Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to get out of a Running (or any other sort of exercise rut)....and get your sweat on!

What's going on?!: So I have been going through a bit of a running rut the past couple of weeks. I feel like it's pretty normal for runners, or anyone whose into any sort of sport to go through ups and downs with this sport. Its happened to me before and I'm sure it will happen to me again, so if you have a lazy day, week, or month, don't feel bad, we all have them!

Causes for this catastrophe: I don't know every single cause for people to get stuck in workout/fitness ruts, but I know a few of mine:
- stress (more than usual that is)<----- this happened this time
- lack of adequate sleep
- sickness (I developped a cold, in the middle of summer.........awkward)<----this happened this time
- boredom with running route
- soreness/ankle pain
- eating too much too late and night and not feeling too hott as a consequence the next morning
- EXTREMELY hot temperatures 24/7<----- this happened this time


The panic sets in......: Most runners or active people will know what I'm talking about. You take a few days off from your usual activity, and you think that you've probably lost all fitness and need to start from zero....at least this is what happened with me. I didn't run for 3 days in a row, and then I thought "Oh god, I'm probably so out of shape" so I went another week and a half without running (okay.....with the exception of my long sunday runs with my dad because there is simply no way for me to not run those....peer pressure). This is a pretty big deal for me since I usually run every other days, and sometimes every day (with at least a day off per week ofcourse).

Ways to get out of your rut!:
1) Just say you'll run (or do whatever other activity it is) for 10 minutes. Usually after 10 minutes any tiredness or problems you thought you would have go away, and you end up doing a longer workout. And if worse comes to worse, and you still feel like you can't workout more than 10 minutes, then at least you actually tried, and know for a fact that you couldn't, rather than not knowing.
2) Add some new & exciting songs to your workout playlist.
3) Make a date with a friend to run or workout together. That way you will have to run or go to the gym, and trust me, once you start, it's so much easier to keep going.
5) Buy yourself a new piece of workout gear; it doesn't have to be expensive or flashy, it could be as simple as a new headband/sweatband, a bright pair of shorts, or some fun socks! Then you will want to make use of your purchase immediately, or you will feel like a fool if you don't ;)
6) If you usually run or workout with a specific speed/intensity/distance goal, just let that go for this workout. Get out there and run/cycle/elliptical/hike at whatever intensity feels good for however long feels good.
7) If you run or cycle, find a new/different route. You can map one out at mapmyrun or you can ask friends, neighbors, or my best friend Google, for good running and cycling routes near you.
8) Pick up an issue of Runners World, Shape, Fitness, or a number of other fitness magazines. Sure seeing people doing what you've been skipping out on might be annoying at first, but it's even more motivating in the long run. Read a couple of the articles and hearing about people talk about their workouts will get you pumped!
9) If you run/workout first thing in the mornings, lay out your workout gear the night before.
10) Read an inspiring running book such as Born to Run, Eat & Run, or one of the many other fantastic running books out there.
11) Sign up for a race or set a new goal that excites you. Whether it's a 5k, a marathon, a fun run, a sprint triathlon, or an olympic triathlon, sign up for a new goal that excites you. If you can afford the time & money, sign up for an event that is in an awesome city so that you can make a little trip out of it.

Motivational thoughts:
1) There are plenty of times when I've skipped a run, and regretted it, but there has never been a time when I went for a run and regretted it!
2) Run/workout because you CAN! Our bodies are amazing things, and we are blessed to have the ability to run and workout everyday, so get your sweat on as a celebration of what you CAN do!
3) Are you already signed up for a race? Picture yourself triumphantly crossing the finish line.....that is what every single workout is getting you prepared for!
4) Think about a particularly awesome running/workout experience you had, it could be anything from a random run through some city blocks that just felt extraordinary, finishing a race that is special to you, a spectacular spin class, or just an awesome elliptical session. Think about that experience, how great it was, and how awesome you felt during and after it. NOW go out and have a workout inspired by your previous awesome workout!
5) Okay so this last one is silly, and a lot of people would probably give me shit for saying this, but it's the truth. We run and workout to be fit. But a byproduct of said runs and workouts is that we get to eat more delicious food.....so think of a special meal, dessert, snack, or other treat that you love but very rarely have. Reward yourself after your run/workout by giving yourself that treat!

The Results: Well to wrap this all up, I went on my first, non-sunday run recently, and I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't the easiest run ever, but it sure as hell felt great! I realized how cranky and annoying I had been for the past couple of weeks due to a lack of running, because it contrasted so sharply with how energetic, happy, and at ease I was & am when I am running regularly.

Lesson Learned: Most of the time all it taste is one hard push to get the routine re-started, and it's a lot easier after that initial hard step. So read over the motivational tips, and get out there and get your sweat on!

I've got lots of restaurant reviews and recipes to share, and I promise those will be coming soon!

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