9 Ways To Find Motivation or Break Out Of A Rut

Are you stuck in a rut? Feeling bored and unmotivated to get sweaty? We’ve all been there. It’s physically impossible for me to complete a marathon training cycle without totally and completely burning out so I understand how frustrating a loss of drive, focus and motivation can be. If you’re stuck in a rut or spending an entire day trying to motivate yourself to get sweaty, here are my 9 tips and tricks to forging a new path and reigniting your workout spark:

1. Cut Yourself Some Slack.

Be kind to yourself

Are you beating yourself up about not working out? Stop doing that. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t get yourself to go to the gym or put your shoes on for a run. Maybe life is getting in the way or you’ve totally and completely hit a wall. Step 1 is cutting yourself some slack so stop fussing over it.

2. Try Something New.

Nice try jan

If you’re training for a half marathon and can’t get yourself to run, try something else. “But Kelly! How will I be able to run a half marathon if I stop running?!?!” Don’t stop running completely, just cut back. Do 1 running specific quality workout 2-3 times (Do interval/speek/hill work 1 day, your weekly long run and a normal run), and spend the other 3-4 days cross training. Go hard at a really high energy class like indoor cycling, swimming and kickboxing. Go do something that kicks your ass with an instructor who is going to motivate and distract you so much you forget that you don’t want to be there.

3. Call In The Troops.


If you're someone who is currently running or working out solo, go find a workout buddy, a class environment or some sort of running club. There is safety in numbers and chances of you skipping a workout if someone is waiting on you are very slim. You get to meet new people, find new motivation and blast your goals out of the water. That's what we call killing 3 birds with one stone.

4. Set A New Goal.


If you want getting sweaty to be a regular occurrence in your life, you need to set goals. If you already have a goal and still find yourself stuck, set a goal within a goal! Smaller weekly goals are the perfect way to run around road blocks. Something new I’ve been doing is I've been getting specific with each and run and making a goal everyday. By getting really specific when I’m not in the mood to run, I have something to focus on. Play with pace, routes, distances and stats. Get numbers involved and see if that helps. If that sounds awful, make it a goal to go to a new or different class one morning before work each week. Pencil it into your schedule and commit to it.

5. Go Watch Something Inspirational.

Brene Brown The Power of Vulnerability

This is, without fail, the best way to refuel your motivation tank. When I’m walking around with a gray cloud over my head I go and I watch Ted Talks. There is something contagious and energizing about passionate and driven people conveying something huge to a room full of strangers. CLICK HERE and go watch any of the Ted Talks on this list.

6. Write.

Writing is hard

I know what you’re thinking, “Write? What does that have to do with working out?” Everything. Journaling is an AMAZING way to figure out what’s going on. Not only do you get to write whats going on internally, but you get to look back 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or several years down the road and see how far you’ve come! You don’t have to write long, start with this:

I hope…

I wish…

I dream…

More than anything else in the world I want…

More than anything else in the world right now I want…

How do I feel about myself…

5-10 minutes is all it takes. You can even do it on your phone in an email.

7. Distract Yourself.

Everybody dance now

Killer playlists, podcasts, radio, books on tape, running with people who talk to you, making work calls – all are great ways to distract yourself and kill time during a workout.

8. Reward Yourself.

treat yo self

Three cheers for materialism! Go buy a new workout outfit to help you feel good about yourself. Do what you gotta do man! I think it’s ridiculous but it works! I look forward to wearing my new gear! I get this indescribable buzz off new yoga pants. I’ll admit it! It’s a problem! But hey, if it means I’ll run 22 miles with a smile on my face while I’m rocking a new pair of cool running tights, then I’m buying the running tights.  I give you permission to do the same.   

9. Bargain.


If those 8 tips fail, bargain with yourself. A 30 minute run is better than no run at all right? Sometimes you aren't going to be able to make it happen. It happens. That's when you have to suck it up and do at least 30 minutes of anything that makes you sweat 4 times a week...for your health. I promise you’ll never finish and say, “God I regret running for 30 minutes over not running for 30 minutes.” Sometimes it just sucks and you end up having to suffer through it. That’s just the way it goes.  

When the going gets tough, find a new path and go get lost. How do you break out of a training rut? Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.


Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.