I’ll go out on a limb and say that lack of motivation to go trail running has affected everyone who runs trails at some point.
We all have those days when we just don’t feel like doing something that takes a lot of energy. Yet, we almost always regret it afterward if we didn’t get out there and run, right?
There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a motivational pep talk or a kick up the butt if you need it.
The best way to keep motivated and be more of a doer than a thinker is to set good habits and stick to them.
Again, you might be thinking easier said than done. There comes a time when actions speak louder than words, (although words in the way of motivational inspiration are welcome).
Here are some habits, methods, and techniques to force into your routine to ensure you stay motivated, happy, and hitting those trails come rain or shine!
Trail Running Motivation: Quotes, Tips, and Techniques to Get You Back on the Trails
Have Your Runs Scheduled and Set in Stone
If your diary is open you don’t have any accountability to stick to certain things on certain days.
So, set your trail runs far in advance and don’t let anything get in the way. Set them in stone, this saying means they can’t be moved.
Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement – Matt Biondi
Set Times and Targets to Hit
If you’re not pushing yourself a little harder each time what are you trail running for?
Even if you’re not competing to do better, knowing how long a trail takes and if you’re making gains is a huge motivator.
Don’t worry if you’re not enthused about running faster and harder, find your motivation.
Maybe you just want the alone time to think and enjoy the outdoors, it’s just the exercise, or it’s a hobby that you want to do at a leisurely pace.
Whatever is set goals or targets around the reasons why you run.
Join a Running Group/Community or Find an Accountability Partner
You wouldn’t want to let down someone else who is expecting to go running with you, or worse, a whole group of people, right?
The pros of having an accountability partner who also runs are that you don’t want to let each other down.
The cons are that if you or the other person misses a run you both feel terrible. So don’t do it.
Groups are a fun way to stay motivated too. You’ll meet lots of like-minded trail runners, make new friends, and look forward to running meetups.
Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second – William James
Listen to Motivational Music or Speeches
The right music can help to push us that extra mile, literally. See what works for you, running to the tempo of a song or enjoying the beats of your favorite tracks.
Listening to motivational speeches isn’t as crazy as it sounds either. Just search YouTube and you’ll find some tailored specifically for running like the video below:
Reward Yourself for Keeping Schedule
If setting up rewards is the carrot on the end of the stick you need to drag yourself out of bed and stick to the schedule as discussed above, do it.
It can be anything from expensive gifts that you can’t really afford, to that slice of chocolate cake you can’t justify without burning those extra calories going for a trail run.
If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail – Mark Spitz
Rekindle Your Love for Trail Running
What were the reasons why you first started trail running?
What kept you going back for more?
I bet you used to look forward to a run, there were probably times when nothing could get in the way – so what’s changed?
If you feel a little bored change the scenery, literally. Find new and interesting trails to explore, experience new sights, smells, and maybe some surprises.
If you’re feeling tired and run down take a break. There is always an answer and if you loved trail running at some point, which I bet you did, then do whatever it takes to rekindle that love and passion.
Motivation is a strange thing. It’s a force that we can’t see or feel with our hands, yet can drive us to do things we otherwise didn’t think was possible.
But we all have it in us, it’s just a matter of finding the triggers and reasons to give us the motivation to do something.
When it comes to trail running it really comes down to finding that spark again and giving yourself the reason and reward to get back out there.
As I discussed above, there must have been some reasons that first got you out on the trails. Start with revisiting those reasons, then utilize some of the motivational tactics covered in this article.
But most importantly remember that you should be enjoying yourself. Trail running is a fun hobby that has the added benefits of getting you into great shape, outdoors, enjoying fresh air and beautiful scenery and meeting new people.
Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears – Laird Hamilton