Dealing With The Running Blahs

I love running.  And sometimes I hate running.  We runners seem to have a huge sense of guilt when we don’t feel the love.  It comes in all sorts of different forms.  Sometimes training wears us down, sometimes we are just plain worn down, the weather gets to us, and other times we just need a break.  So what do we do when this happens?


Training Blahs:

I hear this a lot lately, especially with marathoners that I work with.  Marathon training typically last 16-18 weeks.  It is a big commitment.  The marathon itself is a major endurance event that wears down even the most fit and accomplished of runners.  Therefore, you can see why it is necessary that your training wear you down.  The only way to get to the finish of the race is to break down and then build back your body in this way.

As we feel our bodies getting exhausted and at times even injured it can feel tiresome to continue putting on our shoes and pounding the pavement each day.  This can be as much mental as it is physical.

When you start to feel the training blahs you need to assess what is going on.  Are you exhausted and near the point of injury?  Or are these normal aches and tired moments that come with participating in an endurance sport.  If it is normal wear and tear, you need to force yourself to get out the door.  Put some new music on your playlist or change up your route to make things a bit more exciting.  Use this as an excuse to get some new running clothes.  Remind yourself that these are necessary moments to get you to the finish line.  Odds are that once you get going, you will feel a heck of a lot better.


Injury Blahs:

Sometimes when we are dealing with the aches and pains that come along with running, we start to feel like things are never going to get better.  I have had several injuries that I was able to run through without making things worse.  During one marathon training session I had terrible piriformis pain.  It was literally a pain in the butt to get started each time and this can make the thought of going for a run seem miserable.

Having an injury plan of action is the best start.  If foam rolling or wearing compression sleeves helps, do it!  For my Achilles tendinitis I found that heat really helped.  Therefore, I would heat the affected area before a run to give it some relief and then repeat the process when I would return home.  Knowing that something helped to take away some of the pain made it more manageable to get started.

Switch up your plans to provide an every other day schedule to give your body some relief in between runs.  Or make a temporary change to run/walk plans until the pain has subsided.  Even better, schedule an appointment for a massage or a spa day to treat your body.  Any of these will provide the physical help you need and also make your injury easier to deal with mentally.

The Plain Old Running Blahs:

Some days (or even weeks) running can seem just dreadful.  It can be frustrating as well as disappointing.  We are supposed to love this sport, right?!

When this happens it is often a perfect time to take a little vacation from running.  There is nothing wrong with this.  Switch to a different sport for a few days or weeks.  Let that love come back into you heart and then return when you are ready.  Even the most elite of runners take a break from their sport each year to give their bodies and minds a rest.

Weather Blahs:

Not going to lie.  This happens to me in the winter.  I hate the cold (I have no idea how I ever became a figure skater).  Cold weather makes me procrastinate like nothing else.  I drag my heels and find reasons not to get out the door.

You have a few options here.  The first is to just get your butt out the door.  The longer you wait, the harder it is to get out the door.  Make it like a band-aid.  Do it all in one quick action and it is a lot less painful.

Or, head to the gym.  This is my new preferred way to get past this.  As much as I don’t love hitting the treadmill I have found a few reasons why this works for me.  In the warmer months I run outside and listen to my playlist.  Then when it is cold I hit the treadmill and switch to watching TV and catching up on some shows.  This keeps the playlist fresh by taking a break.  I also use the treadmill as a time to do interval training which makes the time go by faster and builds my running up in a different way.

I love this shirt!

I love this shirt!

How do you combat your running blahs?

21 thoughts on “Dealing With The Running Blahs

  1. Agree with the above comment, a race definitely helps. And if it’s really bad, I’ll just not run for a couple of weeks. It’s amazing how much you start to miss it after just a few days!

  2. Currently in a bit of a running blah. Heat and humidity have got me down. Hopefully cooler temps will bring fresh legs for my November marathon 🙂

    • Everyone is feeling this right now. I’m going to do a post on this for next week. Most people in fall marathon training are at their worst right now. I promise if you push trough, you will feel better shortly!

    • I think it is the best way to keep you going. You have to remember that you are training for a major endurance event that will wear you down regardless of how great of shape you are in. The only way to prepare for that is to really push your body to its limits. You’ll be glad you did.

  3. I definitely have the running blahs today. I had a 6 mile run on the schedule, but to make it a little less daunting on a day I really don’t want to run, I split it up into 2 3 mile runs, that way I feel a lot less intimidated!

  4. I’ve been running through the summer blahs all season. Not sure I could train for a fall marathon unless I moved to Alaska! Changing up the scenery isn’t always an option, but when possible I like to go out of town to run or switch our route from park to waterfront. And give myself something to look forward to: cold brew coffee!

  5. When steeped in run routine blahs I do anything I can to change it up. A new route, a new time of day, a new playlist or no playlist, tie my shoes in a different order…anything! And if all else fails, I take a break with my favourite India Pale Ale.

  6. For me…it helps if I re-evaluate my goals! I want to be a successful recreational runner/athlete. And when I get in a funk…I sign up for a race and that gets me going (one..because I don’t want to SUCK and two..because I HATE to waste money!! 😉😂)

  7. We had so much humidity last week that I definitely had the weather blahs! Every single day I had a hard workout, the humidity was 88-93%! Rough times. This too shall pass! Great post – can totally relate to most of these at some point in marathon training!

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