Tips To Keep Running: Running Motivation When You Really Want To Stop

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On the running motivation struggling bus? Need tips to find the motivation to keep running? Well, just keep running.

That is the simplest piece of advice for those who are struggling to maintain their workout regimen or make it to the end of the workout.

And it’s easier said than done.

But there are a few strategies to making this advice possible.

Here’s how to stay motivated when you really want to stop during a run.


Scenario #1: Motivation Tips To Keep Running For Fitness Or Training

There are some days where we are exhausted from work, school, family, home chores and other responsibilities. The couch is calling and wine is chilled. But we know we need—or at least—wanted to get a run in.

Tip #1: Don’t run if you don’t have to.

This might sound counterproductive, but hear me out. Can you change the schedule for the week to still get in the desired mileage? Then skip the run and make it a rest day.

Sometimes life gets in the way and we simply can’t get a run in. Don’t sweat it. Just make it up. Treat it like an appointment that is rescheduled, but then stick to that commitment to make it up.

Know that sometimes we need to recharge our batteries. This often means coming back the next morning fully ready to put in the work.

Tip #2: Get It Over With

If the lack of motivation comes from the routine of training for a race or always running the same days or times, switch it up. This often means getting the run over with, meaning tackle it first thing in the morning.

It can be hard to get up and out of bed, but just think about starting the day off on the right foot. Then the run is over and done with and you can move on to other tasks throughout the day and rest at night.

Those who aren’t early risers can try changing into their running clothes before leaving work. Or heading out the second they get home. Try not to contemplate it, just go and run. Other motivation tips include packing and eating a pre-run snack on the way home so energy levels are there are you don’t make the excuse that it’s time for dinner first.

Tip #3: Spice It Up

A big problem when it comes to lack of motivation is boredom. If you always run 3 miles, switch it up to do a shorter speed session or a slower longer run during the week.

Those who have a hard time on Mondays can make this a cross-training day for yoga or weights instead of running. This way a workout was still done, which will benefit running without dreading getting it done.


Tip #4: Buddy Up

When training for a race, try to sign up with a friend. Even if you both can’t get in every run in together (especially during the week), you can still hold each other accountable and get in as many of the miles together as possible.

This is a great option for winter or early races when it’s hard to wake up when it’s still dark and cold out. Having someone in it with you makes a world of difference when it comes to running motivation.

Scenario # 2: Running Motivation When Wanting To Stop Mid-Run

There are thousands of articles dedicated to finding the motivation to workout. But how to stay motivated during the workout?

Tip #1: Work On Endurance

For starters, it takes endurance and stamina to be able to keep on performing. This takes time, so be patient and just keep at it.

It means making sure to get a long, slow run in. This is the best way to build endurance. A “long” run might be 5 miles to one runner, or 10 miles for another. Just make sure to increase mileage slowly, adding on a mile a week at a time.

Tip # 2: Play A Game

Even if we are working on endurance over time, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t many runs that happen where we want to stop mid-run.

The best motivational tip when there is a loss of will and grit is to get the mind off the workout and focus on having fun. This means playing a game such as seeing how many blocks it takes to reach a specific color car, or how focusing on the right foot landing in tune with the beat of the music.

There are even legit games to download like Run, Zombies! That turns a run into an actual game. Other apps like Nike Run Club have challenges against friends.

Try to find ways to make a run seem more fun to get through a rough patch.

Tip #3: The Power Of A Playlist

Even when we want to call it quits, within the span of a new song, runners often get back in the zone. So switch up the playlist. Slow down when it starts getting hard, pulling back on the pace. Don’t be aggressive, aim just to get through the run.

Use this time to put on that playlist that always gets you in a good mood.

Other Running Motivation Tips


Fuel And Hydrate

Make sure you are properly hydrated and fueled before and during the run. Part of the reason why we lose energy mid-run is because of glycogen stores running low. This means having energy gels or chews every 30- to 45-minutes of runs longer than an hour. And continue to sip on water.

Allow For A Run/Walk

There have been times during an 11-mile run where I have felt like I need a break. It’s okay to pause and set the reset button. Shake out the legs, start by walking and then get back into a steady jog.

There is no shame in doing the run/walk method if it means getting through the tough miles. Setting intervals won’t even mess with pace too much if dedicated to running again in between walking breaks.


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