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?
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.
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.
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.
How do you combat your running blahs?