Getting out of a Running Rut

I was recently asked how to get out of a running rut. Feeling like you’re in a “rut” with your running can take on many forms: sometimes it’s a lack of motivation and you just haven’t run in a long time. Other times, you mileage is sky high, but the excitement and energy to run every day is gone. Either way here are a few tips to stir up some motivation and get you out on the road again.

Pick a Goal Race: Sometimes it is easy to fall into a rut if you are not “training for something.” Pick a goal race, and it doesn’t have to be a big one. A local 5K can be just as strong a motivator as a marathon. Knowing that a race day is coming can often be enough of a motivator to get you out of a rut. Another way to add purpose to your running is to fundraise and run for a cause. Knowing that your miles will make a difference for someone can be a huge motivator.


Hopefully you’ll have better race day weather:)

Run with a Friend: Scheduling a run with a friend can be a great way to get out the door. Meeting up with someone gives you added accountability and a pleasant change from the solo run. Consider joining a running club, then you’ll have access to group runs and possibly track workouts. Running with other people can be a great way to improve as a runner and often seeing improvement can give you the extra motivation you may be lacking.

Run with a friend.

Run with a friend.

Change Locations: Maybe lack of motivation comes from boredom. You run the same route That can get old easily. Schedule a run where you drive to a new location: run on a trail, along the ocean, a river or a lake. Or head to the track and run a few laps there. A change of venue can help keep your mind occupied and give you a break from your usual routine. Switching the time you run perhaps from evening to morning or morning to evening can also be enough of a change to help running feel fresh.


Change your location. Run somewhere new.

Mix it Up: If you’re running rut is a result of overtraining, a change in activity can be helpful. Try something new, a group class where an instructor leads you through can be a great “mental” break from logging miles on your own. Yoga, barre, spin, Pilates all of these (along with many others) are complimentary to running and will help build strength while you’re not running.

photo 3

Head to the studio and try something new!

Ditch the Watch: Forget about miles, timing and pace for a few runs. Let yourself just run for runnings sake. Leaving your watch at home can be freeing and allow you to get in-tune with your body and your effort. The same can be said for music. If you usually run with music leave it at home for a run or if you usually don’t run with music run with it for a change.

Have you been in a running rut? How do you get yourself motivated?


I love connecting with readers! You can contact me here:

Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com

Twitter: @Run_Far_Girl



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  1. I’m so honored to be in your post again 😀 I love that picture of us, all matchy-matchy 😀 I totally agree with these- running with a friend and having a goal race helped me get back into running this winter. After my 1st half last October, I had totally gotten burned out, but now, I’m more fired up than ever! I am looking forward to signing up for a few 5ks this summer, and another half in the fall, and I couldn’t be happier 😀 I’ve also signed up for some 30 day challenges I found online- The first one was a core challenge, and the 2nd one is a total body challenge. It just gives you exercises to do every single day, and then you just check in on the Facebook page to let them know you’re done. It’s great! You can find the details on She has a new challenge each month.

    Good luck tomorrow at the Peeper Race!! I was going to try to show up, but we have some family plans, so I’ll see you at Big Lake next weekend!!!

    • Thanks for commenting and reading! I think sometimes you do a little bit of everything depending on how bad the rut is or what exactly you’re needing to find that motivation.

  2. Try a running streak. Last November I did the runners world 1 mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Years got me back into the groove.

    • Some of those online challenges are super helpful! They really provide a community and accountability and can be so fun! Great idea:)

  3. These are awesome!!!! I usually pick a race it helps a ton!!!! I also buy myself something for running…a shirt, a new headband……..socks are my favorite. If I am doing really bad and am close to needing them I will buy shoes :)!

  4. I’ve definitely been in a rut before and tried all of your tips, and they really do work! Another tip I have is to run with a friend or someone who is just starting out. Seeing their excitement is so inspiring and gets you pumped about running again!

    • Such a great idea! It is true that sharing that journey can be really powerful and inspiring!

  5. If I get in a rut, it always helps to sign up for a race! Being motivated to actually train for something tangible is great motivation. And like you said, changing routes is a big help too! And really, just taking a step back, resting a few days, and getting my head back in the game works every time! Sometimes I just overthink it :)