Last week, I blogged about fitness traps that we all have from time to time. Those little thoughts that run through our minds or the things that we think or say when it comes to working out. It’s something we all do, but knowing how to overcome those thoughts before they sidetrack us is so important!
I started with the fitness traps that I had a lot of when I first started running. Once I got established into a running routine, my traps changed a bit I was comfortable running, but I was struggling with other things. Here are some the fitness traps I fell into and ways that helped me to overcome them. I am by no means an expert; I’m just sharing strategies that worked for me.
Once I had been running for a bit, I was doing just that. Running. I loved running, but when I wasn’t training for a race, running felt really uneventful. I liked the rush of a race, but certainly I couldn’t do that every weekend. Running lost its luster and became boring at times.
How to help overcome these thoughts:
- Mix it up! Part of what helped a lot for me was finding new places to run. Even when we’d travel, I’d look for new places to run. If you are going to the gym, find other classes to take. I’ve tried all kinds of classes from cycling to Zumba.
- Find local running groups to join. Meeting new people and running might be just the thing to make it more social and fun. Make plans to meet friends to workout.
- Try a virtual race or a fitness challenge! There are some that are free; others have a small fee associated with them. I participated in many #Anywhere races from Run Chat back in the day. I loved that it kept my running fresh, but I wasn’t having to pay money to race every weekend. I also participate in various 30 day fitness challenges.
- Try something other than your current fitness activity. It’s okay to take a break from it. About the time I was finding running a bit boring, I found Body Pump. It was a great way to mix in something else that would benefit my running and it was giving me another option for staying active.
Fitness Trap #5: “I want a PR!”
At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a fitness trap. While it’s good to strive for improvement, this one is a tricky one! I used to thrive off of constantly going for the PR during each race. Faster = better! It was easy at the beginning to PR races because my improvement in running was greater. Now that I’ve been running awhile, the effort to PR is more difficult. I would feel so bummed after running if I didn’t PR. I realized quickly that if I constantly strive to PR all the time, I’m setting myself up to feel defeated all the time. How to overcome these thoughts:
- Be realistic. It’s far easier to target one race a training season as the one you are going to PR. Train and go for it! You cannot expect to PR every race you ever run. So many factors pay a part in that from temperatures, race day GI issues, rested legs, etc. Also, shooting for too many PR’s in a season will wear you out!
- While PR’s are great, there are other ways to recreate the same feeling. Try running different distances. I ran my first ever 12K last winter. Guess what? New distance, new PR! 🙂
- Mix it up on trails. If you are a road runner, try running trails at various distances. Again, it gives you a new target to conquer. I’ve run a road half, what about a trail half?!
- PR the course! Take a race that you ran already and re-run it to see if you improve your time. I’ve done that with a lot of my races. My goal is just to run it smarter or more efficiently than I did the year before.
Fitness Trap #6: “Um, my leg is kind of hurting. (ignore the pain) It’s fine.”
After running for a bit, I naturally started increasing my mileage and training for longer distanced races. I had twinges of pain and uncomfortableness here and there, but for the most part until it started really nagging me, I ignored it. I ignored pain in my shins for a really long time. Blaming it on my shoes, hill repeats, shin splints, etc. You name it, I had an excuse for what I was feeling. Needless to say, I ignored it too long, continued running until one day mid-run, I couldn’t run. I had successfully run myself right into a stress fracture. How to overcome these thoughts:
- RICE. If something starts to rear its ugly head, try resting it. Ice regularly to see if that helps. Wrap it, tape it, compress it. See if that helps. Elevate and stay off of it. I tried all four back in the day when I had shin pain. It made the pain tolerable, but it was still there. Definite red flag!
- If the pain increases and never goes away, go to the doctor and have it looked at. I know the fear of hearing those dreaded two words (“No running!) is enough to keep you from getting something checked out, but the time of no running might become longer without having it looked at.
- Train smart. I went from running 3 days a week to now 5 days and most of those days were not easy. I was running everything at full force. I paid no attention to the types of runs I was doing and the constant pushing and pounding was enough. I got caught up in the training without realizing it was too much, too soon.
What are some of those “fitness traps” you had to overcome once you’ve been exercising for awhile? What are some “fitness traps” you are dealing with now?
For all things fitness and fun:
- Head over to the Fit Fam by visiting Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org.
- Check out Tuesdays on the Run by visiting Run the Great Wide Somewhere, MCM Mama Runs, and No Guilt Life.
Go be awesome! 🙂
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