TotR: Running Breaks

For this week’s Tuesdays on the Run, Patty from My No-Guilt Life, Erika from MCM Mama Runs and I are taking the proverbial path less traveled to discuss running breaks.  It was kind of funny that when this topic was brought up, all three of us just happened to be in the middle of a break from our running schedules.

I’ve taken running breaks for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes it’s a planned taper that just lasts a week or so.  Sometimes it’s a recovery from a big race (or series of races.  Sometimes it’s due to an injury that needs some rest to heal.  And my current running break is due entirely to a combo of burn out and the early arrival of the summer heat and bugs in Florida.

motivation17I’ve been running for about two and a half years now and have truly lost my mojo.  I think there are a lot of reasons that I’m in a running funk but the biggest one is that I’m slower now than I was a year ago.  My training has been inconsistent and I’ve regained about twenty pounds which means I’m definitely not getting PRs at the moment.  Yes, I love to run for the experience and I love the friends I’ve made and I love the fun of a race but I have a deep seated competitive streak and I want to win.  If I can’t beat everyone else, I need to at least beat my previous record!  It’s hard to get out there and run when I am so far behind where I’ve been before.

motivation21So, needless to say, my running break was unplanned and unscheduled.  I did get out and run twice while I was at the beach on vacation last week.  Now I just have to get my rear in gear and run again now that I’m back to the “real world” with work and meetings and laundry.

So how do I get out of this running slump and end the break?

  • Sign up for a new race.  I’m trying to figure out how to make the Rebel Challenge at Disneyland work.  Having a big ticket race that is new to me is definitely something that could add some excitement back to my running.
  • Find an inspiring movie.  I’m going to re-watch Spirit of the Marathon and McFarland USA and maybe something new!
  • Team up.  I need to find someone to be a running buddy.  Whether it’s someone local or an online friend, I need an accountability partner or team.
  • Get faster.  I know myself and finding a way to get my speed up (down?) is going to be the biggest inspiration for me.  When I get a PR, I am just on top of the world.  And that feeling motivates me to try even harder.  So, I need to train consistently and get my diet under control.

motivation112Have you had a running break due to burnout?  What did you do to get your running fire back?

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TotR: Running Breaks — 24 Comments

    • Injury breaks are so frustrating! Recovery breaks are easier for me to deal with for sure!

  1. Hi April! I can sense the frustration in your words. Sometimes running sucks. And I think it’s great that you’re taking a self-imposed break because it puts you in control. I think your ideas for helping to get out of your funk are good ones. I’d also recommend finding new running routes and maybe incorporating different kinds of running and perhaps even cross training. I wrote about trail running this week. I don’t know if that’s an option for you, but maybe hitting up different surfaces will help. Hang in there. I know you’ll do great no matter what you do! Good luck!
    Jenn @ RunWithSole recently posted…I Heart Trail Running (and why you will too)!My Profile

    • Yeah, I’m pretty frustrated and it’s all with myself! I just want to get that drive back and to feel inspired again. I love trail running (and had a great time running at the beach last week)! I definitely need to shake things up with both my diet and exercise!

  2. Because I’ve had this ongoing injury I often thought about just letting my running come to an end! But now I think summer has motivated me and I am working harder than ever to come back stronger. I have no goals to PR but I do want to get my running back to the pace it use to be and if I can do that I will consider it a win! Its funny because I have been reading other blogs lately where people are saying that they’ve lost their running mojo. We just need to remember that running is something we do, its not necessarily who we are. We cant let it define us, only enhance who we are. Hang in there friend!

    • Summer is such a de-motivator for me #FloridaProblems! I’m glad you’re feeling your motivation again. Injuries are so frustrating and yours has been just awful! I love your attitude (as always!!)! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Summer Goals - Mar on the Run

  4. ah, you are speaking to me! I’m in a major funk – caused by Vit D deficiency, fatigue and weight gain. I just made some goals for the summer though so hoping that helps!!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Summer GoalsMy Profile

    • It’s tough when you’re in that funk isn’t it?!? Hoping we both end the summer full of energy and excitement!!

  5. As much as I hate to think of it this way, my injury forced me to take time off and now I’m having fun again. I got caught up in having to do races and the last training round certainly was not fun.
    Lesley recently posted…Seghesio and Silver OaksMy Profile

    • Sometimes our bodies use illness or injury as a way to make us slow down and take a break. Glad you’re feeling better and having fun again!!

  6. If you come out for Rebel Challenge, we’re totally getting together! I’m trying to decide if I want to do the challenge or the half. The cost is what is holding me back. Today is pass holder registration. The challenge may sell out before I have a chance to register since it’s a workday…

    Anyway, I totally feel you on the break. My times have slowed down too, and that same twenty pounds is the culprit. I blame being over 40. Sucks.
    Jen recently posted…Professional Progress and ToysMy Profile

    • Well, I’m signed up for the Rebel Challenge so we’ll have to meet up!! I’m going to have to cancel my plans for several races next year to afford it, but I really think it’s the right choice for me! And yes, being over 40 has been AWFUL for my weight!!

      • I didn’t quite make it today. It sold out before I had the chance to get to a computer, so I guess I’ll try again at general registration.
        Jen recently posted…Well…I triedMy Profile

  7. Pingback: How I Know It's Time to Take a Running Break - Running for my Life

  8. After my first Ironman I suffered serious burn out and didn’t run or train for months. It was really painful to get back out there as I was slower and heavier than before. Signing up for a fun race can definitely help to get the mojo back…as can cute new running gear. I love the idea of watching Spirit of the Marathon to get inspired as well!
    Leana recently posted…Calgary Marathon Weekend LovesMy Profile

    • I have heard of a lot of people getting burned out after an Ironman. It’s such a huge time commitment for training!! I’m trying to resist on the running gear therapy!!

  9. I am right there with you! I am in a funk and I am not sure why but am assuming it is burnout from running 16 races this year. I am taking an almost 2 week break since I will be in WDW for a family vacation and hoping to get back into and feel strong.

    and yes-please come out for Rebel Challenge! I signed up this morning and am so excited

    • Yeah, 16 races so far this year is pretty intense! I hope you have a great break and a super magical trip to WDW!! We’ll have to plan a meetup for the Rebel Challenge!!

    • Yeah, Star Wars weekend is not going to be cheap, that’s for sure!

  10. I’m enjoying this period of break between training cycles. I can only go so far on a schedule and you’re right – it’s harder to stay motivated when it isn’t going well. Here’s hoping you can work out a way to get to the Rebel Challenge – it’s a fantastic event & great motivation.
    Jessica S recently posted…Favorite listens on the runMy Profile