Pressing the mental "reset" button.
At the start of this week, I had two messages from people feeling like they had lost their way with their running and maybe their "running mojo" had gone.
I have to say honestly I have never felt that way... could be something related to the fact that regular injuries have always meant I have had a "natural" break once in a while 🙄 Of course there are times I haven't felt like doing a particular run, usually a hill session or during winter marathon training when it's hard to WANT to go out in the sleet and wind and run for three hours. But other than those times, I've never completely lost my motivation to run. I've always thought it would be boring to do the same runs at the same times and I am always trying to find ways to change routes or sessions for my groups to keep things as fresh as I can, as well as for myself. Maybe that's why I don't get bored.
All of that said, I understand that to lose ones mojo must be pretty bad, and extremely frustrating. I really think it's a case of just pressing "reset" in the brain and freshening up that desire to lace up and run.
Here are some ideas of how to regain your mojo.
1. Look at your training differently. If you always plan for the week ahead (I write Paul's sessions in a notebook he calls The Bible) then don't do that. Just write a list of sessions you'd like to do, and do them when you have time rather than when you usually do. Long runs on a Monday? Why the hell not! If you always just plan for a week, plan for two weeks and mix everything up. Back to back, extra rest days, all easy runs, it doesn't matter if it makes you love running again.
2. Enter a race/don't enter a race. For some people, entering a race (particularly one they have paid for) springs them back into action. For others it just adds pressure to that feeling they already have, meaning they now HAVE to run and do sessions they don't want to do already. I know if someone entered me into a Cross Country race, rather than motivating me I would actually SET FIRE TO MY TRAINERS AND THROW MY GARMIN IN THE TYNE.
3. Run with a group. Run with MY group if you like. Come along and just have fun. We always run at the pace of the slowest person, or do sessions where nobody feels like they have been left behind. If you're already with a running club, go to a session you don't normally do, or contact a running buddy to go out with and just do something different.
4. Stop caring about times. Some people are so hung up on the pace they do that I often wonder if they ever really enjoy anything they do. NO PARKRUN PB THIS WEEK *insert excuses* Strava shouts to me on a Saturday. Guess what, nobody cares, it doesn't matter. PBing should be special because it should be rare. Run for enjoyment, leave your watch at home or cover it up with your sleeve or a piece of tape. Don't beat yourself up if your pace was *gasp* slower than you USUALLY do at 7pm on a Wednesday. Focus on what you got out of it: examples such as ran up a hill and stopped to appreciate the view, heard three great songs on my iPod, and my personal favourite: saw 7 cute dogs.
5. Do fun sessions. Who cares if you're in the middle of marathon training and you should be out doing an interval session or mile reps? If you are falling out of love with running it's worth losing a week of planned training to make you enjoy it again. Do one of the following sessions to give yourself a kickstart:
*Run for half an hour (ish) and you sprint between two lampposts at least five times.
*A run somewhere you wouldn't usually go, or a reverse route of one you always do (and I don't mean running backwards)
*A run that includes something off-road or on trails for at least a mile.
*A run that is 5 minutes shorter than the shortest run you've done in the last two months.
*A mile easy followed by four flat out half mile efforts with as much recovery between that you need
What I'm really saying is quite simple:
If you always do what you've always done, eventually you will probably burn out or get bored. The best way to break out that mojo and start to get your buzz back is somewhere, in some way, make a change.
Thanks again to Anji for her contribution and we hope you can resonate with her words!
You can follow Anji on Twitter - @EnigmaGirl81
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