A good friend and I have been texting back and forth today about being in a running rut. First, you must know she has quite the great story! Her and I have been friends for a long, long time. She took up running in 2010 and has lost a kick ass amount of weight, run 2 1/2 marathons and is going to be running the Chicago Marathon here in October. She runs a lot because she has found (I am assuming here), like all of us runners, that it is the best cardio and calorie buster out there. But after 13 + months, she is starting to hit a rut.
Living in the Midwest, winter running just sucks. If you are not an outdoor winter person and you get stuck on an indoor treadmill, little things can cause you to not want to do your run. (Like not having a particular treadmill. :) ) I hit this rut every year about mid- February and every time after I run a race. Sometimes I just stop running until the urge hits me again. Sometimes I switch up my running days for variety or I try a different part of the gym to look at or I take 1 running day and make it an elliptical day. I try all of these things until I get through it and hope that it only mentally lasts a few weeks.
Things to remember when in a rut:
1. Everyone goes through them. The best and the worst runners out there.
2. Variety is the spice of life. Go outside 1 day a week, even if only a mile. Go hit the elliptical. Take a workout class instead.
3. If you can change 1 thing about your routine each week, the rut will pass by you faster. (cross train, different run days, 1 extra rest day)
4. If you try #3 for 3 weeks and are still struggling, take a week off. But make a date with yourself that you have to hold about getting back out there. Tell someone that in 1 week you have to start running again. They are to call you, text you, email you, etc until you have told them that your booty has gotten back into running.
5. Keep telling yourself, this is just a phase. For me, it is because it is winter. So I tell myself winter does not last all year. I look at pictures of sunny places and I look at my race schedule and goals every day to remind me why I do it.
I tend to not get in performance ruts, mine are all mental. So I cannot help you there. This article can though!
So readers: how do you get out of running/ workout ruts? what is your best motivator?