A running rut can happen to anyone. These easy to avoid pitfalls are common when the dog days of August of arrive. It can be hard to get out there and hit the trails, pavement or treadmill when it’s hot or humid and you’re thinking more about back to school than exercise. If you dread lacing up your running shoes or see a run you used to look forward to the schedule but now view with dismay, don’t worry. You might have fallen into a running rut and you’re not alone!
Everyone from recreational, running because I love it and for my health joggers to marathon winning, record holding professional runners are susceptible to the infamous running rut. If you find yourself in a mind over matter battle each time you slide on those once loved running shoes, you’re likely in your own running rut. That’s not a fun place to be. Here are five tips from Team FitNice to help you dig out of that running rut and stay excited about getting going.
Get off the treadmill. More affectionately known by many as the dreadmill, treadmill running can be a boring a way to get those miles in. The scenery doesn’t change much, you could be stuck next to that guy who listens to his ‘personal’ music device so loudly you can feel the base and there are only so many TV options. Mixing up your scenery and surface by heading outside can be a great refresher for both your mind and body.
Make a new playlist. It’s been shown that music can have a big effect on your workout, improving performance by up to 15%. Find the right stuff and you’re sure to rock it. End up with something that makes you want to hit the hay and you’ll lack motivation from step one. Songs with 120 beats per minute (BPM) are great for a jog, those with 150 work for tempo runs and crank it up to 170 BPM for some speed work.
Try another time. Hitting the pavement at the same time every morning, or evening, means you’ll likely see the same people walking the same dogs while taking the same kids to the bus stop every time you’re out. Like the dreadmill, this can get boring. Try mixing it up by running at a different time of day. Late evenings are great during the summer. The sun is going down, everything is cooling off and you might get a wiff of what your neighbors are grilling for dinner.
Check out a new route. Even if you have to run at the same time every week day, you can always go in a different direction. Running a different course can pick up your spirits while giving your mind something new to focus on. Websites like Map My Run have thousands of routes prepared for you, which is especially great for sightseeing and exploring when you’re traveling to a new spot. Some people have even started to use similar apps to draw pictures, check some out here (warning: not appropriate for all runners), to ward off the threat of a running rut.
Make sure it’s not overtraining or an injury. If you think it could be either of these, take a break and consider making a doctor’s appointment. Too much of a good thing can leave you not wanting more. Not only could this be your body’s way of telling you enough is enough, it could signal you need a new race distance or a new challenge. Evaluate both the mental and physical reasons you might be in a running rut, take a deep breath then give your mind and body what they need to get back on track as soon as you can.
Want help preventing falling into or getting out of your running rut? Ask us! Email Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below.