We’ve all experienced fitness and running ruts at some point or another. A motivation-less week here, a few skipped runs there; it’s totally normal for us to not have our training mojo 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
But what happens when that rut runs longer than a week? Two weeks? A month? Do you continue to push through training sessions you aren’t really enjoying? Do you give up exercising for the rest of your life?
Spoiler alert: the answer to both is no 😉
I experienced this after my triathlon in July, and while it wasn’t the most pleasant experience, I’m happy to say I managed to pull myself out of it and am going to share how I did that with you today! And since I’m currently working through a project with lots of homework and checklists (and secretly loving it), I put together a checklist so you’ll know exactly what steps you’ll need to take in order to walk yourself out of a rut, should you ever experience one!
When I realized I was just going through the motions of each training session – showing up but not really giving it my all – I knew I needed to figure out what I was looking to get from them. My focus had been on my triathlon for the past six months, and all my upcoming races were supposed to be “just for fun”. But what constitutes as fun that would still help me reach my fitness goals?
I started by taking an objective look at my situation, by treating myself like I would any other client. I filled out my registration form and answered all the questions as though someone who didn’t know me was asking them. Through this process I got re-connected with what things I like when it comes to training; what things I don’t like; what things I’m interested in but are not involved with; and what my biggest obstacles are.
These were all things that I knew in the back of my mind, but it had been awhile since I had allowed them to come to the forefront to guide me in making my fitness decisions. It’s easy to get caught up in things we think we “should” be doing, or things we do just because we’re used to them. A fresh perspective, even if it’s our own, can be all it takes to help reignite your passion for movement.
With all these likes and dislikes and interests and curiosities fresh in my mind, I decided to take a different, non-goal-setting approach. I took a moment to envision what an invigorating training session felt like. Where was I? What was I doing? How much was I sweating? How hard was I working? I worked backwards from there, and took my likes and dislikes into consideration when thinking of activities that could help me achieve what I had envisioned.
For example, when I imagined my super awesome training session, I was working HARD. I was out of breath, dripping in sweat, and not stressing out about how many hours I had been training for (quite different from my triathlon training!). I thought of the things I enjoyed doing – high intensity interval training, heavy deadlifts, metabolic circuits – and put together a plan of attack to figure out how I could make each workout like the one I envisioned.
I made the tough call to not complete the second triathlon I had my eye on, and instead found ways to incorporate some hard and sweaty workouts into the runs I had scheduled so I could finish my last few running races of the year, all the while keeping my stress levels low…something that’s SUPER important to me right now.
It can require a little honesty with yourself, but YOU have the power to pull yourself out of your fitness rut! Ask yourself some questions and do some fitness soul-searching so you can get reacquainted with the reasons you started being active in the first place.Step-by-step guide to breaking out of a fitness rut via @arianafotinakis #FitnessMotivation #SweatPink Click To Tweet
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Have you ever been in a fitness rut? How did you manage to pull yourself out of it?