I’ve been on the struggle bus over here for the past couple of weeks but am slowly working my way out of the funk. Like anything that is worth doing, it’s a process. Since pretty much everyone can relate to not wanting to work out, or at least struggling with it, I want to share how I got my training mojo back, because I’m a sharer.
STEP ONE: LET YOURSELF NOT CARE
It took me a long time to learn how to sit with my feelings. Most of my adult life I’ve survived by pushing away negative feelings or hurt and either forcing the thoughts from my mind or literally running away from them. It’s much harder to sit with the bad stuff and just feel it but, when you do that, you can move past it without it rearing it’s ugly head.
Every time I would start to think about how much I didn’t want to continue with my training, I would try to dig a little deeper into why I was feeling that way, instead of shoving the thoughts from my head.
I skipped workouts.
I sat with my feelings.
I moved on to the next day.
STEP TWO: COMMUNICATE
You may be under the false assumption that this one is easy for me since I have a blog and write for a living. You would be wrong. I have a very hard time telling other people when I’m struggling (except for my husband) and tend to keep those things to myself.
Once I started blogging about my struggle and talked with my coach, amazing things happened. People reached out. Friends wanted to help.
My coach offered to do some long rides with me and we moved all my long brick sessions to Monday instead of me struggling to fit them into a busy family weekend.
I also seem more human to my friends which is always a good thing, right?
“Oh look she’s struggling! She’s not a robot after all!”
STEP THREE: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT GOAL
The other day I was supposed to run a two mile warm-up and then three miles between 6:15-6:30 pace. After a 2,200 yard swim and in the pouring rain. The only thing that pushed me though those three brutal miles of speed was thinking about my goal of making the World Championship team. My thoughts went something like this:
Has my coach lost her mind? Why would she think I can do this?
I CAN do this. Fast and light, fast and light.
This is insane. People are looking at me like I’m a lunatic…because I AM!
I wonder what the woman who placed first in my age group at nationals is doing right now?
I will think about this pain when I’m racing in a few weeks and pull what I need from it.
If I didn’t have a big goal that I wanted to reach, I probably would have quit that run and eased up on the pace. I was struggling and it was hard but, I did it and felt great afterward.
STEP FOUR: REMEMBER WHY YOU LOVE IT
Somewhere during my training, whether I’m in the pool, on my bike or out running I can’t help but smile. I think about how I GET to do this and how long I have been able to do it.
For me, there is nothing like pushing though the water feeling slippery, sleek and fast or speeding downhill on my bike at 50 mph or heading out on a run feeling like I could fly.
If I’m not having fun, I’m not doing it.
I’m still having a lot of fun.
STEP FIVE: SEE THE SIGNS
I never used to believe that the universe will tell you everything you need to know if you just listen to it. Now I know there are signs everywhere if you pay attention.
I had several things happen to point me in the right direction including just kind words from people I don’t even know that well. A simple ‘you look great, are you training for something?’ goes a long way in my book.
I also usually gain plenty of perspective, if I’m open to it. When I was upset about my beats headphones being drowned to wreckage from my sweat and complained about it to my husband arguing “aren’t you supposed to be sweating in these?” he replied, “probably not for two hours a day.” #lightbulb
[Tweet “Lost #mojo? Here’s how to get it back in 5 steps! #train4life”]
Although everything is not perfect (nor was it ever) I’m feeling a lot better about my training and have a renewed motivation leading into my first race of the season.
In the immortal words of Ice Cube “…life is not a track meet, it’s a marathon…” I also need to remember my core belief of training for life.
How do you get your mojo back?
What can you add to the list?
I’ve welcomed this break in with open arms. I know I personally, I needed it. These are great tips and thanks for sharing! Maybe one day I’ll feel motivated to run again…maybe.
That is the flip side of it. I knew I wasn’t ready for a complete break and you know that you definitely are. I’m glad you seem to be at peace with it. I’m sure you have A LOT more free time which is probably amazing!
My mojo was lacking a couple of weeks ago because of my stress fracture. But now that I’ve got a little spark that I can be running again, it’s made a world of difference. And I firmly believe that signs are everywhere. You just need to look for them.
I saw that! Isn’t it great to go from “marathon training” to “just happy to be running!” I think we all need to swift kick to remember to just be grateful to be out there!
