No matter how unconditional your love for running/working out is, you’re going to have days when you’re just “not feeling it”. We all have days where we would rather lay on the couch in front of the TV with a huge tub of ice cream (YUM!). We’ve all been there. And all too often, we give in. We tell ourselves that there’s always tomorrow. Yeah, sure… “Tomorrow”. “Tomorrow” has been defined as the mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored. Next thing you know, months will have gone by and that super goal you’ve set for yourself would still be there, waiting to be achieved. How many times are you going to say tomorrow?
Start here, start now. Turn your “tomorrow” into “today”! How? Read on:
- Eat Right
To prevent the “not feeling it” feeling, start your day by eating right! The food you eat can greatly affect your mood. I usually plan ahead and watch what I put into my mouth. Yes, it requires discipline.
I usually run in the evenings. So, I have to be on track with my breakfast, lunch and snack. I realise that when I eat overly oily/fattening foods, my stomach would feel bloated and I’d probably suffer from indigestion. Running when you’re feeling blah is not fun. I usually eat a well-balanced meal and have proper fuel/snack about 1 hour before my run. A banana would do the trick.
When you eat right and feel right, you are more likely to put in that feel good run!
- Gear up and get out
Put on your workout clothes! It is as simple as that! This really works for me – just put on your running gear and get to it.
Yes, you’re going to step outside and dread the first 5 minutes of your run. Your legs and shoulders are going to weigh a tonne. I’ve been there. But once you’ve eased into your run, I can almost guarantee (90%) you won’t regret it. You may even wonder why you did NOT consider running in the first place.
Sometimes, we confuse mental fatigue with being physically drained. Your mental alertness and focus can greatly affect your run/workout. What you need is a few seconds of craziness to get yourself out the door. I’ve put in some of my best runs on days like this and feel mentally refreshed and even more energized than before.
Your body is a machine. Don’t set limits for yourself that are not even there to begin with.
- The Difference
When I come home from a mentally-draining-tough day at work and feel totally stripped of energy, I lie in bed and begin the internal battle. I’d look out the window, hoping that it would rain so that I have a “valid” excuse.
God has blessed us with a powerful mind. You can easily trick yourself into running or kicking your feet up on the couch. In times like this, I’d tell myself “This is where you’re going to be different. People are going to give in and quit at this stage. But not you, you are going to do what others are not doing. You are going to run even when you don’t feel like it.” And… I’d get my butt out the door.
Realise that this is the difference. This is what is going to set you apart from the rest, the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. Remember that nothing great was achieved without hard work. If you’re only going to run/workout on days when you feel like it, you’re not going to get very far with your fitness goals.
- Question yourself
Ask yourself “Why are you running?”, “Why did you start?” Be it for health reasons, to lose weight or to achieve your PB at your next race, write them all down. Keep a personal log if you have to. Have a few motivational pictures or mantras that you like on hand and easily accessible when you need a little push. Take control in reaching your goals. How bad do you want this?
Running is part of my daily routine so I don’t write down my goals (I don’t exactly have any specific goals). What works for me though, is that I remind myself of THAT feeling after a run. Yes, REMEMBER it and use it to motivate you on your next run/workout. I crave that feeling. I know that I will feel a million times better than if I didn’t run.
- Switch it up!
When you think of your run/workout as a routine training programme, it can become a chore. Something that you HAVE to do instead of what you WANT to do. You may even start to drag your feet the day before by just thinking about it.
The solution? Slot in “fun days”. Something that is not part of your routine. Try a new route or grab a friend/s. I get bored of the same route easily because I know what to expect. I’d either do a bit of exploring or go in the opposite direction of my usual route.
If you are still not feeling it, don’t force yourself. There are many other ways to stay active. Go for a walk, swim, cycle, play with your pet or clean up our room. The list is almost endless. Just make sure it requires you to MOVE. Shopping for new gear counts too. Haaaaaaaaaa!
Running/working out is supposed to be fun. If you dread it most of the time, you’ve either overworked yourself or you’re not eating enough to fuel your body. Fitness should not be static. Always look into changing your routine/training schedule, mind-set, nutrition etc. Experiment and see what works for you.