Like many runners, I tend to be a seasonal runner. I don’t like running during the summer, I find it too hot and just uncomfortable with so many people waking earlier than usual. I tried to keep running this year, but with my work commitments it got laid to the side for a good 6 weeks. Over that time I still stayed active, with cycling and my active job, but it just wasn’t specific training. Below I’m sharing a few ways I’m tried to get the running mojo back, in the hope that it’ll inspire you next time you fall into an inactive slump.
Firstly I’m took the pressure off, my goal was simply to run, no pace in mind, just get back out there and start enjoying running again. I went out running a few times with friends who are slightly slower and instead of running off, as I’m known to do, I’ve stuck with them. Just getting out there was a bit of a big step, so that was enough for me at the time.
The next thing I did was to set a new challenge. This could be anything, training for a race, running a set amount of km’s every week. I kept it relatively simple, and chose to try and run at least 2km’s everyday. I did manage to keep this up, having completed 143km in the 30 days of September 2019. My aim was that by doing this running became, in my mind, less of an effort. I thought; “If I can do this everyday for a month, surely I can get back to training 4/5 times a week”. Which actually really did help my mindset as it meant that the training I did after felt a little bit like a treat, I actually got days off! Do a run everyday challenge also meant that I began running in all different locations, one weekend myself and a group of friends went off camping so I woke up way too early and made my way around the campsite into the nearby woods to run, no map or distance in mind just running, which was actually really nice.
To help with the above challenge, I also started running on the treadmill too. I’m lucky that I have a treadmill at my house so can very easily just jump on and get it done. However, it is very hot without a fan (since doing the challenge I have bought a fan, 100% worth it)! So it can be a lot more work than it would be running outside. I hook the treadmill up to an online running platform in order to get ‘real-life’ running distance data, and a little GPS map of where I ‘ran’. Treadmill running still seems super boring to me, but it is just one less barrier to start, I don’t need to think of the route or can start running a little quicker than I would if I were going outside. Having an alternative to your usually running can work really well to reignite the passion that you have for the former. It can prove to yourself that you miss something in your regime, and therefore you might feel a pull to do a certain route.
Fourthly, I began listening to a few more running podcasts. Currently I’ve got Marathon Talk and RunPod coming into my podcast app when they’re published. I’ve only recently started listening to RunPod so I’m slowly catching up from the beginning. Whereas Marathon Talk, I started listening to about a year ago, and has way too many episodes to even think about catching up with! I find MT a little long for runs so I tend to listen to this one on one of my cycle commutes, so I often feel like a very big imposter. These helped a lot when it came to motivation, as they don’t just have interviews with the elite. Hearing everyone’s stories as to what they’re doing or training for and why can be very powerful sometimes, and just having a podcast on while I’ve been running just adds to the atmosphere a little, making me feel like I’m not as alone as I think.
Another thing I ended up doing, to get out of the slump, was to add more races to my upcoming diary. I had already planned a few races for September, but hitting my usual summer slump I managed to sign up for a double race day, doing two distances in the same evening! Looking back at it now, I don’t think this was particularly useful in helping to get me back into running as I had picked trail races for the September. I’m not one for trying to get good times at trail races, I’d rather come back in one piece having not got lost in the woods! I think for this to be a little more effective, choose a distances you’ve not done before, or for a while, and challenge yourself that way. Getting out of the regular routine can prove very effective in changing habit.
These are all things I do, or at least try to do, to kickstart my want to run. Is there anything else you do to get over a running slump? Let me know down below or reach out on any of my social channels!
Strava: Rhiannon Annandale