How To Break Out Of Your Running Rut

3. Press The Mental Reset Button

Sometimes, being in a slump with your running is as much mental as it is physical. I work with a lot of runners who, for one reason or another–family, work, general bad luck or stress, feel like they are stuck in the mud just spinning their wheels. After a series of bad races or a bout of failed workouts they lose confidence and instead of heading into each workout with a positive mental approach, they begin to focus on the negative. Once the negative thoughts creep in, it’s a vicious cycle that begins to affect the physical preparation.

Finding the drive to get back in gear and start seeing progress takes a lot of work. I liken the struggle to gaining the necessary momentum to push a boulder down a hill. It requires a lot energy, time and rocking back and forth to get the boulder rolling in the right direction. Sometimes, it can even feel impossible, especially when the mind focuses on how hard it is just to get everything started in the right direction. However, once the boulder starts moving and gains momentum, it can be an unstoppable force. This is why you’ll often see elite runners go on a tear and win every race in sight once they have that first good performance.

What you can do:

Press the reset button on the last few weeks of bad training or unimpressive race results. As Forrest Gump’s mother said: “You’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”

Pressing the reset button clears your mind of all the difficult workouts or bad races and begins to turn your thoughts to the future. Instead of focusing on the negative, start each training day anew and with a positive mindset.

Likewise, focus on taking each training session one day at a time. Don’t worry about your previous workouts and don’t fret over the training or racing to come. Concentrate on what you need to do in the moment and how you need to execute for that one workout or race.

Any runner that has been in a slump knows it can be a real grind to get yourself out. If you’re currently in a rut, incorporate one (or all) of these strategies into your training and get ready to start fighting out it.

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