When you start running it’s all you are going to be thinking about the day in day out. Though it will need a lot of effort and time you’ll be rearing to go all out. It’s only after a month or 2 that things start to change. It tends to get harder, you lose motivation and it starts to seem like a chore but that won’t be the case anymore.
Here are few things I did to end the rut.
Many times the initial enthusiasm and motivation fade due to small goals. Yes taking it moment by moment is good but it’s also important to have a long-term target. Race by race goals are fruitful initially but bigger goals like wanting to run a half marathon and then a full one will keep you motivated longer.
Celebrate each small achievement but take it only as a stepping stone to newer heights instead of lazing around for the next couple of weeks.
Take a break
Don’t get me wrong in the previous point. I am not suggesting you do not take a break. A break is as important as your running itself and as weird as it may sound at times it’s best you avoid running completely. A break is important to recover both mentally and physically.
Take a couple of weeks off. Stop thinking about your running irrespective of your performance and come back with a renewed sense of optimism and enthusiasm.
Try a different running style/make a change
One the best things I did during a rut is to try a different running style altogether. The first and foremost thing you can do is hit the trails. You can also switch to a treadmill or try a new route or try a new weight workout to build fitness.
Even something as small as buying new shoes, gear or shuffling your playlist around can be a good motivator. Here are a few gears you can try
Tag along with a friend
One of the things that keep me going on my off days is having a friend to tag along with. This can be a problem if you’re introvert, you probably feel it’s best done alone but trust me it works. So far change kicks out the fears and gives it a shot.
You’ll probably not perform at your peak but it will help you maintain the required fitness levels.
Change your perspective
In the beginning, the motivation and love for running tend to comes naturally as it matters more and thus it’s pretty easy going but what if you hit a rut or if you fail to accomplish a major goal? In case of the same goal losses importance, it’s time for a change.
Start thinking from a different perspective, maybe its weight loss or a half marathon rather than a full. Find something new, be creative and never give up.
Workouts are fun, well usually are but can seem like chore if you’re running on empty and feel exhausted not even half way through your routine but don’t hit the panic button just yet.
This lack of willpower to push through, poor form and lethargic movements etc. is common especially amongst newbies and the good news for you guys is that the fix isn’t tough. Here’s what you need to change next time you hit the gym.
Your workout intensity
This is a point you’ll read very often about pretty much on every fitness site and I cannot stress it enough. Varying your workout intensity is simply a must. If you go too easy too often your body will never grow and starting off too high leaves you prone to injuries.
Be realistic when deciding on the weights and intensity and set your goals accordingly. Give your body enough time to strengthen and develop.
Your life’s imbalanced
Your fitness isn’t restricted just to the gym or your diet. Any extra stress or troubles outside of the gym can also make you unfit. In an overburdened daily routine you’ll be less inclined to put in the required amount of effort into your workouts.
Set your schedule right. Make list of the things according to their priority and be willing to turn down any social activities that coincides with your training.
You sleep less
Are you getting your daily dose of 8 hour sleep? My guess is no but when you’re working out sleep becomes a must because that’s the only time your body’s recovery process takes place.
Lack of sleep can result in aching and sore muscles the next morning plus your movements are likely to be slow and lethargic.
Apart from that sleep helps the muscles grow and develop. Letting your body recover well enough will boost performance and multiply gains.
You ignore the weather
If you’re more of an outdoor person and prefer to take your runs or walks outside well then the weather plays a big role in your training. Avoid taking runs during high temperatures. Extreme heat can result in dehydration and poor performance.
As for winters it doesn’t get any easier either. Keep your summer workouts planned for the evening or best early mornings. For winters always carry warms clothes, water bottle etc.
Self-belief and motivation
I know the first couple of weeks will be insanely tough but don’t bog yourself down. Self-criticism is good but overdoing it can result in demotivation.
Workouts will always feel incomplete and lacking. Push yourself to the limits. Do the extra reps and sets. Focus more on the things you have achieved. A change in the mentality will instantly reflect on your physical results.