We’ve all been there…when you’re running and just can’t seem to get a rhythm. Everyone has crappy runs sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always going to suck. If you’re having a crappy run or just don’t feel like getting out the door, here are my tips to make your run better. Linking up with Meranda & Lacey and Rachel for Friday Five 2.0!
1. Call a friend.
Running with a friend always helps me when I don’t want to run. Hell, working out in general is more fun when you have a friend suffering with you. Even if you don’t run the same pace or distance, having someone there to start with you and commiserate afterwards can make a bad run go by quicker or give you the motivation to get out the door when you really want to sleep in.
2. Try a new spot.
Everyone gets sick of running in the same places. There are a few routes I routinely use in my hometown and eventually I just get bored running those routes. When that happens, I’ll usually drive to a new route, even if its a bit further away from home than I usually go. Having somewhere different to run and different scenery can make the run seem less boring than if you were running the at the same park you always run!
3. Sign up for a race.
If you’re experiencing burnout in your training and just aren’t feeling the running, sign up for a local race and use it as a training run! I’ve done that a lot. The race environment is usually so positive and uplifting that it’ll make you excited to run- especially if you have a long distance run on tap and aren’t feeling doing the entire distance alone. Furthermore, you get a t shirt and usually a medal for your efforts- and who doesn’t want to receive a medal for a training run? Since its now becoming summer and less races are available, I’ve even signed up for virtual runs to keep things interesting. This weekend I’m doing the Hogwarts Running Club virtual 10 miler with a friend. The medal was really cool and I can’t wait to get that in the mail!
4. Switch up your training.
When you constantly run the same distance/pace or time over and over again it can get a little boring. Why not switch up your training and try something new? For example, if you usually do easy effort runs, try adding in fartleks to your run- pick a landmark and sprint toward it, then recover with some easy running to the next landmark and repeat. It’ll at least make the miles go by easier and switch up the normal routine you have. Or you could try your hand at track repeats; running some fast 400s or 800s will break up the monotony of a routine 3-4 miler. It goes by way faster than you think.
5. Try training for a totally new type of race or distance.
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut doing the same thing over and over again. If we constantly train for and race half marathons, 10k’s or 5k’s, eventually we’ll plateau and get bored. I wrote a post earlier about how OCR had gotten a bit boring for me– despite being obsessed with it over the past several years, I’m now turning my focus over to more distance training and triathlon training. If you’re sick of racing distances like the half or full marathon, why not try for a new 5k PR? Each distance should be respected and takes on a different meaning when you dedicate your training to it. Try something a little different and see how it redirects your focus and gives your running a new meaning!
Sometimes training just sucks. Sometimes it’s hard and despite your best efforts it doesn’t seem as if it will get any better. But when the going gets tough, I’ve used the above suggestions and found great success. Currently I’m training for both a triathlon and my first marathon and doing so has given new purpose to my training. I’m thoroughly enjoying the swimming and biking portion of my training- its keeping me entertained and motivated as the summer gets hotter.It’s always refreshing to jump into a cool pool for a swim! And the best part about biking and swimming is that, unlike running, you don’t have to wake up uber early to get your workouts in! I can go to the pool anytime and still have a great workout. I hope your training is going well too!
Have you ever suffered from training burnout? Did you use any of the above suggestions with success? If you did something differently, what did you do?