If you’re anything like me, the start of a new school year throws your schedule completely off. I missed my run today and had candy for lunch. I’m sure this isn’t the best strategy for running success. Luckily, I have a few tried and true strategies to get my training back on track, which I’ll share in today’s installment of Dr. Rachel’s Running Wisdom. Here they are – Seven Ways to Get Back on Track (that I should start immediately!):
- Get dressed to run. This strategy is along the lines of “fake it until you make it”. When I’m not feeling all that motivated to run, I put on my running clothes and shoes and wander around the house for a while. If I still don’t feel like running, I’ll head out for a “walk”, or “just one mile”. For extra motivation, I’ll bring Lucy, my running dog, with me. She always love to run. Usually, just getting outside is enough to motivate me. And, if not, at least I got in one mile.
- Run a race. Nothing jump starts my motivation like a race. I often sign up for races on impulse, joining friends, or finding a unique race that sounds like a good time. I love the atmosphere at races and being in that I-love-running environment makes me remember that I love running, too.
- Review your goals. Sometimes running slumps are the result of goals that are aimed too high or too low. Take a look at your running goals. Do they still make sense given where you are now? Do they need to be adjusted? Would setting a more short-term goal make more sense? I try to review my goals monthly to keep myself on track.
- Remind yourself of past running joys. I love looking at pictures of past races and fun runs when I’m off track with my running. Reliving the fun I had in the past helps to rekindle my love of running – and never fails to get me excited to run again.
- Join a friend. There’s nothing more motivating than knowing my friends are waiting for me in the pouring rain at 6:30am. Making a commitment to another person to run in a given place at a predetermined time never fails to get me out the door and ready to run. It doesn’t hurt that the run gives me time to complain about the things that have been distracting me or catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while.
- Try something new. Stuck in a rut and bored? Try a new trail, a new workout, or a new group. Freshen up your runs with something new and exciting to challenge your body and mind.
- Buy a running treat. Whether it’s a new piece of running gear to add to my wardrobe or a fresh packet of Sport Beans, sometimes a running treat is just what I need. Wearing something new, or trying a new fuel is fun – and I have to be running to do it.