If you read my post about how to start running, you’ll probably soon be in that glorious honeymoon period where you’ve fallen in love with the sport. You’ll talk about it all the time, you’ll be constantly getting PBs, running faster, further and for longer. Medals will be hanging from every available hook and you’ll own enough technical T-shirts to start your own football team. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Keep it up! But some of you reading this may have come through this period and are now stuck in a bit of a rut. This is the post for you my friends! I hope that at least one of these 5 tips will be just what you need to shake things up a bit and fall back in love with our wonderful sport!
1. Join a running club
Bored of pounding the pavement alone on a cold winter’s night? Feel lost in your training schedule? Not seeing results? Joining a running club can be a cure for all of the above. Get started with a simple google search for a club in your area and away you go! Many will offer you the chance to attend a few sessions before you pay to become a member, which is usually very reasonable and paid annually. Clubs cater for a mixture of abilities, often with club runs split into groups depending on pace and speed/hill training sessions which are suitable for any pace. Attending these sessions will push you out of your comfort zone, getting you to do workouts you may not have thought of yourself. The social aspect is the real key here as you will meet a group of like minded people who all love to talk about running too! Let’s face it, even our closest non-running friends are secretly tired of hearing about our latest PB attempts… You’ll enjoy other perks too such as reduced entry fees to races and the gun of wearing your team vest when you compete!
2. Pick a race
It’s easy to fall into a running rut when you’ve nothing to aim for; I’ve certainly gone through phases of plodding 3 miles, 4 times a week just because I like to run but have no reason to push myself. If you’re bored of the lack of incentive, pick a race for a few weeks or a few months time and get training! It doesn’t have to be super long or super fast, there are plenty of fun races out there too like The Color Run, or a charity event such as Race For Life. You could even try something different like a Tough Mudder, or go for a distance you’ve never considered, like a marathon or ultra marathon. Getting something in the diary will give you a goal to aim for and something to get excited about!
3. Reward yourself
We all perform better when we know there’s something to work for, but if getting a PB at your next race isn’t enticing enough for you, choose something you’d really like to be that light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe you’ve wanted a new GPS watch for months, or a shiny new pair of trainers? It doesn’t have to be running related of course, it could be a meal at that new restaurant in town, or a book you’ve read good reviews about. Whatever it is, set your running goals and if you stick to them, treat yourself! You could even pop a couple of quid in a jar each time you go for a run to go towards your chosen reward at the end!
4. Get some new kit
Of course, you don’t have to wait until you’ve achieved your running goals before you buy new gear. Updating your workout wardrobe might just be the boost you need to get excited about training again! I’ve got some new trainers arriving in the post soon and I’m itching to get out for a run in them already! And my Christmas money? Spending it all on Lululemon thank you very much! Wear something that makes you feel badass and super-fast and you’ll be loving every second you’re out there tearing up the streets!
5. Take a break
Yep, that’s right. If you’ve read the above tips and none of them are doing anything for you, it may be time to take a little time off running altogether. Pick another exercise you enjoy and focus on that for a bit, or if you’re really shattered, give up the exercise completely for a little while. Stay active, stay healthy, but look after your body – it sounds like it’s calling out for a rest! No matter how long it takes, be it a few days or a few weeks, you’ll know when it’s time for you to get back out there, re-energised and re-invigorated.
I hope at least one of these tips reignites that fire and gets you excited about the joyous world of running once more! Even if you’re not bored of the sport, try out the tips anyway to add another exciting dimension to your running world!