. Thought it would be better to get a few more weeks under my belt first, but haven't managed to get out and run all week. I've recently returned to work after a long absence and did my first full days this week so really tired. I know that once I get out there I'll feel better for it, but I can't seem to do it. Any suggestions?


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28 Replies

  • Hi,

    Those sound like a couple of significant goals that require you to take a big step. Why not set yourself some smaller goals that you can achieve in the short term along the way? Perhaps a different route on a different surface? Improve your time? A different distance? Running at a different time of day?

    Treat yourself to some new kit maybe ;-)

  • The thing that got me out of bed on the very 1st morning to start C25K was reading somewhere that we sometimes have a tendency to wait for the time to come when we feel like making a change. You have to look back and remember that you have already graduated and so have done far more than the majority of people you know have done.

    I also struggled after graduation with motivation but have told myself to not be scared, that every time I go out is good and that I don't have to try to run better and faster every time.

    Half way through this morning's run I nearly stopped as I had convinced myself that I couldn't make it. I looked at the nest tree and then the next and from somewhere came some energy and I ended having my best run ever and I didn't throw up after!

    We are all here for you. I would suggest, resolve with yourself to get out for a brief jog, even 10 minutes and ignore the rain. Don't compare yourself to anyone else (especially on here) and don't be afraid of failing you have already shown yourself what you can do. Be proud and cherish it.

    Hope this helps, I will be sending good thoughts your way


  • Wise advice and very well said. Cheers.

  • Challenges are great and vital to be able to measure progress, but don't forget to just go out and enjoy your ability to run. I have had a back niggle all week so have not run. This morning I set off very gently and had a glorious run in the sun, saw two deer and a green woodpecker. A year ago I would not have been out of bed by that time.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • You are probably feeling tired and stressed after your return to work so don't be too hard on yourself. As Iannoda has said challenges are good but don't overload yourself. Maybe, just go out without a goal in mind, have a walk, clear your head and have a light jog. Get into the habit of having some time for yourself, whether you run or not.

    I can recommend the Parkrun, you are just out there, running or walking and you are not competing with anyone else. I didn't really know where to start after I graduated, I was a bit daunted by the thought of Parkrun but I now try and go weekly and really enjoy it. I have a longer run during the week and another run with a few hills or whatever takes my fancy without getting caught up with the statistics, but I just try to get out and enjoy it.

    You have done so well to get this far too, so keep reminding yourself of that, and get back out for half an hour and see where it takes you. Good luck x

  • You've had a lot on your plate his week so no wonder running has been off your agenda. Having goals is fine but graduation is only the start of our running adventures. There is so much waiting out there for you. Why not just have a run for fun - no timing, no measurement - just because you can!

  • Don't be too hard on yourself as returning to work after a break takes a lot out of you. I have found it easier by making up my own play list. It takes some time to figure out the bmp ( beats per minute) that you run too but if you google running songs. I started with 160 but have found 170 a bit better. Footloose is good. The worst bit is the first step after that it will be a skoosh.

  • I was like that after graduating last year. I did a 5k race for life and then just went out once a week and then lost my fitness. It's taken me ages to get it back. Don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes we just need a break. I'd got hung up on not doing 5k in 30 minutes like everyone else seemed to, so gave up. Now I just run when I feel like and for me, and it doesn't matter about the distance. I also find running with the NHS stepping stones podcast good. I also run with ZombiesRun - it keeps me motivated.

  • It is such a shame that other people and their goals and the way some of them make such an issue of it causes others to give up. The truth is that very few people achieve the 5K in 30 minutes and the rest of us should NEVER be made to feel inadequate for it. Sadly, the current obsession with "5K in 30 minutes" that is being shouted all over the forum at the moment has put me off. I'm currently off with a chest infection but, once my R4L is over and done with next month (and I've decided to power walk it by way of protest anyway) I shall be hanging up my running shoes. I'm glad that you have now found pleasure in just running for fun. Maybe I'll do that once I've been away from all this for a while. Best wishes.

