It happens to all of us at one point or another. We’ve been in the groove for a while, until one day we head outside and suddenly can’t remember why we’re running. Running begins to feel mundane and monotonous, and before anything can be done about it we find ourselves are knee deep in a running slump.
Getting stuck in a running rut can be one of the most frustrating feelings. Knowing that there is nothing specifically wrong – we are not injured or sick – but yet everything feels a little off.
Running just isn’t fun anymore.
A running slump encompasses many different feelings, but for most of us it describes those times when running begins to feel pointless, boring, and we lose motivation to head out the door. These times make us question why on earth we started and leave us struggling to continue.
Whether life has gotten in the way, you’ve completed a goal race and are feeling a little lost, or are just feeling a little more lazy than usual – know that your feelings are normal. It’s okay to have lost interest in running, and it doesn’t mean that it will be gone forever.
No matter how much we love running, there will always come a time when we start feeling bored. We’ve lost sight of our purpose and motivation. If this is you, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and face them before it becomes too late.
Lucky for us, there are quite a few strategies to overcome a running funk.
These 5 tips will help you get out of that running slump and back on your feet again in no time.
5 Ways to Break Out of a Running Slump
Remind yourself of your goals.
This is much easier to do when you are training for something specific. If you are training for a specific distance or PR – remind yourself of that goal! Take a few minutes to remember why you set this goal in the first place, and what it will feel like when you accomplish it.
If you’re not training for anything specific (i.e. a race), remind yourself of your overall goals with running. Are you running to relive stress, stay healthy, lose weight or increase your fitness? Remind yourself why you started running, and what has kept you going this long.
Related: 15 Amazing Reasons to Run
Feeling purposeful motivates just about anyone to keep going. Remember that you are running for a reason – there are goals, benefits and personal feelings on the line. Don’t let one lazy day throw off an entire week, month, or year’s worth of progress.
Run in a different area.
When you feel like you’re stuck in a running rut, it’s probably because of just that – you’re stuck. Most running slumps happen when things start to feel mundane. You head out for the same run, in the same place and don’t think much about it day after day.
To break out of this running rut you’ll need to change things up. A great way to mix things up with your running routine is to run in a different area. Even if this area is just a few streets over – changing your scenery ever so slightly might be all the change you need to feel excited again.
Pay special attention to the scenery – are the seasons changing? Is the weather unusual today? Focusing on staying present during your run will help avoid those feelings of monotony and keep you inspired.
Mix up your workouts.
Another simple way to get out of that running rut is to mix up your workouts. Mixing up your workouts can involve many different things! Are you unable to swap a run for a cross training workout because you’re following a training plan?
If so, add a little variety to your runs. Throw in a few short intervals during that mid-week run, or add some tempo miles or hill repeats to your long run. Keeping each run different and interesting will help you avoid feeling monotonous each day running through your neighborhood.
Or, if you’re able, swap out one run per week with a cross training workout. Make a point to try something new each week! Explore yoga, group classes, bodyweight workouts, or different machines at the gym. Changing one workout per week may be just enough to keep things interesting.
Check out some workout ideas here!
Don’t overthink it.
When you’re stuck in a running slump, the worst thing you can do is sit on the couch debating whether or not you should get out there and run. Before you know it you’ve come up with a thousand excuses and reasons why you should stay in rather than running.
Just do it.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to bust out of a running slump is to just power through. Keep following your training plan and completing your workouts. After a few days or weeks, you may find that the groove feels more manageable and you’ve gotten past the hump.
When all else fails… take a rest day.
If you’re really struggling and feeling stuck, you may need a rest day. When you’ve tried just about everything you can think of and nothing seems to work – take a day off.
But just one day.
Allow yourself one guilt free rest day, where you skip your workout and lounge on the couch instead. Use this time to clear your mind, refocus your thoughts, and try to get to the bottom of what’s really causing these feelings.
Relax and enjoy your time off, but make a point to hit the ground with more excitement and motivation the next day. Running is always there for you when you return.