Running typically is my favorite efficient way to exercise, but this season it’s been a total slog. My body has just not been feeling particularly spry and last week I felt pretty rock bottom about it all. I queried via social media about this topic and was amazed by the response! I wanted to share these great tips with you, because let’s face it, everyone gets in a fitness funk from time to time.
Huge props to @ameliasprout, Charles, Chris, Christina, Christine, @courtneytheduke, Elena, @groovygreenliv, Heather, Katie, Jen, Jesica, Jill, Jo-Lynne, Jules, Julia, Maria, Mary, Matt, Nadia, Pauline, @rachel_nk, Sharon, Sharon, and Vicky for sharing wisdom and encouragement! There were many overlapping responses so I'm calling everyone out here, and crediting specific recommendations below.
1. Put a race on the calendar. I definitely perform well with a carrot in front of me and I’ve wanting to put a race on the calendar for a while, but personally, right now a 5K seems too short, a half marathon seems too long, and I haven’t managed to find a 5-miler or 10K race that works with my schedule. I will keep looking!
2. Change your route. Several people also suggested changing route. My typical routine currently involves one of 5 or so routes, depending on how far I want to go, so I guess it’s time to try a new one!
3. Change your distance. Christina suggested changing distance; for example, going only a mile but as fast as you can go. Or, going really slow but longer than normal.
4. Create a new playlist or listen to a podcast. LOTS of people recommended creating a new playlist, which is starting to make me think I should run with music (I just run and brainstorm and breathe)! I thought Jill’s suggestion of using Spotify to create a fresh playlist each run was clever.
5. Get new gear. Several people recommended new shoes and running clothes as a motivator. And as it happens, I just spotted (and bought!) the Mizunos I’ve been coveting over on Zulily last night on mega sale!
7. Run with other people. Several people recommended running with a friend. My sister Sharon recommended joining a running club, which kind of scares me a little but maybe that’s a good reason to try it.
8. Train with your kids. @ameliasprout shared that preparing for a 5K with her kids is a motivator: “We push each other. Still just walking but we're doing it together and kids are lots more fun to exercise with than adults for me.” As it turns out, I’m helping to start a Girls on the Run chapter at Laurel’s school this fall. BOOM.
9. Try something different that’s running related. People recommended mixing things up via track workouts, speed work, intervals, hill repeats, and zombie sprints. I will need to look up what some of these things are. Ha!
10. Try something different that’s NOT running related. My cousin Pauline suggested less running and more cross-training. Jesica suggested a barre or spin class. I used to always alternate yoga with running and I think that would be a good thing to do as well.
11. Take a break. Jules (a contributor here + fitness trainer) recommends taking a full 7-10 days off from running then starting fresh.
12. Remember that it’s not forever. Vicky, Julia, and Jesica were super helpful in reminding me that what with the heat and humidity, this is the hardest time of year to run. For everyone. It’s totally true. I don’t mind running in 15 degree winter weather, but this humidity is killer for me. A good reminder to not be so hard on myself!
Do you have other tips to share? I'd love to hear them in the comments below.
Image credits: 1) Mizunos via Zulily; 2) FreeDigitalPhotos.net (with text/graphic treatment by Christine Koh)