There’s no doubt that running in perimenopause can be difficult and if you’re facing some of the many challenges it brings, it can be really hard to stay motivated. It takes so much extra effort to get out for a run and if you’re disappointed with your performance and finding you need more time to get over a run too, then it’s not surprising you don’t feel motivated.  

So, if this is you, what can you do? 

The first thing I want to say is please don’t give up. However hard it is, this is a crucial time of life for you to be active for many reasons. However difficult it feels, please keep trying.  

Here are some things that have and still do help me and the women I know to keep on getting out for a run. There’s no evidence base for these, no medical studies to prove they work, they’re just things to try. Read on and see if there are one or two that strike a chord with you. 

Talk to your future self. Do a bit of visualisation. Picture yourself twenty years from now. Imagine you are sitting in a café with yourself and having a chat. Picture how do you look, what you’re wearing and what your life is like. Ask yourself: 

  • Why are you glad you kept running and didn’t give up? 
  • What helped you to keep going? 
  • Do you have any words of encouragement for me? 

It might sound a bit weird if you’ve never done anything like this before and it can take practice. But, you’ll be surprised at what wisdom your future self gives you. 

Stop comparing. There will be a time when you feel your running is back on track again, I promise. It might feel like a distant star but it’s there. Stop comparing yourself to the pre-menopause you. That might mean not wearing a watch, not uploading your run or just not caring where you come in a race. They say that comparison is the thief of joy and it can certainly suck the joy out of your running. Give yourself a break. 

Run unmotivated. The longer you think about going for a run, the more time you have to talk yourself out of it. Don’t engage your brain. Just put your shoes on and go. Don’t wait or expect to feel motivated. It’s equally possible to run unmotivated. Chances are, after a mile and when you’ve got through the toxic ten you’ll feel much more inspired about the running idea. And if not then you can head home, two miles unmotivated is better than none. 

Phone a friend. This works for me every time. I make a plan with a friend and I’m tied to the day and time. Chatting while you run is a great distraction from the running itself and miles pass more easily. It always makes me laugh because at the end of the run we both usually agree that neither of us would have run that day if we hadn’t planned it together.  

Change your reason to run. Try focussing less on the running and more on other things. Could your run simply be a way of getting from A to B? If you’re meeting a friend for coffee, use running as your form of transport to get there. If you’ve got a tricky email to send or a work presentation to give, use a run as thinking and preparation time. The task is what you are doing, you just happen to be running while you do it! Be as creative as you want here but just make the main aim something other than running.  

Set a challenge. This might not be for everyone but it’s certainly something that has worked really well for me. You might need to have all the pressure of running removed from you and training for a race might pile on the pressure when you don’t want it. However, if having a race to aim for has helped you stay motivated before, it might just do it again. When you’re following a training plan, there’s less negotiation about whether you run or not. You know you need to do what’s on the plan and that’s that. If you can find a goal that excites you, or someone to do it with, then even better. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.  

I hope these tips help you. I use them all, all the time. Perimenopause can feel different day to day. Sometimes I need a friend to help me, others I need to have a stern word with myself. I’ve just completed a training programme for a half marathon which has taken care of motivation for the last 12 weeks and will keep me motivated for a few more now too.  

I’d love to hear what keeps you motivated at the moment. Is it something you struggle with in perimenopause? What strategies do you use? 

If you’d like to follow my running antics and get more tips and tricks for perimenopausal running, sign up for my newsletter below. If you need more than this and would like to work one to one with me, then why not book a free call with me to talk about my coaching packages.  

Featured image: Alexas_Fotos at Pixabay

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