Bust A Rut

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!

It’s been a hectic, fun-filled couple of days, with so much more to come. I hope you are stuffed with yummy food, spending time with the ones you love. If you were ballsy enough to brave the Black Friday sales, I hope you scored some sweet presents for your friends and family. Plus, a few goodies for yourself 😉 Unless I’m the only one who plays the “one for you, one for me” game when I Christmas shop? 😉

I wasn’t brave enough to venture out for the sales today, but I have been online shopping up a storm. I’m kid-free today, as the little dude is whooping it up with his grandparents while Andy and me decorate, shop, and clean. Have I told you lately how fabulous my in-laws are?

As far as running goes, this week has been amazing. I’m on a 5-day “good run” streak. As I finished an easy 5-miler this morning, it occurred to me that I haven’t had one of those “I can’t wait to finish” runs in a while.

But, why? Is this happy streak a coincidence, or is it something I can replicate to avoid crappy runs in the future?

As I mentally flipped through this week’s runs, I realized why they have all been so successful. Variety. Each run was either somewhere I don’t normally run, was at a different time of the day than I’m used to training, or was a different workout than I usually do. Switching it up kept me interested and engaged in my runs, and I wanted to keep going.

I busted out of my running rut.

I am a notorious rut runner. I will find a route and do it again and again and again. When we first moved into our house, I mapped out a 6-mile route that I did almost every single day for a year. Seriously. I also ran it at almost the same pace every day. No wonder I wasn’t getting any faster!

If you’re a routine-loving person like me, then falling into a running rut is easy. But getting out of it can lead to big gains—happier runs, faster times and a refreshed love of running. Plus, if you’re not a runner, the same goes for whatever fitness activity you’re into.

Stop feeling like this about your workouts...
Stop feeling like this about your workouts…

So, how can you bust a rut and renew your run lovin’? These tips have worked for me and are definitely the reason why I’ve been having such a good time on the run lately.

Change Your Surface 

If you always run on the treadmill, GET OUTSIDE. If you’re a road warrior, find some trails! Switch up the surface you run on and you will become much more engaged in your training.

Switch Up Your Scenery

You won't see this when you're on the dreadmill.
You won’t see this when you’re on the treadmill.

If you’re a route loyalist like I am, find a new course. Run through different neighborhoods, find a new trail, run your usual route backwards—mix-it up and you will be forced to pay attention, instead of zoning out.

Mix-Up Your Pace

If you hop on the dreadmill, set the pace and don’t look at the screen again until you’re done: This one is for you! Try mixing up the pace, adding in bursts of speed or upping the incline for a few minutes—I promise it will be more interesting, and you’ll get a kick ass workout out of it. Check out three of my favorite treadmill workouts to add to your repertoire.

If you’re an outdoor runner, try Fartleks. Jog for a few minutes, sprint for a minute, jog for a minute, etc. until you’ve reached your desired distance. You’ll be focused on getting through each sprint and will relish the jogs. Before you know it, you’re run will be done!

Run At A Different Time

If you usually run in the morning, run at night. If you’re a nighttime runner, try a #runch. This obviously only works if you have some flexibility in your schedule, but if you can change this up even one day a week, you’ll be glad. When you’re not used to seeing the sunrise on your run, it adds a new layer of interest that will keep you from being bored. The same goes for seeing the sunset, or enjoying the empty trails at lunchtime.

Don’t Run

Seriously. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but doing a fitness activity other than running can really help you to hit reset on your running routine. Take a spin class, go to Cross Fit, do some ballet barre…whatever, just try something other than running. When you go back to it, you’ll feel invigorated and energized.

Running ruts can be a beast to bust, but once you do, you’ll be so much more motivated to run.

Now tell me, what are some ways you bust out of a running/fitness rut?

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7 thoughts on “Bust A Rut

  1. Ironically today I chose to meet a local running group for a trail run. I haven’t done that since last August! I forgot how much fun trail running can be when you have an organizer/leader to navigate =) If I went by myself I’m sure I would have been lost. This really invigorated me. All your suggestions in this post are spot on!

  2. Ahh. I needed to read this today. After doing my usual 10 mile route. I could NOT find it in me to go a different way, I just had to do it again today. Haha. Thanks for the good read. This is my first time on your blog.
    I’ll be back 🙂

  3. Ahh. Thank you for the good read. I needed this today after I just could NOT make myself go a different route. Ha I’m definitely in a rut.
    This is my first time on your blog. I’ll be back for sure 🙂

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad you stopped by! It’s so hard to switch up your route. I know there have been plenty of times when I plan to go a different way and then I zone out and just do the usual! Haha, it’s so worth it to change things up sometimes, though!

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