Set a fire close to yourself or on things that you love and then you will get your running mojo back 😀 LOL
For me, it was a little bit every day + taking the pressure off. I fell back in love with it instantly!
YES! Just taking some of the pressure off was a big game changer for me!
I find a lot of motivation on social media. A new challenge or contest is most appealing. Dangle a prize and I start working out 😉
That is so funny because I am the total opposite! I mean, I definitely get motivated by a lot of people on social media but when it comes to contests? I’m OUT!
Good luck competing. I hope you win it ALL!
Great advice. I have the mentality that I should be able to do it all and sometimes that rubs away my mojo. Giving myself the opportunity not to try to be “perfect” and taking weeks to just run for fun as I want help me a lot!
YES! 100% YES to letting go of perfection. I think I needed to get back to the attitude of being grateful to just be doing what I’m doing and start from there. Thanks Laura!
I applaud your incorporation of the immortal words of Ice Cube into this post. I call on the wisdom of Ice Cube in times of struggle more frequently than I care to admit.
I knew you would appreciate that. I too call on his wisdom often, mostly because when I very first started running I listened to a lot of his music and it just kind of got lodged in my brain. Could be worse 🙂
Nice. Okay, my answer to getting inspired or getting my mojo back is always music. If I’m ever feeling stale, I’ll text a few people whose tastes in music are similar to mine and I ask them for some new song ideas and then I download them and listen to them on my next run. Works every time! Okay and I’m DYING to know… did you run between 6:15-6:30 for 3 miles CONSECUTIVELY?!?! Like, without a break between miles? Or were they mile repeats? Either way, that is fricking FAST, woman.
GAH! I totally forgot to include that because I seriously downloaded an entirely new playlist and have been listening to it non-stop on my runs!! And, I’m so glad you asked. I did that shit NON STOP for 3 miles…but my actual pace was between 6:30-6:45 – I may have reached 6:15 for 30 seconds. It hurt like a bitch and thank you for your accolades even though you can run a marathon at that pace while wearing a clown costume and 8 months pregnant. xoxo
Ha! I actually have a post with this title on the drawing board . The one thing that always gets me out the door is reminding me how badly I’ll feel if I miss a workout. Interestingly, dropping out of my marathon did not feel bad. Maybe because I gave it all I had. I’m glad you’re finding your way back.
Ah, great minds Wendy! I hope you still publish yours so we can see where our ideas intersect. Plus you have about 53,000 more readers than I do and it’s good to get the mojo word out!
I think when you give absolutely everything you have, there are no regrets, no matter the outcome.
I am always motivated to work out and I feel blessed for feeling that way all the time! My muscles I have been growing are phenomenal motivation for me!! I love the sexy definition, which makes me want to LIFT MORE!
You get on with your sexy muscular self woman!!!
Mojo is one of those things that you have to fight to get back, I’m happy you found yours!! I am all about the signs as well. Those 6:15 miles…in the pouring rain…? omg!
what great timing you have! i’m on my 3rd week back at work full time and the first week i swear all i could do was just work and be a mom and wife.. that felt like enough! that feeling lasted 4-5 days, and i totally allowed it. i allowed myself to sleep as needed and not do anything extra, just get used to a new schedule. i know myself, i could have totally tried to get up early right away and start working out.. but for what? i need lots of energy for my daughter. and now my job, and of course my life.
working out is supposed to GIVE you energy and feel like a huge gift to your body!!!! when it feels like it zaps you and you are left with no energy, that sucks. i used to let myself get zapped all the time because it was just me and i suffered through it. now i can’t be like that. i have to have energy and being there for my family is number 1.
luckily i got my mojo back after those days off from working out and it felt so good. it’s ok. i remind myself i’m not a professional, i do’t get paid to workout. my only job is really just to live my BEST life possible. whatever that feels like to me 🙂
That’s an intense 3 miler! I was wondering how you were doing after sharing that you were struggling… glad to hear you’re feeling better and finding ways to get it in while still feeling good about working out. And yes, it definitely makes you more human!!
When I lose my mojo, it is because I am tired and rundown. So I do my best to rest, relax and do #1. I stop caring about races, results or workouts. I let myself heal. Then begin again 🙂