  • I like to run for fun and am enjoying every minute but I do post my goals and achievements from time to time because I am proud of what I have done. I have found this forum very supportive and full of good advice. I would hate to think that by posting I am putting people off. I am certainly not one of the fastest and never will be but I would hope that people would recognise that many people on here are just like me and that whatever we achieve by running/walking/jogging is a step in the right direction for our physical and mental health x

  • If you care to read my post again you might see that I have clearly stated "the way some of them make issues of it" and "the current obsession for 5K in 30 minutes". This is rather different from someone posting their achievements.

  • Don't leave us Fitmo. I too seem to be getting too hung up on what everyone else has posted as their 5k timings (see post earlier this afternoon). Perhaps we should just say - I ran - I now feel great. After all, that is what the programme is about - helping us get fit and feel better - we are not training for marathons or the Olympics.

  • Oh Fitmo. Please don't leave us. Your posts have been an inspiration. I get discouraged by all these posts on absolute times too -and have sometimes felt that if I can't do 5K in 30 minutes then I might as well not bother. That's why now I try and keep the age graded score in my head and simply aim to stay in the top 50 per cent for my age and sex. Your absolute time for a 5K means nothing unless you're a professional athlete. For me it's all about competing with myself and trying to better my previous efforts (or at least equal them) Not that I've anything against power walking. It might be an interesting and different challenge!

  • Footloose!!!! Fab idea. I think I shall download that one. If that don't motivate you what will? Yeeha!

    I am out injured at the moment but swotting up online about every cure known to science for ankles/hips/doddery old woman syndrome so I can make myself better while sitting with my feet up on a cushion. I was planning routes using an online gizmo, imagining all the runs I'm going to do when I'm better.

    If you can't motivate yourself it's a big ask to expect everyone else to do it for you. However, that said, we are good on here at KICKING ASS so get your lazy butt out the door pronto!

  • Thanks for the ass kicking. Got my butt out of the door this morning :-)

  • I like Rob_and_his_westie's advice personally. Treat yourself to some new kit then you'll be desperate to run so you can try it out! Seriously though, you've got lots going on at the moment so don't add to it by setting yourself big running goals, sometimes small is beautiful. Very good luck whatever strategy you choose.

  • You're absolutely right misswobble - but thanks anyway everyone for your support and suggestions. The good news is that after a day of doing very little and a 3 hour afternoon 'nap' yesterday, I am up, running gear on and just enjoying a cuppa before I head out. I think it's nothing to do with running as such but rather being back at work has taken more out of me than I thought and I just needed to rest. Glad I did as I feel tons better this morning.

    Thanks again guys. I'll report back soon!

  • I was exactly the same in fact I haven't run since

    But that was in part because I started the the programme hating running and ended it feeling the same


    Instead I got my bike out and ride 25k a week instead and that Is what I love

    My dog comes too :-)

  • I think I shall be following you when my R4L is over. I've been put off by all the goals such as "5K in 30 minutes" (a current obsession with some people). It will be lovely to concentrate on going for some lovely rides in the countryside. My hubby will carry the dog in a baby carrier (dog is tiny Jack Russell so can't keep up with running alonside), I shall pack picnics in my top box and panniers and we'll just head out and meet people. Peace perfect peace. Enjoy your cycling and my very best wishes to you.

  • I refuse to have any gadgets and gizmos that measure distance, heart rate etc. Like you, I just want to enjoy being fit and not turn it into a competition. I blame the current TV obsession with turning every activity (dancing, singing, baking, sewing etc etc) into something to compete in rather than just enjoy. So ENJOY your cycling, walking, running, whatever you decide to do x

  • Like you I don't use any gadgets. I have my podcasts on a MP3 player and I carry a phone in case of emergency. I signed up for the Race for Life purely because I'd been having tests for suspected lung cancer and had been given the all clear. I cried with relief but thought about all the people getting results that day who would be crying for a different reason. I decided to do the R4L for that reason - it certainly had nothing to do with C25K. I do agree with you about the TV programmes which are all based on competitive elements - even got the Big Allotment Challenge now! Now, I can tell you that stuff grown for the show bench is rarely fit to eat! They judge it on everything except taste! But that's the problem these days - everything is based on competition. Anyway, enjoy your future running the way you want to. Cheers.

