Skip navigation
Community: Exchange advice in the forums and read running commentary Resources: Personal running log, calculators, links and other tools for runners News: Running news from around the world Training: Articles and advice about fitness, race training and injury prevention Races/Results: Find upcoming races and past results Home: The Cool Running homepage
Cool Running homepage  Search Cool Running Community

10615 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Oct 13, 2011 10:14 AM by luv2bhealthy Go to original post 1 2 3 Previous Next
  • Mary Lyon Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    15. Jun 22, 2011 9:03 PM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    I am posting for the first time on this site because I'm so interested in this discussion.  Of course you don't know me or vice versa, so drop-kick my thoughts if I'm way off. Here goes. It's probably good advice to look at what else is happening in your life.  But I think the more likely answer is that you are, down deep, bored with running because you have proven your point.  Laying your running clothes out the night before could either be brilliant planning and positive self-enabling or it could feel (rationally or not) like the essence of crushing predictability, akin to putting your breakfast on the table at sunset and staring at it all night before eating it.  I would guess that the ice cream attacks are a way of fighting back against a routine that has started to feel constrained, or creating a crisis to manufacture a "should" because you no longer see running as a "want." Running is more, well, linear than other sports to begin with; in fact, though, I think most any activity could grow stale after years of building success, surprising and impressing yourself as  you seem to have done. You have a lot to be proud of, really more than very many other people.  I think you can declare victory and march away with your head up. Tell yourself you have rounded all the bases in running, or maybe that you are taking a year-long running sabbatical.  Find new challenges in other sports.  Then maybe you will run occasionally to serve those other sports, or maybe you won't; maybe you'll go back to running refreshed and reinvent your bond with running, or maybe you won't.  Running is a wonderful thing, but not the only wonderful thing.   There are lots and lots of ex-runners out there who are genuinely more fulfilled doing yoga or cycling or paddling or swimming, no hard feelings.  I am inspired by all that you've achieved in running whether you continue with it or not.  You won.

  • elleshelley Rookie 1 posts since
    Oct 28, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Jun 22, 2011 10:14 PM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    I'm 53 and started running again 5 years ago (ran in highschool in the 70's) to prepare for triathlons after sedentary decades...and fell in love with running all over again.  After 5 seasons of triathlons and running in the offseason (only one marathon, but 10+ half marathons and many assorted distances) I've discovered that the best way to recover my mojo was to mentor someone on their first attempt ...at a 5K, 10K, Half, sprint tri etc...it forces me to be accountable to help someone else (which gets my butt up and out the door...I'm always glad I did after the run...it's getting out there to do it that's the problem) and lets me experience the joy, fear, excitement, and power of a 'first timer' again...seeing it through their eyes reignites my passion...sharing their joy and achievement makes me remember why I love to run.  I'm in a slump right now...with 30 extra lbs and more self-absorbed moping than I care to admit ...but I just signed up for a half with a friend (her first) and know that things will get better...the lbs will come off and I won't (can't) let her down!  We're going to have a WONDERFUL time at her 1st 1/2 in October - it's MY job to make it a happy experience for her (and for me as well!).  Mentor someone...pay it forward...it'll do both of you a world of good!

  • justamaniac Legend 208 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Jun 23, 2011 7:56 AM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    I'm a 54y-o runner and I'm empathetic with your plight.  What works for me is:

    - first and foremost: goals.  Set 'em and challenge yourself to beat them.

    - new music (I recently got re-energized with "club disco" mixes (Pandora internet radio is great).

    - new places and routes to run (my old neighborhood routes were knocking the drive out me).

    - running buddy or groups (wow, what a difference that made for me!).

     

    Don't quit - don't ever quit!!  One of my goals is to run a HM in under 2hr when I'm 70 (I got beat by a 70y-o lady on my first HM).

    best!

  • Amigold Legend 187 posts since
    Nov 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Jun 23, 2011 8:30 AM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    Wow. I can so relate to your post.

     

    I started running for the first time in my late 40's and did the thing like you--got involved, ran a few 5Ks then a few 10Ks, then a few half marathons...bought the gear....read the books and mags....the whole drill.

