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?