Ask the Coaches

Each month we pick out a question from one of our members and our running coaches offer their expert advice.

Whether you're working on your first 5k, want to smash your marathon PB or are confused about an obscure term, our team of experts can help you.

Check out our archives for past questions and answers.

This Month's Question

This month's question is from Fran in West Sussex. Fran is fretting:

What's wrong with me? I used to love running so much but just can't be bothered anymore. I'm still going out and doing it, but my passion has gone. Help me get my mojo back!

- Fran, West Sussex

Simon Loughran
Simon - Middle-distance runner and athletics coach

“Right, let's get you fixed! There are a few things definitely worth trying.

  1. Have a break. A common mistake among non-elites is to just keep on running year-round without ever having any time off. A complete rest from running may be all that's needed to reawaken your desire. There's also the possibility that you are overreached and that's why running's not feeling like fun.
  2. Change your training. Not just the types of sessions you're doing, but also the terrain. Head out with a new group, go and do a bit of parkrun tourism, try running off-road or up really steep hills, get some cross-country spikes and find the muddiest field you can then run around it. There are so many different ways to run; don't limit yourself to just a few.
  3. Change your focus. What distances are you running at the moment? If you're a marathoner, then switch to something short. 5k is the most-common shorter distance on the roads, but 3k races and 1 mile events are out there if you hunt around. Or you could get on the track and go really short. Training for a different distance will necessitate different training. Not only can it alleviate any tedium you're experiencing from your usual training, it will also bring benefits by helping you develop areas that don't usually get attention.

It's not that uncommon to feel a bit unmotivated from time to time, so don't worry too much about it. I'm confident one or more of the above suggestions will see you raring to go again. Let us know how you get on.”

Our Member's Answer

This month's member's answer is from Dezz in South London. Dezz has suffered from this in the past:

Dezz - Previously bored

“We've all been there. Well, I have. I actually stopped running for a few weeks and started cycling instead. Just doing something different really helped and when I went back to running I felt like a new man.

Now I do duathlons and love both sports. I might take up swimming next time I'm bored, but it hasn't happened yet.

Seriously, sometimes running becomes everything in our lives and that can be fun, but it can also be really exhausting. Step back a little and the mojo will return.”

Great thoughts, Dezz.

Next Month

Next month's question is from June in Somerset. June is feeling old:

I didn't start running until I was 59. I got faster and faster and could go longer and longer, but now eight years later I seem to be slowing down. I'm sure it's age and inevitable, but I find it hard to stay motivated when I'm not getting PBs anymore. I do love running, but it feels like something is missing now.

- June, Somerset

We'll give June our advice in November. Check back then.

Want to answer June's question or ask your own? Become a member and get involved.