     

    Then one day I woke up and looked at my running shoes (all neatly set out the night before) and said "meh," and went back to sleep.  Rinsed and repeated that a few times. Didn't like it.  But didn't want to run either.

     

    What got me back out on the streets was two things. One, I didn't like gaining weight/losing fitness and two, I needed SOMETHING in my life to alleviate the stress of well, life.  I had a road bike. So I started biking.  A lot. Truthfully, I don't love biking and probably never will, but it was something different to do (and yes, more gear and more books and mags to buy).  Then I got into the idea of triathlons, so I started that.  You had to keep running to do that, but not as much (1-3 times a week) and you interposed swimming and biking with that so it was never constantly just, well, running.  And yes, more gear and more books and mags.

     

    I finished my first 70.3 this spring (at age 53) and all of a sudden I'm back looking at my running shoes again in a different light. I've signed up for my first marathon.  I'm still swimming and biking every week, and only running 2 days a week, which helps with the monotony of these mojo killing thoughts:  "running. That again. Oh joy."

     

    So, take some of the advice here and put your shoes away and go do something else.  Different. Kayak. Golf. Play tennis.  Buy trail shoes and do some trail running.  Mountain bike.  I dunno, maybe even ice skating or hockey or basketball.  Make it something that is exercise-like, so you keep up a good fitness level, and make it something that makes you smile and grin (if you throw golf clubs and swear, golf may not be the idea).  If you are were always up at dawn for running, pick a sport or activity you do at night.  If you were a night/evening runner, pick a sport  you do in the morning. Mix yourself up.  Forget about the guilt factor and forget about the running shoes for a while.  Then in 4-6 months look at them again. See if they look interesting again.  I suspect they might.

     

    Keep us posted. The rest of us back of the packers want to know how you do!

     

    Terry

     

    www.fiftythreetoseventypointthree.blogspot.com

  • Chris Weinkauff Rookie 3 posts since
    Oct 1, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Jun 23, 2011 8:41 AM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    There have been many replies with great advice, Kegan!  I'm a PhD student in Positive Developmental Psychology and one area I research is "flow". Flow in running is sometimes referred to as "runner's high".  You know, that feeling when you are having a good run and you just lose track of time and the world around you?  Suddenly you are farther down the path than you realize, you are tooling along at a good pace and just loving life?  That is flow....  It has a lot of benefits, both performance-wise and psychologically, and for many it is what brings them back to the run over and over again.  For me, it is what keeps me sane in the rest of my incredibly busy life: knowing I will have a great run every morning and experience flow; the combination helps me think more clearly, solve problems, write better, experience less reactivity to stressful situations..... on and on .......  So, when I started getting seriously involved in my research on 'flow', I stopped experiencing it in my runs (typical: when you think about being in flow, you can't do it).  It ruined running for me for an entire semester...  then I decided to just chill, stop seeking flow or timing my runs and just go out and enjoy the scenery.  I switched from running streets to trails and left my watch at home.  It was tough, but after a week or so, flow came back and so did the pleasure of the run. 

     

    The point I am trying to make is this: sometimes we get so caught up in 'thinking' about our runs (flow, performance, etc) that we lose the joy of the experience.  It's extrinsic motivation vs. intrinsic motivation.  If you started running because it felt so good (intrinsic motivation) and then you suddenly began focusing too much on your pace or your mileage in preparation for a race (extrinsic motivation), you may lose the joy of the run.  The greatest things in life are those with intrinsic motivations.... so leave your watch at home, take a new route and look around at the scenery- whether it is sunny and green, hot and brown or raining... find the beauty in it and your mojo just might sneak back into your runs!!

     

    My 2 cents...

     

    Chris Weinkauff

  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    20. Jun 23, 2011 9:23 AM (in response to Chris Weinkauff)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    Chris,

     

    I love "Flow"  I'm actually half way through Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Flow, The Psychology of optimal experience. Steps toward enhancing the quality of life"  Kind of heavy reading but very interesting and applicable to many aspects of life. It certainly applies to running.  I read an article in Running Times about "Flow" which got me interested in the first place.  Very good advice.

