Is the spark in your training starting to fade? Bring back the spark with these tips!


Is anyone else having trouble getting motivated to run, workout, clean the house? Or is it just me? Usually summer is the time I feel the most motivation. The weather is great, the sun is out, I’m wearing shorts 🙂 …but I’m finding it difficult to get out and get moving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still running on the days that I don’t work, as usual, but my runs are slow and with a lot of walk breaks. To get myself out of this running slump I came up with a list of reasons why I run and what I can do to bring back the spark.

I first needed to ask myself…

Why do I run?

There are many reasons I run but I think the number one reason is because I can. I am a nurse in a busy emergency department and see people from all walks of life. So many of them are overweight with diabetes, heart disease, liver failure, kidney failure, heart failure, etc., and some have trouble just walking. Most of the illnesses I see are preventable and/or treatable, but require a lifestyle change. A change that many people aren’t willing to make. Seeing this day in and day out can be discouraging, but it can also be motivating…for me…I don’t want to have any of these illnesses. I want to be healthy.  I want everyone to be healthy.

So back to the question…Why do I run? I run because I can. And I will continue to run until I no longer can. (I feel better already!)

Other reasons I run:

  • To burn calories.
  • To strengthens my heart and lungs.
  • To stay strong.
  • To (hopefully) prevent declining brain function. 😉
  • To keep me young! Or feeling young. 🙂

How to bring back the spark!

  1. Change your distance. If you run 5k’s then train for a half marathon. If you run half’s then run a 5k.
  2. Change your scenery. If you run on the street find a trail. Go to the beach, or a new neighborhood.
  3. Join a running club. I’ve been seriously considering this. I know it has helped a friend with her pace and it definitely makes you accountable. On the flip side of that, be sure you are with a group that fits your level. My friend has been getting discouraged because her group tends to run faster than she is comfortable with. This can be very discouraging.
  4. Make a run date. Nothing better than the support of a running buddy to get you motivated. And it holds you accountable.
  5. Register for a race. The summer is the perfect time to do a race because there’s a lot to chose from. I’m running the Five Mile Fridays at Riley Wilderness Park tonight. Last years series was brutally hot but I did all 3 and survived so here I go again.  Go to Active.com to find a race near you.
  6. Take a break. Doesn’t seem to fit in the category of “How to bring back the spark” but sometimes you just need to take a break. We all burn-out from time to time, so don’t feel bad if you need to take a break from running. There are plenty of other things to do to stay active, which brings me to my next thing on the list…
  7. Cross train. Go for a bike ride, hike, take a yoga class or a cross-fit class. Really, we should be doing these things anyways to get a whole body workout.

Update:

Since I started this post I ran  a 5 mile trail run at Riley Wilderness Park. This years race was 5 instead of 4 miles with at least 2 more huge hills. I obviously didn’t train enough for this challenge but I survived and it actually boosted my motivation to run more and get stronger. It’s been a while since my legs have been sore and it feels good.

5 mile friday
Sol, Mario & Me {Pre-race 5 Mile Fridays 2017}

 

5 mile friday hill
One of the many big hills!

 

This challenge has me thinking of tackling a much bigger challenge…qualifying for Boston. Next year I will be moving up an age group, putting me at the youngest in my division…never thought I would be happy about moving up an age group. My qualifying time will be 4:10 {a 9:33/mi pace}, seems doable. 🙂 We shall see. I have a year to think about it, then a year to train.

As I read threw this post I realize that this topic must be a constant battle because I seem to write about it often. The struggle is real! You are obviously not alone if you struggle with sticking to a workout plan. I’m here for you. Checkout my Facebook page for all things running and active. https://www.facebook.com/runheartfit/

What keeps you motivated? Do you ever feel like you’re in a slump?

Thanks for reading!

Keep running my friends!

                                                             Denise


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