Here’s something for those who want to maintain keeping active this year, especially with running…
Since we’re half way through January, let me talk to you about something I’ve heard a lot of people mention in the clinic – especially since starting off the year with being more active!
One of the things that most new runners fall into is something called a “running rut.”
Has this ever happened to you?…
Once you start running for a few weeks, it feels great, almost as if you couldn’t imagine life without it!
But then all of a sudden this creeps up on you…
You find yourself stuck in a slump, lacking motivation to get out of bed and slip your running shoes on.
You end up thinking “oh I’ll just go at lunch time, or this evening instead”, or “I’ll go for a run tomorrow”…
…But that never ends up happening.
You’re definitely not alone. This happens to almost everyone – even the top running athletes.
But since being more active has a whole range of benefits such as keeping your joints mobile and preventing the risk of injuries…
…and because I want to help you stay on track all year round, (not just for January!), I wanted to share some tips with you on how you can get yourself out of a running rut, for good.
Here we go:
Change Your Running Route
Do you only have one or two routes that you choose to run?
Many runners do.
They find a route that’s close by and stick with it. Sure it might be convenient – but after a while it loses it’s appeal and becomes ‘boring’.
No wonder you’re in a rut!
Think how you’d feel if you just ate two or three foods day in, day out – it would be pretty boring, right?
Well it’s the same with keeping active.
Take a look and see if there’s a different route you can take instead and the next time you run, decide to run a new route instead.
Use Running To De-stress
While feeling completely unmotivated, it’s easier than ever to talk yourself into skipping runs for reasons you normally wouldn’t.
For instance, if you’re telling yourself you had a really stressful day at work and you deserve to take the evening off and veg out on the sofa with your favorite TV show to clear your mind – it’s time to stop and think.
Isn’t a stressful day even more of a reason to get out for a run?
Exercise is a great way of de-stressing and running off a not so good day. (It releases those feel good endorphins too!)
Run Shorter Distances & Run Faster
For some runners I talk to, going the same distance over and over again is an accomplishment, but it can feel like a scene of groundhog day after a while…
As you’re setting your goals, include a variety of distances (they don’t always have to be long).
Why not challenge yourself to run faster for shorter distances? Or turn the pace down for longer distances so you feel like you can do more?
Don’t get me wrong, pulling yourself out of an exercise rut and firing up your motivation again isn’t easy – but it’s 100% possible!
Remind yourself why you started in the first place and how GREAT you felt when you got to the end of a run.
Now get your running shoes back on and have fun – I want to hear all about your running accomplishments, and your new favorite routes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Women's Health Physical Therapy Specialist at PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness
Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, educator, author, and co-founder of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness. She is known as a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and women’s health specialist in the Silicon Valley area.
Kim has helped men and women of all ages to stay active and feel their best. She also writes about managing pain in her health columns, blogs and the local Los Altos Town Crier newspaper as well as reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries, and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and therapeutic exercise.