I know, it’s just the beginning of marathon training season so what am I talking about? For one, the “feels like” temps here in Tampa are regularly over 100F. That’s a tough one when you’re heading out for a couple of hours. For two, I’m not in the habit of ignoring the fact that, regardless of where you’re at on your journey, sometimes you just. don’t. wanna.
It’s important to recognize that some days you’re just tired, or stressed, or the weather is bad. It’s normal. However, it’s important to fight the urge to lounge around. Remember, you never regret the run/workout you completed. Besides, that Netflix-binge will be waiting for you when you return.
So, what can you do to beat the doldrums?
Change of Scenery
This is simple and huge. A lot of us run, rerun, overrun the same routes because we know precisely where the mile marks are (even though most of us are wearing watches anyway). Next time you’re heading out the door, reverse that loop. Or, find a trail (paved or not) nearby and get a real change of scenery.
Living in Tampa, I often run to Bayshore then along the sidewalk. If I’m feeling blah but also don’t want to drive far, I just start closer to Bayshore Blvd and skip the neighborhood scene. It makes a difference, trust me.
Also, check out area parks. Even if you have a drive awhile it can be worth it. You’ll get your run in, you’ll see new places, and often on trails there’s shade!
Bring a Friend
Simple, if someone is waiting for you it’s harder to bail.
Don’t have a running buddy? Contact me! Or check out one of many social running clubs. Running for Brews is fantastic. You can meet new people who are into running and set up other running dates. Accountability is one of the hardest parts of any plan when you’re just not feeling it.
Change Your Pace
As a distance runner I’m guilty of finding my pace and settling into it. This is fine for may runs, but interval training, hill training, fartleks, all help combat boredom and can improve performance. Fartlek literally describes what we’re talking about.
Change Your Regimen
Maybe it’s time to try something else. Spin, swim, row, get out on the water. Anything that will get your heart rate up can be subbed in for those days when you just can’t mentally make yourself lace up. That’s ok! Cross training is another good thing we should include in our training. So, don’t feel guilty if you’re just not into it today, but don’t settle for sitting around moping either. Find a class, find a friend, or find a YouTube video to get your blood pumping. I’ll add some HIIT workouts to my YouTube playlist to get you started.
Change Your Mindset
Just go. You only have to get down the street, then you can turn around. Or, go for 5 minutes. If you’re still blargh about it, go home. If you feel pretty good, go a bit further. This is one of those times when minutes and miles don’t matter. Get out there, even if it’s for a short time.
If you do get out, YAY YOU! If you turn around at the end of the street, that’s ok. Take a rest day. It may be just what you need. Just get back out there tomorrow.