You know the feeling. You’ve been in a great workout groove, your fitness is at an all-time high, and then all of a sudden, getting out the door (and staying out the door) becomes a daily challenge. Maybe it’s boredom, maybe you’re busy, maybe it’s colder weather- whatever it is, most athletes will face a workout rut at some point.
Try these tips to refuel that fire.
1. Change Up Your Playlist
Do you usually listen to upbeat jams to amp you up for your workout? Try mellowing it out to find rhythm and get in the zone. Ask your friends for recommendations. Find a new community playlist on Spotify and click shuffle. Listen to a podcast. Find something new that gets you thinking or excited. Turn it up.
2. New Gear
Sure, the mental boost from some flashy new gear is real, but there are also some practical reasons to update. Running shoes are only meant to be worn for so many miles before they stop protecting you from injury, sports bras lose their elasticity, and it generally feels pretty nice to wear clothing that fits well and stays put.
3. New Training Group/Buddy
Meeting up with friends can drastically reduce the effort it takes to get started or keep going. Working toward a goal with teammates and friends around you can both hold you accountable and make your training and racing experience even more meaningful.
4. New information
This can mean reading a book on your sport of choice, checking out a physiology guide, getting certified, or finding new ways to track how your body is performing. It can feel great to understand the science behind your training cycles and how they impact your body.
5. New goal
Do you ever feel like your mindlessly moving with no end in sight? Training cycles exist to peak your body for competition, your rides, runs, or climbs shouldn’t be a constant push toward better and faster without rest, recovery, and down-time.
6. Change up the intensity
Sometimes, taking your runs easy every day can get mentally draining. Upping the intensity can get your body and mind working in new ways.
7. Go Somewhere New
If you usually work out in the gym, go outside, get some fresh air. If you usually train outside, try finding a new gym with some cool classes. Take a training trip and enjoy the sights to refresh your motivation. Shake it up!
9. Rest +Recovery
You could be in a rut because your body and mind are actually telling you what you need: rest. Recovery. Time to rebuild so you can become better and stronger. Take some time off from training if you haven’t in a while. Find a way to get better quality sleep. Use ice or heat to help aching muscles or joints.
10. Warm up properly
Often overlooked, your warm-up is how your body prepares for hard work. Ideally, you prep your muscles to fire with dynamic stretching and drills to increase your range of motion and prevent injury.
11. Rethink your diet
As an athlete, it’s crucial that you’re eating a diet rich in the nutrients you need. Furthermore, bodies change over time and the diet that worked for you for one year may not work for you another. See a nutritionist if necessary, and reassess your needs to perform and recover better than ever.
Sometimes the simplest changes can make all the difference. Any other tips you didn’t see here? Let us know @behumon. Cheers to better training!