If you run long enough, at some point you are going to hit a rut. That rut could be a lack in training progress, inability to achieve a new personal best, or even the lack of desire to run. Regardless of the reason behind your rut, how do you get out of it?

As they often say, the only difference between a rut and a grave is that the ends of a rut allow you to climb out. As runners, there are options that we have that will allow us to get motivated to start running once again. Here are some things you can do to help get out of a training rut.

Change Up Your Routine

  • Try a new running route to change your environment. Run trails, run the beach or a route never before taken. Changing your environment makes things exciting and new.
  • Cross-Train in place of a running day. Use an elliptical machine, exercise bike or take an exercise class. Cross-training will help keep your cardio strong, work out your muscles but give you a workout different than running.
  • Build Strength with weight workouts. Look at building some muscles in your legs as well as your chest, back, abs and arms. Running often breaks down your muscles and joints. You will be surprised how including strength training in your regimen will make you a better runner.

 Change Your Runs

  • Run Slower. Lack of progress in your runs have you feeling like you will never get better? Maybe you are running too fast. Try running at a slower pace for most of your run and then the last half a mile (quarter mile or last .2 miles) finish fast. Build your confidence back up in your running ability.
  • Do some Hills or Speed Runs. Take a running day and instead of just going out and running go to a track or a place with hills. Do a hill workout or speed workout. These will help build leg strength and make you a better runner.

Reduce Your Running Days

  • Plan out about three weeks of reduced running days with a gradual return to your full running schedule. On the days you removed running, replace it with a cross-training day, strength workout or even a fun workout like hiking. Do something else except running. Each week, bring back another day of running – just make sure you don’t expect to run the same mileage as you left off.
  • Just take a break. Schedule an off-season for your running so that you give your body time to fully recover, enjoy other activities and life. Running takes a toll on everyone’s body. Give yourself some time off.

What do you do to get yourself or keep yourself out of a training rut? Leave a comment, help a fellow runner.

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