I was recently asked how to get out of a running rut. Feeling like you’re in a “rut” with your running can take on many forms: sometimes it’s a lack of motivation and you just haven’t run in a long time. Other times, you mileage is sky high, but the excitement and energy to run every day is gone. Either way here are a few tips to stir up some motivation and get you out on the road again.
Pick a Goal Race: Sometimes it is easy to fall into a rut if you are not “training for something.” Pick a goal race, and it doesn’t have to be a big one. A local 5K can be just as strong a motivator as a marathon. Knowing that a race day is coming can often be enough of a motivator to get you out of a rut. Another way to add purpose to your running is to fundraise and run for a cause. Knowing that your miles will make a difference for someone can be a huge motivator.
Run with a Friend: Scheduling a run with a friend can be a great way to get out the door. Meeting up with someone gives you added accountability and a pleasant change from the solo run. Consider joining a running club, then you’ll have access to group runs and possibly track workouts. Running with other people can be a great way to improve as a runner and often seeing improvement can give you the extra motivation you may be lacking.
Change Locations: Maybe lack of motivation comes from boredom. You run the same route every.single.day. That can get old easily. Schedule a run where you drive to a new location: run on a trail, along the ocean, a river or a lake. Or head to the track and run a few laps there. A change of venue can help keep your mind occupied and give you a break from your usual routine. Switching the time you run perhaps from evening to morning or morning to evening can also be enough of a change to help running feel fresh.
Mix it Up: If you’re running rut is a result of overtraining, a change in activity can be helpful. Try something new, a group class where an instructor leads you through can be a great “mental” break from logging miles on your own. Yoga, barre, spin, Pilates all of these (along with many others) are complimentary to running and will help build strength while you’re not running.
Ditch the Watch: Forget about miles, timing and pace for a few runs. Let yourself just run for runnings sake. Leaving your watch at home can be freeing and allow you to get in-tune with your body and your effort. The same can be said for music. If you usually run with music leave it at home for a run or if you usually don’t run with music run with it for a change.
Have you been in a running rut? How do you get yourself motivated?
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