Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Five Tips to Start Loving the Run Again

I'll always remember Summer 2015 as the season I struggled through a running slump. It's been a long couple of weeks but I think I've run through the worst of it and things are getting back to normal. Finally I feel like I'm building momentum into the fall racing season!

Being stuck in a running slump is so not fun. But if you're smart about it, you can get over the hump and back to running without screwing up your training. Here are a few strategies I used to get through this summer's rough patch:

Cut yourself a little slack - After you've been running awhile, you know that not every run is going to be all-out fantastic. In fact, sometimes the miles really suck! It sounds weird, but I think part of getting re-energized about running is accepting that there will be good runs and there will be bad runs. And if you're going through a bad patch right now, then one positive thing is that a good patch is likely coming your way soon!

Change up your usual course - I tend to run the same routes again and again. I equate it to comfort running - I know exactly what I'm going to get! But sometimes it's good to switch things up a bit. So last week I decided to run one of my usual courses in reverse. It was amazing how just this one little change made my run that much more interesting. I felt more engaged throughout the miles and at the end, completely re-energized!

Treat yourself to something new - There's really nothing like having something new to wear to get a girl out the door faster. Last week I treated myself to a Lululemon bra and I couldn't wait to try it out. It made getting up for my long run a bit easier and as a bonus the bra was a perfect fit. So comfortable with zero chafing!

Free To Be Bra - Isn't it cute? It's also super comfy!

Have a goal other than number of miles or pace - Make your run enjoyable by having a goal that's completely unrelated to your watch data. For example, make it your goal to smile and say hi to every runner you pass. Last week, I did a run like this where my only goal was to run to the White Castle Crave Mobile that was in town for a few days (MKE doesn't have a White Castle). It was mega hot outside and the miles should have been pretty miserable but they weren't because I ran with coworkers and was rewarded with multiple sliders at the end. Total win ;) 

Pic stolen from Dan who is already enjoying his sliders!

Meet up with a group - I'm almost always a solo runner. I think it's because I'm pretty independent and like running where I want, when I want and at whatever pace I need to run. Also, I'll admit, running with a group makes me feel a bit socially anxious - I'll never get over the fear of being the slowest person in the group. But sometimes running with others is the way to go. So Saturday morning I participated in a Milwaukee Running Festival Build-Up Run. I ran six miles on my own before meeting up with the group so my legs were already a tad tired. But I noticed running with the group made running seem like no effort at all!

Tell me: What do you do to get past a running slump?

- ST

6 comments:

  1. These are great tips! Especially with summer weather, it's easy to get in a slump sometimes. But you hit it right there, it's inevitable that we're going to have bad patches throughout training all times of the year, but they're usually followed by some pretty great ones :) And that's sports bra is super cute!!

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    1. Thanks Hailey! I think you're right - we are all due for a great fall running/racing season after getting through the summer months :) Hope your training is going well!

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  2. Ummm I kind of needed this right now. I've been struggling a bit trying to stay motivated and now that I have a big race to work toward it's a little bit easier, but these are such great tips for me to keep in mind too! I definitely was on a mental break earlier in the summer. It's time to get back into it!

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    1. I just saw that you are doing another marathon this fall - nothing like putting a big race on the calendar to get motivated again :) Looking forward to following your training - sounds like you're off to a great start with the 10k PR!

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  3. All great tips. The key to my slumps are usually more rest days!

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    1. Thanks Sue! There is nothing wrong with taking an extra rest day or two. That's another great way to get past a slump :)

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