Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Stuck in a Rut?

By: Janell

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a running rut? Whether it’s a change of schedule, illness, injury, or simply a lack of motivation, being in a rut can be hard to pull out of sometimes.

In the last few months, I have found myself there. I have continued to run a little here or there but it has frankly just been hard to get back into a routine. With school starting back for my two kids and working full time, as many of you know it can be hard to find the time and stay on track. I am still a believer in making time for what is important to you, but I found myself many days coming up short of my time to run or just wanting to spend time with my family after not seeing them as much as I would like. I recently went on a week long vacation to Disney as well which threw things off even more. After being on my feet 12 hours a day in the parks, getting up and running was the last thing I wanted to do. Usually my Girls on the ones who keep my on track and running together, but our schedules and different paces haven’t allowed the companionship I love.

For me, I always get to a place come late summer (August/September) where I am just over running in the hot temperatures.   So, over the weekend,  the weather was perfect, I had a new play list on my ipod (I have been trying to run w music here and there) and I decided to go out and give it what I had. I could have been disappointed, but I was just thankful to be out there, enjoying the day.

While being in a rut can feel discouraging, try to remember that you are not alone. Most of us have been there at some point. Take each new day as it comes.

Here are some tips for staying out of the rut. I would love to hear yours too:

1.     Run the friends. The social aspect is what got a lot of running in the first place.
2.     Don’t think ‘all or nothing’ If you have just a little time for a 2 mile run or 30 min strength training, do it. You will feel better mentally and physically from not missing a work out entirely.
3.     Keep a log. Keeping a training log is a great way to stay motivated and track your progress. Be sure to write the date, mileage and a few notes. (how you felt, the weather, etc)
4.     Talk to other runners. Putting yourself out there in running groups, races, etc is extremely encouraging. The running community in Memphis is extremely welcoming and a great place to get some tips and advice.
5.     Remember the health benefits. Think about your progress. Maybe have your blood pressure checked, weight checked etc and remember how much more energy you have when working out. Think about how far you have come since you started and focus on that.
6.     Cut yourself some slack. Sometimes you get stuck at work or your kids want you to stay in bed with them on a Saturday morning and watch cartoons. Don’t beat yourself up. Accept you will have bad days or missed days then get back on track.
7.     Reward yourself. Every now and then, treat yourself to new running gear, a shirt or a massage for all your hard work. This will reinforce your commitment to your training as well as energize you.

So what are some things that motivate you? How were you able to get out of a running rut?

Thinking a new pair of shoes might do the trick! New clothes? New gear? New play list? Would love to hear what you think.


  1. I really love the group runs with St. Jude or Breakaway. Meeting new people is always encouraging. Also, running with someone that is a beginner runner is a huge motivator. I was in a rut earlier this year and I ran with a friend that was just beginning to run. Sharing her new distance records was so inspiring!

    1. Agreed, Cecilia! That is GREAT advice.