How to stay motivated and prevent runner burnout
Falling off the fitness bandwagon I have had this conversation with a few different lady friends recently, and I know it's something so many of us deal with, maybe on the daily. For me, personally, I am in this running/healthy living thing for the long haul. I'm not here to crash diet or run one race and be done. I think most of you all would agree those are your goals, too. But what happens when we find ourselves in a rut, or even worse, just fall off the bandwagon?
What makes us unmotivated?
I had a friend tell me recently, "I quit all the things! I've never been able to work out consistently for this long! I love this new me!" I was so happy to hear that. But still, even for those of us who looove this lifestyle, there will always be some days when we don't want to run, don't want to eat healthy, etc. What do we do when our motivation has dwindled?
Making sustainable choices
I am in the camp of sustainability. I don't think it's healthy or sustainable to operate in extremes, so I say eat the piece of pie, and take a day off. Whatever you need to do to get your mind straight. There's no need to punish yourself, or worse, deprive yourself and then fall off the course entirely because you tried to be a perfect robot who never makes mistakes or never needs a day to just let your mind and body REST. There's just only so long you can operate in extremes or deprivation.
Let's focus on SUSTAINABILITY. What can I do NOW to make sure I am happily and healthily thriving at 85, and still running races? What can I do NOW to show my daughter that it's not about losing 20 lbs in 1 month to be able to look good in a bikini? It's about loving the skin I'm in, and living, while simultaneously going after big goals, and not stopping until I reach them. Does that require a little self-discipline and a pep-talk every now and then? Of course. But it also requires something I did not come up with called "grace." Relentlessly pursuing goals, while also giving yourself grace along the way. That's sustainability and healthy living all wrapped up in one.
How to stay motivated and prevent burnout
Let's show our kids the importance of setting goals while also living a balanced life. I truly believe we can change future generations for the better! To recap, here's what I see as the three main components to staying motivated and preventing burnout with running and healthy living:
- Set reasonable yet tough goals, and then go after them. Don't waste time. Use your time wisely, and as I like to nicely tell the girls I coach when they text me and tell me they're dreading their workout and don't want to do it, "Just buck up and get it done." :)
- Give it your best shot (and I mean REALLY give it your best shot.), and then at the end of the day, walk away. Be done, and don't dwell. Messed up today or got off track or overslept? It's okay! You're human. Move on, and forgive yourself.
- Don't operate in extremes. Long term sustainability, which means resting when you need to, having a piece of pie, and staying balanced with your life.