4 Ways to Regain Your Running Mojo

Mix it up.

Perhaps your current uninspired state is more about a performance plateau. If you've put in the mileage and the quality work needed to post a personal best, but just haven't seen the results, it may be time to mix things up.

If your performances are not matching up with the work you're putting in, it might be time to overhaul your approach to training. The best in the world change coaches (or simply go coachless) when they aren't happy with their running. Follow their lead and mix things up.

What approach is best? Great question. There are many different ways to train. Why? Because there is infinite variety from person to person. What works for me is not necessarily going to be the answer for you. Likewise, your approach may work swimmingly for you, but be a disastrous approach for someone else.

Be open-minded and flexible. Do a little research and explore a few different avenues. It may entail logging more miles, fewer miles, or trying some activities you never would have contemplated.

Treat mixing things up as a grand new adventure and an opportunity to discover a way to uncover even better performances down the road.

Just take a break.

It may sound completely counter-intuitive, but sometimes the best thing you can do for your running is not run. If you find yourself in a space where seemingly every mile you log feels like drudgery, stop.

It may be the case that your body simply needs a break. Maybe you're experiencing mental fatigue.  If you've been training and racing all year long, your body could be under physical or mental fatigue. Whether the issue is physical or mental, there is no shame in taking a break.

Don't put any hard and fast rules on what this break looks like. Maybe it's a day. Maybe it's a couple days. Maybe it's a week. Maybe it's longer. Listen to the messages your body is sending you and don't hit the road again until you feel like you're ready for it and have genuine enthusiasm for the act of running.

At the end of the day, running should be fun most of the time. If it's not feeling that way, don't force yourself to go out and log miles in misery. Give yourself a break. Chances are, you've earned it.

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Matt Forsman (AKA Marathon Matt) has been a runner for more than 20 years and a USATF/RRCA certified coach for more than five years. He has worked with thousands of runners in the San Francisco Bay Area through his group training programs that regularly attract 150 to 200 runners per season and a host of individual clients. Matt has contributed to Runner's World, NorCal Running Magazine, and other publications. You can learn more about Matt at www.marathonmatt.com


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