A few weeks ago, I hit a running slump. I wasn't feeling motivated about training and ended up skipping a lot of my runs. The weird thing was, the more time I took off, the less motivated I felt. I finally resorted to some of my go-to boredom busters, and now I think that I'm finally breaking through my rut!
When I don't have a plan or a goal, it's much easier for me to get bored with my running routine. I've found that picking a race three to six months away and developing a day-by-day training schedule helps me stay focused.
While I occasionally enjoy a solo run, I also love combining my social life with exercise. Setting run dates gets me out of bed in the morning and distracts me from my sleepiness. Most of the time, I get so busy chatting with my friends that the miles fly by.
Sometimes I need to make running feel less like exercise and more like play. Here are some of my go-to ideas:
- Go for a run in a local park. Every time you a cyclist, dog walker, stroller, etc., sprint for 10 to 20 seconds. Then return to your normal pace until you see another one.
- Make it a destination run! My favorite thing to do in the summer is to go for a run and end at a local beach or ice cream shop. Sometimes a cone of mint chocolate chip is the only thing that gets me out the door.
- Use your run to perform errands. Run to the post office, the grocery store, a PTA meeting, etc. Using your legs as transportation can be a very efficient (and cheap!) way to traverse the city.
- If you have kids, take them to the local park and have them hide while you run about 1/4 mile out and back. The faster you run, the less time they have to hide! If you do this a few times, it can result in a pretty solid interval workout.
How do you break through your running or breakout rut? Share your secrets with us in the comments section!
Megan Kretz, is a competitive runner and founder of the blog The Runner’s Kitchen. When she’s not pounding the pavement with the Central Park Track Club, Megan enjoys baking, tweeting, and exploring her Harlem neighborhood.