Clearly my running slump has been the theme of my blog lately, right? But this blog is (mostly) about running, so typically these themes emerge as I document my training. Today’s post is intended to help others, but also myself. Using your helpful comments from last week’s post as well as some research, I put together a list of strategies to help with overcoming those time periods where our running just isn’t progressing as we would like.
1.Track your training Start writing down all of your workouts, and use that information to guide your running schedule. Make notes about how you feel before, during, and after a run. Keep track of your shoes here too so you know when it’s time to replace them! Pay attention to when you are doing your strength workouts and how that may impact your running, along with how many rest days you take each week.
2.Consider other life factors that could impact stress levels Our bodies can’t recognize the difference between “training stress” and “life stress”, so if one is high it could impact the other. Even during periods of low mileage, if we are dealing with a stressful time at work or in other areas of our lives it can definitely affect running.
3.Focus on recovery Are you sleeping enough? Eating well? Taking enough rest days? Foam rolling or doing other strategies to help your muscles recover? Giving yourself a mental break?
4.Set a goal Sometimes a running slump can simply be due to “going through the motions”with no real goal in mind. Setting a goal like a race or even something related to a particular workout or long run can help.
5.Find intrinsic motivation While it’s good to have goals, they are less meaningful if they don’t come from within ourselves. Try to think about your “why”. Why do you run? Why do you want to improve? Why did you start exercising to begin with? Why are you frustrated with your training? Once you figure out your internal motivation, it will be easier to call upon that when working towards your goals.
6.Try something new Sometimes we may just get sick of running (gasp!) and that’s ok! There are so many other ways to exercise, and by doing a different activity it could lead to a renewed sense of running enjoyment when we return to the sport. (Click here to view strength training workouts on Pinterest!)
7.Take some time off or cut back significantly Burnout is a real thing, and it’s important not to push through when we start to notice signs that our bodies need a break. This can often lead to injury or other health issues. It’s good to take a week or two off each year, especially during the off-season, and it can also be helpful to schedule cut-back weeks regularly.
8.Respect where you are If you look at some of the comments from last week’s post about this, many runners can relate to the idea that sometimes our bodies just do not cooperate in the way we would like them to and there is often no rhyme or reason to this. It’s best to just accept this, and train in a way that feels right at the time. Just believe that your speed/endurance/motivation will come back when the time is right!
How do you overcome a running slump?
Do you take time off running when things aren’t going well?
How do you keep track of your training?