How to get your mojo back

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It’s taken a while but my motivation is back! Thank God! To be totally honest the marathon took a lot more out of me than I expected. Well, not just the race itself but the 18 weeks of training. I was tired and a little sick of running. So what I should have done was take a full two weeks off and enjoyed some rest. But what I did instead was take 4 days off and then start freaking out about my next half marathon. I did a couple of runs – that were all terrible – and ended up with my stress response and some unplanned time off. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

No early mornings. No runs in the dark. Lots of rest and recuperation. And now, a little over a month later my mojo has reappeared – 5.40 AM wake up calls, working out almost everyday and I’m loving it (well not first thing when I wake up) and here’s how I got it back.

1. Make your workout part of your schedule. I don’t know about you but when a work meeting is on my schedule it is non-negotiable. I cannot miss it. And when I’m planning my week my workouts go on my schedule and become non-negotiable. I look at my day planner and it becomes another item that I have to do. I don’t have to think about whether I’ll go to the gym or to yoga class – it just happens.

2. Make it easy for yourself. My yoga studio is half a mile from my house. My gym is on my way to work. Same for my local pool. It is easier to go than not. Especially if I change into my workout clothes at work. Or have my swimming gear already in my car. Or have my yoga mat and outfit waiting by my bed. Don’t give yourself the time to talk yourself out of going.

3. Wants and needs. Sometimes – OK a lot of times – when my alarm goes off or when I’m finished work I WANT to go home. Then I have a little talk with myself and woman up. I try to remember how good I’ll feel once I’m done, and try to think long term. But sometimes you NEED to take a break. Some days you need to have that extra hour in bed. Or that ache could benefit from a days rest. Be honest with yourself about what you’re feeling – do you want to or need to take a break?

4. Find a buddy. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Plus, friends can turn into great accountability-buddies. Lucky for me, J is a morning person. In fact, I used to think that he was crazy for getting up early to workout. How times have changed! But when he’s up and getting ready for yoga class in the early hours it’s a lot easier for me to get up and follow him.

5. Set mini goals. For this break from running I wanted to do a different form of cardio, so I picked swimming. I’ll tell you right now that I am not a swimmer. Sure, I learned the basics when I was a kid but I never swam in high school (high school sports are not a thing in Ireland unfortunately) or college. So basically I had no idea what to do in a pool. I found a 6 week couch to 1 mile swim program. A short program with designated and progressive workouts finishing in a one mile swim. That is perfect for me (although it might not work for everyone) and gives me a short goal to work on while I get back to running.

6. Treat yourself. I don’t know about everyone else but I love cute workout gear. So after a couple of swim sessions in my very old swimsuit (and after my goggles broke right at the start of one workout) I hit up the REI sale and picked up a new TYR suit and goggles. And I was excited to go and try out my new gear- > added incentive to workout!

7. Develop a habit. Being consistent is the number one key to getting and staying fit (whatever fit means to you). Like most things those first few workouts are going to be hard. But it gets better. You might have to force it at first but once you develop those habits it’s easier to keep them going.

So, I’ve got my mojo working for me! I hope you have found yours!

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14 thoughts on “How to get your mojo back

  1. Awesome!! So happy to hear you’re workin’ your mojo!! I love your tips and find all of them to be true. It’s definitely hard to stay motivated sometimes, but you do a fabulous job! AND cute workout gear definitely helps, too!! Such a fab tip!! Have a Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!! XOXO

  2. I think the key is taking time off after some tough training to avoid burnout! This is always hard for me, especially after a good race, but I started asking myself “do I really want to run?” and waiting until the answer was yes to get back to it. All great tips for getting back into running!

    • That’s a good approach – waiting for the desire to run to return. I will also never schedule a race so close to my marathon again – it’s just too much pressure to keep training instead of resting.

  3. Ah, so nice to have it back. So many people worry when it temporarily goes away. It is totally normal and will return if you are smart, like you were. Rest and time away makes a big difference. Happy mojo!

    • Thank you Sarah. I totally underestimated how much a marathon takes out of you both physically and mentally – it’s no joke. But ready and (mostly) able to get back into the swing of things now!

  4. FLRunnerBoy says:

    That’s great news to hear Irish!!! And yes I do have mine back as well. Those are some great reminders and my gym is on the way to work and they’re making a new location that’s literally just five minutes from my house! 🙂

  5. good tips, and glad you’re feeling back in the groove. there are def mornings when i let myself take the extra sleep when the alarm goes off, but they are few and far between and feel like a real treat. usually i force myself up and out even if i’m exhausted, and i never regret it.

    • Yes – the absolute hardest part of morning workouts is getting your ass out of bed. Once I’ve convinced myself to get up then I can face anything. But I usually need to have this pep talk every morning.

  6. You sooo remind me of myself after races….I’m worn out but then insist on starting another training cycle soon after. I’ve made myself start back up with running without my watch so that I don’t have a concept of how fast/slow I’m going to remind me to run by feel. So far, it’s going a lot better than my first two runs with my watch, which were way too fast/hard! I love your idea of setting mini goals and learning a new form of cross training….very cool way to try something new and still get in the cross training you need 🙂

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