10 Things To Try When You Don’t Feel Like Running

What’s Included?

  • Why you might not feel like running
  • 10 tips to try next time

Ask yourself, “WHY?”

You know the feeling… You’re getting ready for what’s supposed to be one of your favorite parts of your day…your run. But something just isn’t right. You just don’t feel like running. You lace up your shoes, hoping to get some momentum going. As you walk out the door, you’re feeling sluggish, slow, heavy — oh, and your feet weigh approximately twenty two thousand pounds. Simply put: you just don’t feel like running.

Life isn’t always going to be a walk in the park. You and I – our surroundings, our life circumstances & situations, our relationships, our bodies – are constantly evolving – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially. We can’t, we shouldn’t, ever expect life to stay the same forever – and we shouldn’t expect our running to either. Challenging days, and even entire seasons of our lives, require different amounts of ourselves. And that’s OKAY. Giving yourself the grace and the flexibility to pause and figure out the source of your fatigue, as well as what you’re needing during this moment in time, is what I’ve found to be the most important step for getting your mojo back.

10 Tips To Try Next Time

Once you uncover WHY you might not feel like running today, you can try to figure out which strategy you need today – and remember, you might find yourself needing different strategies for different days depending upon WHY you’re not feeling it.

1.) REST

Sometimes taking rest can actually restore our motivation and our energy – and it’s an important part of finding balance as a runner. Ask yourself, will resting today make you feel better? If so – leave the guilt behind & embrace this rest day!


Just because you’re not going to run doesn’t mean you can’t do something else to stay active & get your body moving – hiking, biking, swimming, walking, these are all great ways to move your body and restore your energy and motivation!


Instead of telling yourself you’re going to go for a run, tell yourself that you just need to put your shoes on. You just need to put your running clothes on. Even if you don’t make it out the door, sometimes the act of getting ready can stimulate some motivation stores that we didn’t know we had.


Give it a go for 10 minutes and if after that you still don’t want to keep running, let it go & head home for some rest and recovery! The important thing is that you gave it a try & got out there!


Watch an inspiring video, read an inspiring quote, or visit the Instagram page of someone that motivates you – maybe you’ll catch some of that motivation!


Visualize yourself running, visualize yourself at the end of the run, visualize yourself at the end of a race – how do you feel? Is this run important in getting there ? Keep that vision in mind as you get yourself motivated and excited for what this run could lead to!


Turn on some of your favorite music or make yourself a new playlist – sometimes switching things up with your running routine is a great way to keep the motivation flowing.


Tell a friend that you need some help getting out the door, make an agreement or a bet with someone, or ask someone to check-in on you at the time when you’re supposed to be finished running. You can also use Instagram or other social media to keep you accountable by posting your goals for your run & will posting again once you’re doing – you never know who could see that & be inspired by it!


Make a mini-reward system! If you complete your run, how can you reward yourself? Could you make some sort of tracker or calendar where you track how many of your runs you successfully completed? What rewards could you tie these goals to? Just make sure to make them meaningful and exciting enough that they entice you to get out the door!


Instead of doing your whole workout, intentionally modify your workout so it feels less daunting or less challenging. Could you remove some mileage? Add some bursts of speed? Add some walking minutes in? What could you adjust to make it easier to get out there & get it done?

Amy Haas
Run with Aim, LLC
UESCA Certified Running Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Nutrition Coach