Global Running Day is today, June 1st, and so far over 2.4 million people have pledged to get out and run! You may be thinking, “yay for them…I won’t be participating.” Maybe you have never been a runner, it’s just “not your thing,” or maybe you are stuck in a rut and can’t find your way back to running. If the latter sounds familiar, don’t you worry! Here are 7 ways to get out of a running rut.
1. New running gear
It sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. If you buy yourself a new pair of running capris with a fun design on them, don’t you want to put them to use? I mean the world must see how great you look and feel in them right? Buying new running shoes encourages you to get out and give them a try. New shoes/gear, new you! Getting out that wallet to purchase some fun and interesting running gear may just be one way to motivate yourself to get back out there and strut your new stuff!
2. Intrinsic motivation
Let’s get serious here for a bit. What motivates you to get out and run? Do you run because you simply love the sport of running and feel alive when you are on the trails? That is an example of intrinsic motivation, which means you behave in a way that yields an internal reward. Or, are you motivated by the desire to eat all the ice cream and burgers you want without gaining weight? That would be extrinsic motivation. One is not necessarily better than the other, however, I always encourage people to find one type of intrinsic motivation because that typically leads to a better relationship with that activity. Find what motivates you and you will find yourself back out there on the trails!
3. Prepare for success
If you always tell yourself you will go for your evening run when you get home from work, then find yourself hours into binge watching Orange is the New Black, then this advice is for you. Option #1: take your gym bag full of running gear to work and change at work before you get home. If you are already dressed the part, you are more likely to accomplish your goal of running before even walking in the house. Option #2: Have an alert on your phone or a reminder on your calendar. This is especially essential for those who are on a very tight schedule with kids, work and maintaining a social life. Treat it as if it’s a doctors appointment that you cant miss!
4. Sign up for a race!
For some, they have no motivation unless they have a goal in mind or have a training schedule to follow. Signing up for a race gives you the deadline, and using training apps such as Couch to 5k or the Asics training app can assist you by providing a day-by-day training schedule leading up to race day. Signing up not only holds you accountable, but it provides some motivation. You get out what you put in to your training! Races are also a good idea because you can’t help but get caught up in the energy and excitement at each race. Piece of advice: take your eyes off your GPS watch, and remember to look up and take it all in.
5. Get yourself a running buddy/running group
The buddy system is good for many reasons. 1) You are more likely to go for a run if you know your running partner is counting on you. 2) Having a running partner that is slightly faster than you can push you to run faster and better than you would have by yourself. On the other hand, having a running buddy that is slightly slower than you can help you pace yourself better on long distance runs. Either way, you are an important component to the buddy system. 3) Running in numbers is always safer! 4) Joining a running group is great for training for a specific race! Some running clubs have different pace groups, so you can choose whichever one fits you best.
6. Mix up your running routine!
Sometimes, you need to mix things up. Get a little crazy with your running routine. Make a left turn on that creek trail instead of going straight for a change. Finally find out what’s on the other side of that steep hill. Maybe even take your long run to a different part of town. Jump in the car and drive to a new location to fall in love with running again by getting out of your usual routine and comfort zone. If your sense of adventure is nonexistent, then simply run your normal running routine in the opposite direction just to mix it up a bit.
7. Don’t just run…
If you are training for a specific race or just running for fun, it is essential to give those muscles used on the everyday run a rest. There are two ways to rest. One is to literally take the day off from physical activity and use that as a day to stretch and foam roll while watching your favorite show. Another way is by doing some active recovery. By that, I mean throw in some strength training to mix things up with your body and prevent overuse injuries.
Now pick one or more of those 7 to try out and get back out there! Remember, however fast you run a 10k or the amount of miles ran each week don’t determine if you are a runner. Your mentality and attitude determine if you are a true runner.
Cheers and happy running,
Zamst (Sigmax America)