A lot of us ran fall races... and we had a lot of stamina over the summer!
Do you feel like you have run out of motivation now? It's really common. As a runner for the last TWENTY YEARS, I've seen it happen to me and many of my clients... sooo... the first thing we need to do is to take a deep breath and acknowledge that we are only human. By that I mean it is very easy for us to get complacent and to almost fall into the ways of being lazy. So what you need to do, rather than beat yourself up is to identify what happened! Why is your motivation waning?
Could it be because you are bored of running?
If that sounds like you, it doesn't mean you are not a runner or a bad runner. If you just trained for a half, a marathon or ultra marathon you may just need a break from running! A lot of people fear if they take a break that they will never come back to running, and I am here to tell that you will! The key is to come back to it when you miss it. I recommend not signing up for another race immediately after your marathon, unless it's something you are REALLY excited about. Maybe a spring race or something in the future would be better. I'm not saying you cant sign up for another race, but what is your reason for signing up? Do you really want to do it or are you doing it to stay motivated? You are actually working against your body if you are signing up for a race just for the sake of signing up for a race.
So what do you do instead?
Try something new! Maybe go walking everyday with your best friend or go for a walk on your lunch break. Maybe download an app, FitOn and Peloton (they are free by the way) and do some home workouts. Maybe go to a yoga class, you can find a different mode of movement that feels good for you. That is fine! You are still a runner!! What is more important is that you stay consistent ˆwith movement! Consistency is the key to feeling good in your body for the rest of your life! It's like a marathon, you don't want to be sprinting from goal to goal. You want to be slowly and steadily moving from goal to goal.
Did you run out of time to exercise?
It's very common for your priorities to change post-race! During training, creating your schedule probably revolved around squeezing in long runs & workouts... then flash forward to NOW. You may feel tired of your schedule revolving around running, or maybe you haven't even bothered to try scheduling workouts now that your race is over.
If you are someone who uses exercise as alone-time, then it is imperative that you schedule your workouts. Even if they aren't runs, but yoga or walks instead, it still needs to get on your schedule so you can prioritize time for yourself.
Next we want to think about how winter is affecting you.
How are the cold weather and the shorter days impacting your ability to get a workout in? Let's be realistic, is it possible to go running on your lunch break or wake up earlier and go running? Can you buy clothing that will keep you warm when you run outside? That might be a solution for some of you!
I highly recommend investing in some cold weather running gear & testing the great outdoors for a cold weather run. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised how much you like it!
AND .... maybe .... you just need to take a break...and that's okay!!
It is okay to take breaks from exercise... it does NOT make you less of a runner.
I truly think the reason I have consistently run for 20 years is because I have honored when my body needs a few weeks off. Focusing on other areas of your health - such as meditation, stretching, foam rolling, cooking, family time, your relaitonship, whatever... it is ALL important to building a strong foundation to being a LIFELONG athlete.
In fact, a huge part of being a lifelong athlete is learning how to become your body's teammate. Listening to your body is a very powerful tool as an athlete, it tells you when its getting injured and "you need to slow down or stop" and it tells you "hey we are feeling good let's go get that person running up ahead!" It will also tell you when you are feeling off and maybe not to do a track workout that day. You need to have alignment and communication with your body if you want to be a strong and successful athlete.
When people find Food Freedom and are eating intuitively you learn how to listen to your body and what it is telling you. When you listen and respect what your body is telling you you don't feel guilt or shame you feel really good about making that choice. I had a client that felt like she needed to earn her food by working out. When we started working together she took a break from running to better listen to her body. Once she got back into running two months later she became a better runner! She was listening to her body and if it told her to take an easy day she did! Or if it told her to push the pace on a workout she did and she knew how to fuel her recovery afterwards. She became a better teammate to her body! Going through these seasons of running are totally normal and it's okay to take a break!