Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Back to Basics : How to get back in the workout groove

The past few weeks have been a little crazy for my workout routine. At first my excuse was that I was getting back in the groove following vacation. Then a weekend visit to a friend meant no long run. Then it was DST & back to dark in the mornings. I quickly felt myself slipping into a funk of sorts.

I've been there before & it's a little spiral of half marathon doom. One day you've done all your workouts & just a few days later you skipped your speed workout, made a halfhearted promise to yourself that you would make it up this week. Now the streak is broken & it's downhill from there. Before I let myself get out of control & miss too many workouts I got back to basics, as I like to say, to get myself off the fast track to a workout funk & back to my usual self.

Here are my "Back to Basics", I would love to hear yours, what reminders or tips you have for snapping out of a workout slump before it gets serious.

{do what you love}
I love to run & I love to lift weights. When I am feeling a funk coming on I'll slow down on the cross training & get outside for a run with no purpose other than enjoyment. Or I'll head to the weight room with no plan in mind & I'll do whatever exercises strike me. While it never ends up being the most efficient use of my time, I always enjoy myself. Which is why I workout in the first place.

{no time commitment}
It's easy to get bogged down when you have a 6 mile run here, an hour of spinning there, etc. When I feel myself slipping into a funk I forget the plan. My goal is to get myself to the gym, or out on the road with my shoes laced up. If I run all my miles, great. If I don't, well, I got out there. Which brings me to my next point..

{some is better than none}
AKA fake it til you make it
Some running is better than no running when you're in a funk. If I enjoy myself for 3 miles, then I'll run 3 miles. Part of getting back to basics is snapping out of it so I can get to a place where I want to do it all, run all the miles, lift all the weights, etc.

{workout with friends}
I love to meet up with a local running group on Saturday mornings for my long run. Pace groups help keep me in check & there's always someone to chat with to make the miles fly by. I was dreading running 12 miles this past Saturday, I wasn't even sure I could do it. Instead, I did 13 & had a blast chit chatting with everyone. I always meet someone knew & run a route through the city I wouldn't have on my own.

{tell someone your plan}
As someone who thrives on outward success it can seem easy to skip a workout if no one would know. But I don't want to appear like a failure. For me this usually means telling the BF or another friend that I am getting up early to go to the gym. I don't want to have to explain later that I didn't go, so you best believe my ass will be out of bed in the morning.

{schedule a reward}
 I work well with goals in mind. Sometimes a goal of a half marathon several months away is too far off to keep me motivated every week. I like to have small rewards to keep myself on track each week. While many people disagree with using food as a reward, we are people, not dogs afterall. I disagree. If promising myself Chipotle after my long run (because I know it's near our start // finish) is going to help me complete all my workouts that week then so be it. I am not above bribing myself.


20 comments:

  1. All good ways to get out of a workout funk! I especially like the do what you like and scheduling a reward-a bakery treat after a tough workout is my favorite way to treat myself!

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    1. It's such an easy & accessible thing to do. Practically a no brainer. Thanks for stopping by Stacey!

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    2. Also, Stacey, I would love to visit your blog if you have one, but I'm having a tough time finding a link since your Google+ profile is linked up. Next time you're here, please leave me your link!

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  2. I definitely reward myself w food. The other wk I ran 13 miles just so I didn't feel as guilty enjoying a shamrock shake....haha.

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    1. Mmm. LOVE shamrock shakes! I wouldn't feel guilty either! I think that's what the experts refer to as 'balance'!

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  3. These are definitely great tips! The some is better than none and the working out with friends are my go to. The other thing I do, which is kind of the opposite of your first one, is if I'm in a funk I'll try something new. That could be a new class or a new location to run in, etc. But just something new to give me something to look forward to.

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    1. I totally forgot about picking a new location to run. That's part of why I love meeting up with a local running group so much. Is they pick different routes each week. I need to try more new things. I just feel like I'm short on workout time as it is usually. I would hate to feel like I wasted my time by trying something I hated. Ya know?

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  4. These are all such great tips and I totally agree! There are times when I imagine myself in old age, on my death bed, looking back at all the time I spent worrying about missed workouts and training plans. Suddenly it all seems so insignificant. I think we can all be a little hard on ourselves, especially when we are chasing down goals. Plans and schedules are great but we also have to live our lives and be happy. No one is paying us to run, so is all the stress worth it? I try to adopt the mindset of "do what you can and be happy about it." There will always be SOMETHING you're missing out on.

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    1. Yes! So true. And as much as I've thought I would love getting paid to run, I think that would really suck a lot of fun out of it. All of a sudden not wanting to run doesn't matter. I don't always want to go to work, but I do anyways. Running I think would take on the same mentality for me.

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  5. I'm all about scheduling a reward :)
    I'm the type of person that thrives on routine so when I dont work out, I freak out - luckily that works for me...
    but I can see where it is nice to slack every now & then.

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    1. I don't quite freak out. But it does manage to throw my whole life out of whack. So I try to get back on track quickly. Otherwise it makes it hard to sleep at night. I'm just never as tired!

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  6. I love the tell someone your plan! It keeps you accountable and your right if you tell someone or post it, it is highly likely it will get done!

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    1. Definitely! I hate feeling like I let someone down. Even though I know not going to the gym is a let down to me, not them. But, it tricks my mind, so I roll with it.

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  7. Great tips! One that always works for me is to change things up. After running so much for so long, I'm itching to get back to strength training!

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    1. I'll bet. I am still in awe of how much you run, both days & miles.

      After JASR I'll be interested to see what sort of approach you take to your "off-season" before marathon training.

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  8. Great tips! I am planning a similar post for later this week actually. I definitely like having a goal to word towards!

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    1. Yes. Goals keep me motivated, but little baby goals along the way really help me too. I'll be interested to check out your post once it goes live!

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  9. Great tips, I need to get back into routine :)

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    1. Thanks Claire! I find it easier to stay in a routine once I'm in one!

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  10. i go through funks all the time. recently, i did this thing where i convinced myself i 'had' to do something everyday, because i wanted to build that routine or habit, you know? because when i take a day off, i normally take the next day and the next day and all of a sudden it's a month off working out :( so anyway, i worked out 47 days in a row - nothing crazy, just like 15 mins yoga one day, maybe a walk or run the next day. just the act of doing something and making it a habit, like you said - some is better than none. that was basically my whole motto. anyway, i took a day off, but worked out the next day which basically is what i wanted to achieve.. if that even makes sense? anyway. that was a couple of weeks ago, and currently i am on day 3 off working out which could spiral out of control, but i'm definitely absolutely gonna do something tomorrow so hopefully i can nip this in the bud before it gets out of control. anyway. i talk a lot, sorry! haha. i love all your points, they are all spot on, but the some is better than none is definitely my fave.

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