How To Get Out Of A Running Rut

How To Get Out Of A Running Rut

I'm in a running rut! I've heard people often complain about it happening to them but I never thought it would happen to me. How often have you heard that one before? I still love to run and my mileage has stayed the same but it seems to be more of a struggle now. The same thing with my speed. It seems I have to put forth actual effort at speeds where I was comfortable at before. I haven't had a new PR in anything for a while now. I was actually beginning to wonder if age was beginning to catch up with me. I am, after all, turning 46! But then I stopped and thought about what I had been doing in the last few months and I began to see a  pattern.

Running Was The Only Cardio I Was Doing

My schedule had changed in the last few months and I didn't have time to hit the other machines at the gym. Before I would have at least one day where I would switch between stairs, elliptical, bikes, and hill machine. I was so focused on getting faster that I spent most of my time on the treadmill or on the trails. But all the other machines worked muscles not used during running and we're aiding in my progression.

Ran Fasted Every Day.

Yep, just coffee and I was out the door. I didn't have my first meal until at least 2 pm. And that was usually after a 90 to 120 minutes of gym time or 9-mile run. I have been trying to lose an additional 15 pounds and I thought working out without eating anything first would be an easy way to get the weight off. It's not really working this time around. 

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Right before the holidays, I decided to give up drinking for at least a year to see if It would improve my running among other things. Unfortunately, I replaced one bad addiction with another. I am always craving sugar lately I have always had a sweet tooth but it seemed to have progressed to alarming levels lately. I ate three quarts of ice cream in four days not too long ago. Ok, three days. You would think that with all this extra sugar in my system I would have unlimited energy for running but it doesn't seem to be playing out that way. This might be why I'm not losing any weight either. Will have to nip this in the bud soon. 

Running The Same Trail

Trail Run

You have heard this before, too, I'm sure. I've certainly warned against it. But it's been so cold out and it's so windy here. I drive to a local park where it's somewhat protected from the winds by the topography and the trees. The park has many dirt trails but they are often covered with either a foot of snow or mud and they haven't been suitable for running. So it's been the same circular paved road for a few months now. But even the most beautiful of routes can get boring after a time. Find a new trail!

Same Music

I've been listening to the same playlist for about a year now. Granted it has over two hundred songs on it and it has served me well for a while now but I have to admit it is getting pretty old and needs an update. Music is such a crucial part of my running routine that I need to dedicate more time to this as well.

Dictionary.com defines 'in a rut' "a settled or established habit or course of action, especially a boring one." That's pretty much what's happening here. Last Monday I ate a banana sandwich a couple of hours before my run. I ran a 5k in 22.30. A personal record for me. And did it with relative ease! Now I need to work on other aspects of my routine to see if anything else improves. There's hope yet. Stay tuned! 

 



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