  • Fitmo - I am not sure we are allowed - but could you post your R4L sponsorship page here?

  • I think that perhaps we need to have some long term goal as well as shorter term goals to keep our noses to the grindstone. I signed up for a 14 klm race shortly before I completed C25K - and at that time, I thought I was stupid for doing so -- but now , I have been slowly proceeding toward conquering that goal ( to run the 14 klm race) which I will have had about 3 months to train for after finishing C25K.

    However, I have also found a way to keep my nose to the grindstone, advance slowly towards my long term goal while still maintaining the 5K "fitness" that C25K gave me.

    Jeff Galloway has a number of training programmes that go right out to full Marathon distance-- but they all seem to have common features. They are all 3 times per week (ala C25k) , two of those runs are both only 30 minutes (ala C25K) and the third run which is the central feature of the plan ( the LONG RUN) is gentle but challenging. It is gentle because it is run/walk at any ratio you choose - you can simply run 1 minute/walk 1 minute as per week 1 of C25k if you wish - BUT it increases slowly in time until you are doing 15-20Ks ( whatever you want) . The other two days (30 minutes each) you can basically do whatever running you want - but must be for 30 minutes. These are basically "maintenance" runs - I use them to improve my 5K running, one run is actually a Parkrun and the other is intervals, or hill runs or whatever I think my may improve my 5Ks -- not necessarily to make it faster but to make it easier for me.

  • Thanks for this Bazza, sounds like a good plan. I guess we're all different in how we respond to goals. Personally I've found that realistic medium to long term works best for me. When I was building myself up to going back to work I set myself a few targets (not just running related) with achievable timescales. As a complete novice, I thought my running target was challenging but I smashed it with a few weeks to go which was a huge confidence boost.

    Don't think I'll ever make 14km, but I have contacted my local running club and am going out with them a week on Thursday. I'm starting with the 2 mile group and will see how it goes. Small steps!

    Good luck with the race.

  • Whoop whoop! Got my mojo back! :-D.

    I'm lucky enough to live a few minutes from a section of the transpennine trail, so I walked there as my warm up, set the timer on my phone to 15 minutes and just ran to see where I got to. Almost reached the next village which was quite a bit further than I had expected and has the added bonus of giving me the ideal target for working on speed and / or distance when I feel like it. The rain just about held off and bar a couple of dog walkers I had the place to myself. And best of all, I actually enjoyed it!

    The only downside was a sore left achilles on the way back. I've had niggles with the right one on and off, but never while I was actually running, so I'm a bit worried. Don't know if I went out a bit too fast seeing as I hadn't run for over a week. Anyway, I slowed right down and walked the hilly bit and made it back ok.

    Stretches are done, feet up with a cup of Earl Grey (yes, I admit it, I am an addict) and looking forward to a nice hot shower!

  • Baz is right and he will get to his goal without injuring himself, as he's sensible

    Glad to hear you're motivated now. Mind how you go, and happy running

    Good stuff Kingo. As long as you keep moving, two wheels or two legs, it's all good. The dog will benefit too

  • I'm pleased you have got your motivation back. Maybe your local running club will give you the impetus you need as well. Sometimes a new approach with new people can make a huge difference. Good luck with your running and very best wishes.

  • So sorry to hear you're hanging up your running shoes Fitmo. Your encouraging post were always so welcome when I first started on my running adventure. However, if you've cease enjoying it then you're absolutely making the right decision. The hard earned fitness you've gained by doing the programme will be just as valuable for your cycling and, who knows, you may put those shoes on again in a few months, refreshed, revitalised and raring to go. Take care Fitmo and enjoy your good health!

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