Nothing is more defeating than coming back from a run disatisfied or not being able to motivate yourself to get out and just run.
I have never experienced a "running rut" until just a couple of weeks ago. My times were slowing and my legs felt like they could not carry me. After the first ten minutes of a run, I was ready to call it quits. Mentally defeated and physically hurting, I could not figure out what was wrong, and I was becoming increasingly frustrated.
"Could it be I was overtraining? Am I missing an essential nutrient in my diet? Am I pushing myself too hard? When I was training for my half-marathon I didn't have this problem, why now?"
These were all questions that flooded my brain. Of course, I searched online for an answer. Maybe someone else had insight to what could be happening and cure me. But, all of my research seemed fruitless and I was getting even more discouraged.
All I wanted to do was give up.
It was then that something popped up on my Twitter feed that caught my eye. The headline read, "Is your running feeling stale? Six Ways to Bust Out of a Running Rut." I immediately clicked on the link.
The article from Runner's World read: "No matter how much you love to run, there are bound to be days when you’re burnt out, bored, frustrated, and want to throw your running shoes out the window." The words descibed me perfectly; I kept reading. "Sure, routine can help keep you consistent, but mixing things up every once in a while can help you prevent from falling – feet first – into a fitness rut. Here are six easy ways to revive your running desire."
The two pieces of advice that really stood out to me were: get a change of scenery & reset your goals.
Switching up my routes seemed to help. When continually running my old routes, hitting certain landmarks would remind me of times that I felt like giving up and encourage mental defeat. But, running and exploring new roads and paths kept my mind active and interested.
But, it was evaluating and resetting my goals that really hit home. I thought about why I started running and how much I enjoy it. I came to the conclusion, that at the end of the day, it's not about the time or the mileage, it's about doing what I love, and loving what I do. Yes, I have trained for races in the past and stuck to a rigid training plan, but there is nothing quite like throwing on your shoes and running for fun.
Next time you are in a workout rut, take some time off to reflect and reevaluate why you started to do it in the first place--it's all apart of the journey.
From one runner to another,