Over the past few months I’ve been falling in and out of my own personal running slump. With all the distractions and challenges I’ve been facing lately, I have, unfortunately, allowed my slacker half to get the best of me. I’m sure you can tell from my lack of workouts that I don’t have the same drive that I did before I started having injury issues. But, with all that behind me now, I am ready to jump back on the saddle and get over this running slump.
There are many ways to get over a running slump, but I’m only going to list a few that I have found to be personally inspirational. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Buy some new running gear.
Nothing gets me excited to get back out on the pavement more than a new piece of running gear. Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a Garmin GPS watch or a new article of clothing, new gear always pumps me up for my training sessions. It’s like Christmas morning, and all I can think about is playing with my new toy. Try it! I guarantee you won’t want to wait to try it out.
2. Download a new running playlist.
New music always gets me moving, whether it’s in my car or on the pavement. You can always find new running music here or you can use a website like run hundred. A list of new upbeat music is sure to get you running.
3. Join a running group.
Running groups are great motivation for anyone who doesn’t feel like their training is going well. They are super supportive and all levels of fitness are welcome. The ones that I’m familiar with offer various distances and pace groups for each session. Also, there’s a very social aspect to running clubs. Most of them meet for drinks or food at a sponsored location afterwards. If you’re like me, you’ll find the camaraderie extremely enticing.
4. Change up your running route.
Sometimes you just need to mix it up a little bit. A change of scenery can do wonders for a runner with the case of the blahs. Websites like Mapmyrun and USATF offer runners a database to search for local routes and popular destinations.
5. Register for a goal race.
Nothing gets me more motivated than an upcoming race. Try not to give yourself too much time to prepare, otherwise, you could burn out before the race date comes around. Depending on your base, give yourself 2-4 months to prepare for any significant distance. Couch to 5k and Hal Higdons Half Marathon online training plans offer plenty of daily reminders and training suggestions.
6. Volunteer or spectate at a race
I participated in my first race as a spectator this past year. It was such a wonderful experience. I received wonderful responses from the runners throughout the race. Believe me when I say that runners are the most motivating group of people on the planet. Who better to inspire you to get back into training than a bunch of runners encouragingly fulfilling their race goals right in front of your eyes.
7. Join an online support group.
Every Sunday night, there’s a little community of runners that meet on Twitter for #Runchat. It includes runners of all levels: non-runners who are curious, beginners, back of the packers, speed demons and seasoned marathoners. There are questions tweeted out and then everyone answers and interacts with each other based on the answers. It’s a wonderful community where runners can support each other and offer advice and assistance when needed. I have personally learned so much from this community. There are also several running related groups on Facebook that are free and open to join. Moms Run this Town and Running Friends from Around the World are two of my favorite online communities.
8. Stimulate your brain with running related material.
Books and movies are an easy way to rev up the training impulses. The Spirit of the Marathon is a top motivator in my opinion. There are also hundreds of books that can stimulate your urge to run.
Now that you’ve got some ideas, go out and put it to good use. Let me know if you have any other suggestions too. I’d love to hear if something specific has worked for you.