Recently I have been in a bit of a running funk. I have had a change of routine and I believe this may have caused me to start putting obstacles in the way and excuses as to why I can't run. I like to run in the morning but recently I have been convincing myself that I wouldn't have enough time or that I wanted to spend longer in bed but this mindset had left me 1) not going out for a run, 2) feeling annoyed at myself when I didn't go and 3) repeating the cycle.
I felt like I needed to do something about this funk as I have a marathon to train for and time is ticking on! Also, I want to feel that sense of achievement again when I go out for a run and start off my day in a positive way! Therefore, I have put together 9 tips that will hopefully help not just me but you guys out there if you're trying to get out of a funk too.
Tip 1: Don't Be Hard on Yourself -
It can be easy to get into the mind frame where we're talking negatively and being hard on ourselves because we didn't go out for a run that morning or we've not done any exercise for the week. Reflect on this and tell yourself that it is ok to have not ran every day this week or not ran at all. We all go through peaks and troughs of motivation and sometimes our body / mind just needs time to not go so hard one week in order for us to come out stronger the next week.
Tell yourself it's ok and work out a way that will make you feel more motivated to get back into training/exercising again
Tip 2: Detect the Problem -
Have a think and reflect on whether you were putting any obstacles in the way to prevent you from running or if your body was simply exhausted from the week before. If you have been putting in obstacles then go into these. For example: have you been struggling to get up early before work, struggling to go a full distance without stopping, getting bored of the same route. Whatever your obstacles try and work out ways that you can change your mindset and incorporate them into your routine.
Tip 3: Reassess Your Routine -
Maybe you just need a change of routine? If early mornings aren't working for you then try evenings. If going on a 'easy' run is just a bit boring switch it up with an intervals session once a week to get the blood pumping. I am training at the minute so I have sat down and refreshed my training plan to try and implement something that is achievable with my routine and something I am looking forward to following.
Tip 4: Plan Your Runs -
Often we can get into the trap of not putting a plan in place and just running when we feel like it. If we got into the habit of running when we felt like it then, personally for me, I am not sure I would be running as often compared to if I had a plan. Think about what plans work best for you. Do you like to normally plan your week or month in advance or do you prefer to plan each day as it comes instead? Implementing runs into your plan of action for the day / week / month will give you a clearer idea on when you're running and make you feel a bit more accountable.
Tip 5: Switch Up Your Playlist -
Maybe you're in a bit of a funk because of your playlist. I often listen to the same playlist over and over again on my runs which is sometimes good as I know roughly where I am up to on my runs depending on the song that comes on but can sometimes become a bit repetitive. Try adding or creating a new playlist that will get you excited and pumped during your run. If music isn't your thing then maybe switch up your podcasts and try out a new genre or topic.
Tip 6: Change Your Route -
I often find myself running my comfort routes and not very often exploring my local area. To improve on this, I have been using the Strava app to plan and find new routes that I can try. Exploring different areas adds a bit of excitement to your runs and you get to know your area more.
Tip 7: Find a Running Buddy -
If you know people that also like to run and are having a hard time getting their trainers on or maybe they're really motivated and bash out lots of runs during the week - maybe see if you can come along and run with them. I feel like this is such a great tip as it makes you both accountable as you don't want to let down the other person by not turning up. Also, it's a nice way to start your day and feel motivated to go out again
Tip 8: Make Your Runs Interesting -
I touched on this in Tip 3 but make your runs a bit more interesting rather than running the same pace every time. Of course there is nothing wrong with doing the same pace and distance each time you head out but to make running a bit more exciting / challenging it may be a good idea to include a interval or tempo session once or twice a week.
Tip 9: Get Out There -
Sometimes all we need to do is to just get our trainers on and head out. Initially we may not be feeling it or we may try and convince ourselves that we don't want to go on a run and would rather stay in bed. However, sometimes to get out of a funk you need to do the thing that you're in a funk about. From experience, I was in a really bad funk at the beginning of lockdown and couldn't bring myself to step out the door even though I had all my gear on but I headed out and it ended up being my best 5k yet! Give it a go! Trust me, you will never regret a run.
There we have it! I hope these tips have helped you get out of your running funk! Let me know in the comments if you try any of these tips out. I would love to see how you get on and if they help!
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