Wow! At the time of this post we’re already more than halfway through 2019. That just blows my mind! We all have challenges to face along this crazy and wonderful journey of long distance running. If you’re not where you want to be right now don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your strategy.
By evaluating whether you’re where you want to be and making progress toward your goals you can know that your energy and efforts are going in the right direction.
It’s important to keep showing up and doing the work but sometimes we get stuck in health and fitness ruts. I’ve heard it said that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Here are some questions to ask when doing a review (which can be done more often than twice a year):
- What’s working for me so far this year? Although our minds tend to gravitate toward the negative it’s very important to consciously focus on the positive too.
- What’s not working for me? Be specific.
- Do I need to reevaluate/reframe goals? It’s possible that the goals you set at the beginning of the year weren’t realistic for the time frame.
- What do I need to do to make sure I go into the second part of the year strong?
- How can I course correct if I’m not where I want to be?
It’s important to keep in mind that we all go through ups and downs in our health and fitness. I went through a rough stretch of 3 years from 2016-2018 where my hormones were out of balance. I had little energy and little motivation to even think about running. I sought help to get out of the slump but it took time.
Here are some of the things I did to rebalance again:
- Be you own advocate. Sometimes we expect others to see that we’re struggling and step in to fix it. But everyone is carrying their own burdens and we often display an “I’m doing fine” mentality in public. It’s up to us to realize that we need to make changes and reach out to make that happen.
- Be kind to your body. This is not a one-size fits all formula and will depend on your particular situation. I knew my personal tendency was to do too much so I took a year off from doing any races as I worked to recalibrate my body. I also recommitted to getting the amount of sleep I need each night (for me around 8 hours).
- Fix your mindset. One of the best things I did during my slump was to start daily meditation. That was so helpful in allowing me to slow down, step back from my thoughts, and be intentional about gratitude. I also started doing daily affirmations to give myself hope that there were better days to come.
- Get help as needed. Sometimes it can be challenging to ask for help and find the right people to work with. I worked with a functional medicine doctor for the first year to rebalance my hormones. During the last seven months I’ve worked with a nutritionist to lose weight and dial in my nutrition and I’m so thankful for the progress I’ve been able to make. Many people find that working with a running coach can help them start to make progress in their running goals again.
During my running slump, which I talked about on podcast episode #288, I tried to not be too hard on myself even though I wanted to feel healthy, strong, and fast again. I knew there were no guarantees but I just focused on doing what I felt was best for my body.
Many people dread turning 40 (or whatever number strikes terror in your heart) but one of the advantages of getting older is starting to know what your body needs and being okay with giving it the extra rest and support. As I started to feel more like myself again my desire to set new goals and start pushing hard has naturally reemerged.
Once you get your health to a good level your mojo/motivation will return so don’t try to force it. When you’re coming out of a slump it’s hard to predict when your body will be ready for a great effort again. But if you consistently put in the work and give yourself needed recovery you will set up the conditions necessary to give yourself the best chance that a strong comeback will occur.