When I'm in the zone and just "on", my running is meditation in motion. It clears my mind, soothes my soul and feeds me.
It's beautiful, it's graceful and it's inspirational.
Yet when I'm not in the zone, good lord running can be super boring and monotonous. The last thing I want to do, when I feel this way about running, is run. One rest day becomes two which becomes three.
Instead of putting me into a better mood, running makes me cranky because I'm so sick and tired of looking at the same thing. Over and over again.
This past March and April, I was hit with a small wave of boredom. I was so sick of the snow and ice and cold temperatures. Having run straight through the winter, I was so over the winter weather. It was all I could do not to burn my 4 layers of running clothes I lived in all winter long.
Luckily I had a couple half marathons I was training for which kept me moving, but mentally I was a bit stuck.
Now in July, the winter chill that we had for so long is just a distant memory. Today it's all about the heat and humidity, which seemed to come about in a blink of an eye. Too much, too fast, I need to run earlier. I'm all sweaty.
Us New Englanders are never happy about the weather. We're always complaining about something.
Whether it's the weather or the scenery, if you find yourself in a rut with running, here's 11 ways to change up your running to get yourself motivated again.
(PS. Even if you aren't a runner, you'll find these tips helpful to tackle any sort of workout boredom.)
With glorious weather and sunshine, 'tis a great time to trade in your sneaks for hiking boots. Who wants to hike Mount Major with me? Anyone?
2. Do stairs.
Run up and down stadium stairs. Or hills. For NH Seacoast locals, there's always Mount Agementicus, calling out for hill repeats.
3. Be like a cheetah.
Do intervals - sprint to the next telephone pole. Or mailbox.
4. Join a running club.
Make new friends, run new routes. Portsmouth locals, Coastal Athletic Association has track night every Tuesday at 6pm at Portsmouth High School.
5. Add in cross training exercises.
Planks, pushup, jumping jacks and situps can and should be done every mile.
Pick a distance (this works really well on a track) and just run it over and over again, aiming to run quicker with each turn.
7. Download Tabata timer to your phone.
Do a thorough interval workout with short periods of high intensity and then a short rest. (More to come on this.)
I've recently learned about an app that selects songs based on the pace you want to keep. How cool is that? I haven't tried it yet, but one of these days I will.
...not much faster, but just fast enough that your workout goes up a notch.
I relish my rest days. In fact, without them, I wouldn't enjoy running as much as I do. I would be burned out on it. I am super duper protective of my Mondays and Fridays and do what I can to keep them as 100% rest days.
What tricks do you have to break out of a running rut?