Running mojo – making up is hard to do.
Last year, running mojo and me parted ways. It had started well enough – training for the 2016 London Marathon – but the day before my last long training run, the familiar pain in my lower back returned. Facet joint issues forced me to defer. I didn’t want to risk another slipped disc.
The pain resolved itself over a few weeks but my return to running was lacklustre. Energy levels were low – work stress, family stuff – it all got too much and there were so many reasons not to run. I was running once or twice a week and only up to 5 miles at a time. By Christmas day, Parkrun seemed an effort. And it was no different by New Year’s.
This did not bode well. I had the London Marathon to train for. I got a plan together and got started. While that all sounds very simple, it wasn’t. So many of those early runs sucked. There was no joy and it hurt. I knew it would take some time. It was during these training runs that mojo and me started getting on again.
London has now been and gone and I’m still running, indeed I’ve run my first ultra since then. Neither quite went to plan and I ended up with my arm in a sling doing the ultra but these things happen.
The rest of the year is made up of shorter runs and a few shorter races with a focus on getting faster.
If you’ve parted ways with your running mojo, here are 7 tips for making up:
- The first and most important point, if you’ve had a break from running, in going back to it, be kind to yourself. Be happy that you got your kit on and out and door. Celebrate the little things.
- Accept that those first few or first few dozen runs will suck. So many of my runs earlier in the year felt like running through treacle. It does get better.
- Don’t compare your running now to before the break-up. I’m slower than I was a couple of years ago which is something I’m working on. It will take some time to get back to where I was.
- Find folk to go running with – Once a week I’d meet up with my running buddy, Mary. We had met years ago on the first day of my running club’s beginners’ course and we still run together. There’s no pressure, we don’t race one another, and it’s fab being outside and having a laugh or a bitch and a moan if needs must.
- Sign up to a race that excites you. For me it was second time lucky to run the London Marathon. And I did lots of races along the way which took away some of the fear factor on the day.
- Write your plan down – Once you’ve got a plan, you’ve got something to work to. It takes some of the angst out of the ‘will I…won’t I’ run. It also helps with getting out the door rather than waiting for the motivation genie to strike. The important thing about plans is you need to be flexible. Stuff happens, you might have a little niggle that means a hill session is not on the cards, you might be feeling unwell, this is life.
- And finally, enjoy!
We can all relate to losing running mojo so thanks to Sophie for sharing her tips for finding it again! Sophie is a keen blogger and active on social media so follow her running journey at the below:
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