Run­ning is a very demand­ing sport, both phys­i­cal­ly and emo­tion­al­ly. Although the ben­e­fits often out­weigh the neg­a­tives, some­times you just start feel­ing burnt out and need a lit­tle extra moti­va­tion­al kick to get back in the swing of things. Here are a few ideas to try next time you find your­self feel­ing unin­spired on a run.

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Try a new route
Run­ners, like any­one, get stuck in their rou­tines. Just like peo­ple cycle through the same 12 din­ners for years, run­ners will cycle through their same 3–4 run­ning routes until they could run it in their sleep. No won­der they lose moti­va­tion! It’s impor­tant to keep your mind stim­u­lat­ed while run­ning and give your­self new turns, sights, and mile mark­ers to look for­ward to. If you’re lim­it­ed by where you live, try dri­ving or rid­ing your bike a few miles away on the week­ends and begin­ning a run from a new loca­tion, or have a friend or fam­i­ly mem­ber drop you off a few miles away and run home.

Vol­un­teer at a Race
Although many run­ners sign up and par­tic­i­pate in races, far few­er give back and vol­un­teer. Most races depend heav­i­ly on vol­un­teers, and you’re not like­ly to ever be turned away if you offer your time. Vol­un­teer­ing lets you feel the rush of pos­i­tive ener­gy and enthu­si­asm of races with­out hav­ing to train and run in it. See­ing run­ners of all ages and ath­let­ic abil­i­ties work­ing hard, achiev­ing their goals, and cel­e­brat­ing at the fin­ish line emits an extreme­ly con­ta­gious good feel­ing that is bound to get you excit­ed about your own train­ing once again. Don’t be sur­prised if you find your­self sign­ing up for the same race you just vol­un­teered for.

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Go shop­ping!
Although shop­ping is not always rec­om­mend­ed as the go-to bore­dom buster, few run­ners can deny the remark­able feel­ing a new pair or run­ning shorts or shoes (or, if you’re on a bud­get, just a head­band or fun col­ored shoelaces) can pro­vide. Per­haps all run­ners secret­ly want to believe that new gear might make us faster run­ners, but hon­est­ly, who’s to say it can’t? It’s all about atti­tude, after all.

Read a book about running
There are count­less inspi­ra­tional books on run­ning out there. We are all inspired by dif­fer­ent types of sto­ries, but here are a few to get your list start­ed: Born to Run by Christo­pher McDougall, Ultra­ma­rathon Man: Con­fes­sion of an All-Night Run­ner by Dean Kar­nazes, Eat and Run: My Unlike­ly Jour­ney to Ultra­ma­rathon Great­ness by Scott Jurek, Run­ning Through the Wall: Per­son­al Encoun­ters With the Ultra­ma­rathon by Neal Jami­son and Don Alli­son, or Once A Run­ner (the only nov­el in this list) by John L. Park­er. It would be near­ly impos­si­ble to read any one of these books and not want to get back out there with a fresh­ly inspired perspective.

sdTake a week off
If all else fails, maybe you’re just burnt out men­tal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly. Lis­ten to your body and give it a break. Get some extra rest, catch up on your ‘to do’ list around the house, read a new book, and just relax. It nev­er seems to take run­ners more than a week to start itch­ing and reach­ing for their run­ning shoes again.

Run­ners of all abil­i­ty lev­els expe­ri­ence some moti­va­tion loss at times but, thank­ful­ly, it’s a very fix­able prob­lem. What are your moti­va­tion secrets?