     

    I personally split my training in two parts.  I never use my GPS watch when I'm doing easy paced runs and rarely on long runs. I run by feel and perceived effort and just enjoy.  I do use my watch doing speed training and racing.  I started doing this last year because I was doing exactly what you said. I was losing my enjoyment from runs because I was so focused on my watch (pace & speed) that i forgot to enjoy and relax.  This has really helped me enjoy running more and actually I believe helped me become a better runner.





    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

  • Chris Weinkauff Rookie 3 posts since
    Oct 1, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    21. Jun 23, 2011 9:33 AM (in response to Dog-lover)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    Dog-lover:  I'm glad to hear this new approach is working for you.  After I posted my thoughts, I realized I should have gone a step further when discussing taking the watch off.  You hit the idea, though:  if you are still pursuing a personal goal, you need the watch sometimes and using it for pacing in repeats or speedwork is the best time to put it on, while leaving it at home on the longer runs. 

     

    Csikszentmihalyi's book you are reading is a good one- he has written several for different audiences and with different perspectives on flow. He founded the idea of flow and it is a wonderful phenomena.  Dr. Csikszentmihalyi is my research adviser, which is such an honor!     If you would like to talk about the book, or the topic, just hit me up! 

     

    Chris

  • StevenDMiller Pro 67 posts since
    Nov 21, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    22. Jun 23, 2011 1:52 PM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    I get to feeling that way sometimes.  What I have done is race!  I race just about every weekend.  That's the motivation for me.  So go out and sign up for a couple of weekend races.  If that doesn't get you moving, then I don't know what will!





    Real athletes run, others just play games!

    http://sdmiller57.blogspot.com/

    http://www.dailymile.com/people/stevemilller

  • curlytrot Amateur 11 posts since
    Nov 28, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    23. Jun 23, 2011 6:17 PM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    I am new to running and feel like I am losing my mojo too. I am not sure if it is the weather, because I feel roasted half way through my run. My runs and workouts are turning into "I must do them or my level of fitness will decline" rather than "I want to do them because they are fun". I am getting frustrated with the aches and pains am developing, the lack of progress in my pace and the extreme fatigue. The problem is that I am so afraid of taking a break, and then losing the ability to run again. I used to workout everyday of the week with one day break, and now it is dwindling down to 3 times a week..what is going on?

    Yes, I am losing the ability to get in a state of flow with every workout. Yes, I feel that my life was so constraint with what I should and should not eat and declining all social activities because I have to get my workout in. I did everything that people do to keep themselves motivated: have a running group to meet up, I signed up for a weekly track training and vary my workout. I just stay home and apologize and make up excuses.

    I am not sure what is going on with me either, and how long this phase will take too!!

  • Chris Weinkauff Rookie 3 posts since
    Oct 1, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    24. Jun 24, 2011 8:38 AM (in response to curlytrot)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    Curlytrot:

     

    It is a tough place to be isn't it? I think the first question might be: "Why did you start running to begin with?"  If you can answer that and find your way back to running for that reason, then maybe the problem will be easily solved.  If running is something you initially began because you liked it, then don't worry- your mojo can return.  Maybe it IS about putting the pace watch away, forgetting about distance and just going out in the early morning (to avoid heat) and just go until you feel like stopping.  Go slow and give yourself the freedom to stop whenever: take away the pressure.  The outcomes of running (fitness) sometimes become the reason for the activity and that squelches the joy by making it 'something I have to do to stay fit'. Try cross training.  I decided last year to do a triathlon and I missed my 6x/week runs, but found that when I got to do them I enjoyed them even more. Plus, I found that biking and swimming became more fun as I gained skill in each of them. They also aided my running!  None of the activities are so much a part of my regimen that I get bored with them. Plus, you mix things up so much! Biking outdoors, or biking @ the gym; swimming in an outdoor pool or the ocean or an indoor pool, 30 minutes in the pool and 45 minutes on the bike, etc...  Strength training is another good activity, and important for good running (or biking or swimming)... so mix those things up! 

