Falling into a running rut can be extremely frustrating for athletes. Losing interest in something you love that also makes you feel good isn’t fun for anyone. But how do you get out of a running rut and start feeling like yourself again? We’re sharing our best tips to reignite your motivation and get you moving again.
Why you might be in a running rut
First things first, it’s important to remember that getting into a running rut is completely normal. After all, we’re only human, and sometimes things are happening around us beyond our control. As a result, they can have a significant impact on our day-to-day habits and routines.
One of the most common reasons? Winter. It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s icy, and it’s less than ideal conditions to run in. If the winter weather has contributed to your running rut, you’re certainly not alone.
Another reason many runners have fallen into a rut lately has to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The contagious virus — along with state and local restrictions — has made it hard to do, well, anything. And if you were used to working out at the gym or with a running buddy, it’s hard to have that taken away all of a sudden. Finally, many races and marathons have been canceled to combat the spread of COVID, so if you were training for a 5K or marathon, it’s hard to stay motivated if that goal is no longer there.
How to get out of a running rut
So, what can you do to get out of your running rut? Here are 10 tips to help spark some movement.
Run somewhere else
Running the same route every day can start to feel mundane, prompting you to lose interest. Try choosing a different place to run — like a neighborhood, running trail, or park you haven’t explored before. Changing up your scenery can help make running feel new and exciting again and introduce some new challenges along the way!
Leave your watch at home
But don’t I need a watch to track my timing and pacing? Not always! Oftentimes, we fall into a running rut because it feels more like a chore or a must-do instead of something you do for your health and wellness. Leaving your watch at home keeps you from watching the clock and counting down the seconds until you’re done. Instead, you can have a distraction-free run to help remind you why you do it in the first place and bring some enjoyment back to the sport.
Not convinced? You can still turn on your timer as you head out the door, and turn it off when you get home to see your run time.
Do something else
Sometimes, the best thing we can do to get ourselves out of a running rut — or any rut — is to simply move our bodies. Try changing up your workout by hiking, biking, walking, dancing…anything but running. Mixing up your routine can add some excitement back into your workouts and be just enough to make you want to run again.
Run with your kids
While you may not be able to run with your usual running buddy or training group, you can still run with those inside your immediate social circle — like your kids! Running can be a great activity for the entire family, and it’s another opportunity to spend some time together. And, depending on their age, your kids might have enough energy to wear you out!
Switch up your running routine
One thing runners tend to forget is that not all runs have to be the same. If you’re used to running the same route at the same pace for the same distance every day, it’s only natural to feel like you’re in a rut. So, don’t be afraid to switch things up! Try going for faster, shorter runs, or longer, slower runs. Or, if you simply don’t feel like running, take a rest! Sometimes it’s what our bodies need most.
Save your favorite podcast just for runs
Do you have a favorite podcast you listen to in the mornings or on your way to work? Try saving them for your runs! It will give you something to look forward to and help motivate you to get moving. You can also use certain apps for guided runs or motivation.
Start getting dressed for your run
Sometimes the best motivation for doing something is to be like Nike and just do it. When you wake up in the morning, get dressed for your run! That way, you’re already halfway there. All you have to do now is head out the door.
Forget about running times and beating your best time. Races are canceled anyway, so use this time to actually enjoy running. Just get out there and run because it makes you feel good — not because you have to.
Run to a destination
If you don’t want to run your usual route or check out a new trail, try running to a destination! Want a good cup of coffee? Need a few items from the grocery store? Want to order takeout for dinner? Run to a nearby shop or store, then walk back with your items! It’s a great way to get moving and reward yourself!
Bonus tip: Get some new running gear!
Nothing is more motivating than testing out something new! Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a bold outfit, or a sleek running belt, sometimes you just need a little refresh of your running wardrobe. Sound like you? Explore all of our Fitletic running gear to snag some new accessories and finally get out of your running rut!