Training is taking the fun out of running

Does anyone start to not enjoy running when training for an event because your running to a plan rather than running for fun?

When I got my injury due to new shoe's, I was going to buy a bike because I had been running loads for my half marathon (Royal Parks HM) and just thought that it would take some impact off my knees while still keeping me fit. The only thing that stopped me was that with the change over from 2012 - 2013 models, my size wasn't in stock!

I then did my first Park Run a week ago then a 10k Corporate Event on Wednesday and enjoyed running again and thought about if I really wanted a bike. Then came the realisation that I had two weeks before the half and that I needed to get a 13 mile run in on Sunday when the forecast was bad because I was out all day Saturday. At that point, running seemed a chore again rather than for fun!

I'm sure that come the half marathon, I will enjoy running again because I'll be running it because I want to rather than have to. So if anyone else goes through the same, have you got any advice because I'm not looking forward to 3-4 months marathon training in the cold and wet winter months even though the reward will hopefully be completing a marathon?

Maybe it's because I got injured which threw everything out of plan that's making me feel like this! Which ever way though, I plan on takin it easy after the 7th October and running what I want to run before training for my ultimate goal kicks in!


  • If you aren't enjoying it- tyr something different- perhaps head out to the countryside paths, without a watch or planned speed/ distance, and jsut seeif you enjoy being out there without a plan. If it still seems like a chore- forget it, do something else!

  • I've never followed a training plan - I just run as and when and as far as I feel like image

    You could try running with other people, or different routes/surfaces. Or find some events that fit in with your training plan and use them as training rather than races?

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Is it a race or a bout? Reminds me of a clubmate who only bothered training when there was a race to do. Once the race was done he just stopped running and lay on the sofa drinking until weeks later another race appeared so started training again. He never did understand that the way to improve was to remain in training. He thought that idea obsessive. Of course he would think that, he was a prat.

  • Training is about finding what works for you! If a structured plan does not work then try something else! (as kk and sarah say above) I know of at least one elite athlete who laughs at people sticking to their schedules! But for me, I love my schedules! I have them on the wall of my study and I feel good ticking them off, best part of the run!

  • When I say a plan, it's not a structured plan, but I'm running longer distances because of the half marathon coming up. So I ran 13 miles this weekend, but I may have just normally ran 6 if that makes sense! I've also almost done 1,000Km this year so I'm running because I want to, not just for an event!

    I think it also doesn't help that I am going through a divorce at the moment and it's getting to a stressful time in that plus what with getting injured after buying new shoes and that fact that there is still a slight niggle there, I think I'm just a bit down anyway! Also, before my Park Run I had never ran with anyone else, so I'm going from just me, to 10,000+ in the space of a few weeks!

    Anyway, I'll stop rambling now as it's probably just other things getting me down as well, and I'm sure that just like the 10K, when I do the HM I'll realise that I do enjoy it again and why I'm doing it. I'll then have a few months to just do what I want to do and think about how I can prepare for the marathon if I decide that it's the right thing for me!

    Thanks for the advice.

    P.S. I did think that if I did buy a bike, I would cycle and run leaving only swimming image

  • Sleaver I think I know where you're coming from, I'm also training for the Royal Parks half, it's the first time I've followed a 'proper' training plan but my last 2 attempts to do a HM were thwarted by injury and illness so I wanted to give it my best shot this time. The last couple of weeks have been hard going tho and in some ways I secretly feel I'll be glad when it's all over.

    However I think like you everyday stresses can take their toll, we both work in education and we have 2 kids so Sept is always very busy and a bit stressy, so that on top of juggling things around to fit in specific training sessions etc when usually I just go with the flow - well I'm still enjoying my running and the training plan has really helped me get mileage up and avoid injury - but it's not like just going for a running to enjoy it is it?

    Only a couple more weeks to go tho - hang on in there - it's going to be a brilliant day and worth every mile of training!!

    (Oh and I have a place in Brighton marathon next year which I feel duty bound to honour ... so I better get used to training plans!)
  • The stark reality is that if you enter a race of whatever distance you need to do the relative training to give yourself the best possible chance in chosen race. If you don't like the long miles, enter shorter races buddy.

  • RicF wrote (see)

    Is it a race or a bout? Reminds me of a clubmate who only bothered training when there was a race to do. Once the race was done he just stopped running and lay on the sofa drinking until weeks later another race appeared so started training again. He never did understand that the way to improve was to remain in training. He thought that idea obsessive. Of course he would think that, he was a prat.

    Love it Ric.

    As always you're one of the most entertaining posters on here!

  • exactly my dilemma. i love races, and would be happy to race every weekend - but I know that, to improve, I need to do a structured training plan...(and - god! - its dull).

  • When I am asked what I am training for I give the answer "what have you got?"

    My running allows me to run 5k 10k and HM races. I don't follow a plan for any particular race length, rather I make sure that a good percentage of my running is done at an easy sustainable pace, that I do at least one stamina, or speed session a week and a long run of 13-16 mile every two weeks. I try to run 35-40 miles a week at least. Included in this is my daily cycle commute and my strength exercises. This gives me a good all round level of running ability.

    As long as you ecrementally increase you weekly milage, make sure you race enough to know if your improving and your training is working, adjust training paces accordingly when you feel stronger, you should never get bored.

    I have only done one 10k this year and four parkruns. Lowest I was placed was 5th.

    When I have a race all I have to do is sharpen up and give my all on the day.



  • Currently I am still getting my kicks out of the fact I have a new pair of silver running shoes

    Silver they are so cool. Wish it was summer now, as no one can really appreciate their blinding glory in the dark evenings.

    I really want my next pair to be gold.


  • Yeah, I'm in with Sleaver on this I think. The 80-90 miles rides training for Outlaw were just a bloody pain in the arse, the 3K swims were about a K too long and 12-15 mile runs are fone now and again, but when I want to.

    I'm not doing (attempting) full distance for a while yet and the short sharp training sessions are great. They fit in with family and I am getting a fair bit faster. I also have a smile on my face a bit more (yeah, difficult to believe, I know).

    I'll do a marathon or two next year, maybe 3. The first will be off the back of a trio of 12-15 mile runs and use it and the next one as training runs. Nail the third.

    In short, do it for fun again.  

  • You don't have to be a slave to the schedule. There will be sessions and runs that you need to do in some form to achieve your goals, but don't let it make you miserable. I find cross training helps me keep interested, particularly in winter, and if that fails then a new pair of running shorts or similar is always a good motivater. I'll have a target race for the season, but I'll do other races that seem interesting, and juggle my schedule around to fit in everything else I want to do. I give myself 2-3 essential sessions, which can be done on any day, and then I'm flexible with swapping steady runs for time in the pool or on the bike or something else entirely. I did a triathlon this year as a different goal, and hope to do some more next year. There will be weeks when you don't feel like doing much, but as long the lethary doesn't last more than about 10 days it won't do too much damage.

  • I struggle to enjoy the actual run, so find that a schedule gives me some focus to do it. often i find the run monotonous and it's that day's goal that keeps me going.

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