     

    All in all, I think it is like the old saying my grandmother used to tell me:  Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.  So step away, regroup, and give yourself the freedom to enjoy whatever physical activity you participate in for the simple joy of the rapid heart rate, increased respiration and that oh so great SWEAT--- along with the connection with nature or people at the gym!!!

     

    Good luck curlytrot!

     

    Chris

  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    25. Jun 24, 2011 9:25 AM (in response to curlytrot)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    Curlytrot,

     

    I really like Chris's advice to maybe go back and ask yourself why you started running in the first place.  I love running very much and it fits perfectly into my life..... right now!  Life has a way of changing things up on us and making the choices we make more complicated than we can sometimes handle.  I usually train twice per day 4-5 days per week and then do my  normal weekend long runs.  People often ask me how I can do that and I tell them.  Right now in my life I have time and I enjoy this hobby very much.  I also explain that when I was younger ( I'm 53 now) there was no way I would have been able to commit that much time to running.  If I had tried I would have burned out very quickly.  Raising kids, working longer hours, fixing up the house and staying connected with family and friends can pretty much take up all your time.  When I was in my early 30's I spent one summer running with a goal of running a sub 40 min 10k. I made it down to 42 min, then burned  out and quit running altogether for nearly 20 yrs.  I guess my point in all this babble is that sometimes balancing our busy lives can be hard, we set out to start a hobby like running with low expectations only to start setting goals and expectations that just require to much effort and to much time.  We burn out!!  Maybe running and general fitness aren't really the problems at all, maybe your busy life combined with high expectations are causing you to lose your enjoyment from running.  There are times that I start feeling the "Have to's" rather than the "Want to's" and those days I just try to figure out why I'm going out.  I usually end up getting past it and actually do the run and end up feeling great about it but sometimes I just take the day off and try to remind myself that this is not a life or death decision and one day doesn't make or break my goals or my training.  Some days really are a struggle but I believe if you truly enjoy running you'll end up finding the proper balance and get your mojo back.  Sometimes finding that balance takes feeling the big highs and the big lows.

     

    Good luck and hang in there!   I truly hope you find your mojo again!

     

    Pete





    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

  • akaerock Pro 120 posts since
    Apr 7, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    26. Jun 24, 2011 10:47 AM (in response to curlytrot)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    Curlytrot:

     

    Seems to me that your not sticking to a training program. I use to workout/run 7 days a week sometimes 2 sessions a day. I use to burn out and take months off.  Now I follow a training plan and I know that rest days and tapering is the most important part of my routine.  On my rest days I do no workout at all, NO RUNNING NO GYM.  I also take vacation days and sick days.

     

    I pretty much consider my training a job and follow a schedule, but just like work If I feel I need a day off I take it and consider it a vacation or sick day. I recommend keep your training days to 4 days a week and have schedule some 2 day-in-a-row off every month.  Scheduling vacation days helps keeping you from burning out and its like a reward for the hard work.





    Try different things, until you find a routine that works for your physique, metabolism, time constraints, etc. Then train smart, with consistency and intensity, and you will be successful.” Iron Charles http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/IronCharles/

    2012 AKAEROCK'S EVENT SCHEDULE

    Training Log at Daily Mile

    My Facebook Page

  • curlytrot Amateur 11 posts since
    Nov 28, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    27. Jun 26, 2011 11:20 AM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    Chris, Pete and Akaerock,

     

    Thank you guys so much. Your advice is tremendously helpful. I decided to take off this entire weekend, and get back on the wagon when I feel like I miss running. I doubt it will take too long!!

    I want to reflect for as long as I can on my motivations, and the way I have been training while doing other forms of exercise.

     

    Thanks again!

     

    Q

  • blissrocks Rookie 3 posts since
    Jun 26, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    28. Jun 26, 2011 7:15 PM (in response to Kegan36604)
    Re: Losing the running mojo. Need it back.

    I've lost my mojo a couple of times. I've noticed it happens when I skip to many runs or take too much time off from running like when I'm super busy. For me, I just have to make sure it's a multiple time per week thing otherwise I stop having the urge to do it.

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...