Everyone who starts something has those times when they want to give up. Like anything, some things get stale and boring and you can find yourself in a running rut if you don’t mix it up a little. Going out day by day doing a 5k easy run may just be the thing that you desire, but it may also be the thing that tips you over the edge into boredom, and before you know it you are sleeping through your alarm and finding any excuse in the world why NOT to run.
The best thing for you my friend is to mix it up. Try something new and exciting and let yourself fall in love with that WHY you started running feeling all over again. Here is how you can do it:
1. Find a running friend. Sometimes we like to run alone, I know I do, but sometimes we need that extra push, that special someone who is waiting out the front at 5am to help drag your butt out of bed for a long run in the bitter cold. Without that friend out there, you may just roll over and pull the covers back over your head. Lets face it, your friend will hold you accountable. They will keep you going, and maybe even push you to run further or faster than you are used to. They will get you out of your comfort zone, and it can be a great therapy session while you run. So what are you waiting for? Grab a friend; any friend, and share the running love together. Its always more fun when you have someone to share it with.
2. Find a different track. I am a creature of habit, and whilst training for my marathon I kept the same long run route. I must admit, this worked for me then, but if I was to run that track again I think I would want to give up and throw the towel in on my next marathon. I have done it to death. I needed a fresh start, something new to see and inspire me to keep going, so then I started trail running….and well, its just never boring anymore as there is so many places to explore. Not only is it good for motivation, its good for you to try different types of running. you might do a trail session, a beach run, hills or a suburban street run. Whatever you do, mix the scenery up so that you have something different to look at to motive you to keep going.
3. Vary your Pace. We could all get caught up doing long slow runs, and this is great and they do serve a fantastic purpose, but to help increase our speed and endurance we also need to implement changes in pace and our environment. If you want to get faster, you need to run faster, practicing the desired pace or adding in some interval sessions. If you want to increase your endurance you might also do some intervals or practice your tempo pace during your long run to simulate a race. You might do some hill sprinting sessions, or even some weight training. Mix it up. Push yourself and see your potential arise.
4. Have a goal. I find that having a running goal helps me to stay in the game. I enrol myself in a few races for the year and set my training plan accordingly. It helps to know what you need to achieve to reach that goal and make it happen. Be realistic in setting your goals. Set the goal and then work out your training plan to maximise your performance. Get out the calendar and mark those runs in. You could get a coach to help you plan and keep you accountable, or you can just enlist some friends. Make the goal something that you know will test you and when you reach it, you will feel like you achieved something amazing.
5. Rest. This happens to be one of the most important things to help you to keep going. You need to rest. your body needs rest. Without rest, your body can’t restore and re-build what you need to run efficiently and reduce the chance of injury. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep each night and at least 1-2 rest or light exercise days during the week. Make rest a priority. It is just as important as running.
6. Surround yourself with loving people. One thing that stops people from continuing on their running journey is negativity. A poor comment from a stranger, or a friend that makes you give up. Do not listen to negative talk. you can do it and you ARE doing it. YOU are a runner and no matter how fast or slow, or long or short your distance, you are OUT THERE and your lapping everyone on the couch! Be part of Running Mums Australia in our Facebook community where you can share and share away and you won’t be judged for that. The forum is all yours.
7. Be proud of yourself. You are a runner. You are out there and you should be proud of how far you have come and where you are heading. Don’t give up.