I’m slowly setting some not-so-new years’ resolutions. My latest is to be more flexible/spontaneous. In general, I tend to be a creature of habit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all open to change but being in a set routine gives me peace (piece?) of mind. While it can be a great quality in terms of consistency and reliability, it can also breed boredom…and apparently a running rut.
Despite my general love to run, I sometimes do it out of habit. I’m so used to running X amount of times/ X kilometers a week that I find it difficult to switch up my workouts. Instead I’ll run ‘just because’…not because I actually want to! After my post last week on walking versus running, I’m sure it’s no surprise that running began to feel like a major chore to me over the last 2 weeks. Getting out of bed was a nightmare and once I was on the treadmill, my eyes would not leave the clock. I just wasn’t feelin’ it. Given my normal enthusiasm for the sport, you can only imagine my frustration :-|.
Fortunately this morning marked the end of my rut. I am back in the game! Maybe it was that bowl of cereal I had 10 minutes before getting into bed last night 😳 or maybe it was to do with having an insane dream (sidebar: love it when u can remember good dreams :)). Whatever it was, one thing’s for sure: my legs were on fiyah this morning! If you too are experiencing a running (or exercise in general) rut, these tips may help you get through it:
- Listen to your body. There’s a difference between ‘being lazy’ and feeling worn out. When it’s a genuine case of the latter, take a time-out. Exercise should be something which energizes you, not further drains you.
- Shake things up. I run for pleasure. The minute it becomes a burden, I’m going to stop doing it. I rather not risk it becoming a further pain. To maintain my fitness levels and get my dose of endorphins, I spent more time on the cross-trainer. My butt and I also developed a new-found appreciation for uphill walking on the treadmill- crank up that incline, baby! 😈
- Alter your goals: If distance/time tends to be your thing, focus on speed sessions: quick yet efficient. And the same goes vice versa: rather than run at full-throttle, set yourself a weekly mileage/time goal to meet, irrespective of how long it takes you!
- Remind yourself why you’re doing it. Whether it’s for an upcoming race, weight loss, or pure enjoyment- you will be more inclined to run with a specific goal in mind.
- Run outdoors: If given the option, make a date with Mother Nature. Running outdoors amps up the pleasure factor by a billion. Nothing like a change of scenery to keep the mind ticking!
- Update your iPod or hit the shuffle mode
- Purchase new running kit. I’m not one of those crazy girls who runs with make-up on or blow dries my hair before the gym. I do, however, like to wear proper running attire (yes that means Spandex!). Dress like a runner to feel like a runner…plus it’s a good excuse to go shopping 😛
- Don’t give up. Instead of running, swap to low-intensity forms of exercise such as swimming, walking, or yoga. These may not seem as hardcore nor stimulate your sweat glands to the same extent but it’s better than nothing. Your mojo is bound to come crawlin’ back. 😀