OVERCOMING TRAINING SETBACKS + PLATEAUS

A few days ago, I received this text message from one of my dear friends.  

I had trained her during the fall to run her first half marathon.  She had been running consistently for about a year, although she had run on + off for a few years before.  She had made it her goal in 2016 to run one race a month, all culminating with running her first half marathon at Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona in January.  She had been working with me for the past few months and was seeing AMAZING progress in her running – she was actually starting to FEEL like a runner, instead of someone posing as a runner.

But, the weekend of Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona, we had a predicted-to-be HUGE ice storm in St. Louis that cancelled her flight, and all the other flights out of St. Louis would get her and her hubby down to Arizona too late for the race.  She was so disappointed she didn’t get to run her half, but she knew there were other races and had her sights set on GO! St. Louis in April.

But, things started to go downhill for her.  I was no longer coaching her and she was really struggling to get her workouts in.  She wasn’t motivated to run and was lost without a structured plan and someone to support her in her training.  And the worst part was, she wasn’t happy with herself.  She no longer felt like a runner – the runner she had fought to become – and was disappointed that her training was just not going the way it should be going and that she was actually seeing her times get worse instead of getting better.

That’s when I received the text message above.  She was distraught and didn’t know why, but knew it had something to do with her running.  Or lack thereof.

So, the next day, we hopped on the phone to talk about her training goals.  She was still determined to finish her half marathon in April, even if it wasn’t as well as she was wanting to do when she was training in the fall.  She knew her training was lacking but she needed that extra motivation + guidance to really get past her plateau and burnout she was experiencing.  We worked out a training plan that would get her to the finish line for her half marathon in April (including some runs together when we travel to NYC in a few weeks!), and she would join in my Elite Running Academy to get past that running plateau and get some extra encouragement from a group of other women with the same goals in mind.

And look at the message I got just 2 days after our phone call…

This is just one of FOUR people who messaged me last week about feeling stuck in their running, or are coming off a big setback in their training.  Setbacks happen.  Sometimes they are expected – like not staying consistent with your training after you finish your goals race.  Other times, they are completely out of the blue – like my one friend who had major surgery just a few weeks ago that was completely unplanned.  And right before her surgery, she was in the best shape of her life.  Now that she’s been cleared to run, she has no idea how to get started to get back where she was.

As runners, we’ve all been there.  We’ve been stuck in that plateau.  We are just going through the motions of running, with no purpose or direction.  We hit the snooze instead of getting up.  We make excuses to skip our runs.  We see all of our hard work going to waste with each passing day, but don’t know how to get back into the groove of things.  We face unexpected setbacks and are afraid we will never get back to where we once were.

Sound familiar?  It doesn’t have to be like that.  You CAN fall back in love with running.  You CAN get out of that plateau and stop dreaming of where you want to be and actually GET THERE.

I NEVER thought I would get back to where I was pre-2nd baby.  I had reached a peak right before I got pregnant with Miles.  I was setting PRs again and breaking times I didn’t think I could.  But, after I had Miles, I struggled to get back to my “old” running self.  For me, 8-minute miles felt really hard, which was not how they felt just a year prior to that.  I was used to running ALL of my runs under 7-minute mile average.  I had tons of minor injuries that held me back from progressing in my training.

And believe me, I felt the same way as my friend in those text messages.  I was frustrated, burnt out, and was just NOT in love with running anymore.

What did I do to bust out of that rut?

I made a change.  I set BIG goals that I knew were achievable.  I stopped making excuses when it came to my training.  No telling myself that I didn’t have to hit a certain split, or I could cut my circuit 1 round short.  Or that I didn’t need to get that strength workout in at all because I was too busy.  Because really, those are just EXCUSES… I had no real excuse to not do what I knew I needed to do in order to get back to where I was.

So, I did just that.  I STOPPED MAKING EXCUSES.  

I envisioned myself as the runner that I wanted to be and started to put myself in her shoes.  Would she hit snooze 15 times instead of getting up for her run?  Would she make excuses when it came to hitting her splits, or would she push herself on every single one?  Would she use lighter weights or cut her workout short just because she didn’t feel like doing it?  I wasn’t training myself like the runner I wanted to be, so of course, I was never going to get to that point.

If you want to start overcoming those setbacks and ruts in your training, you have to change your mindset.  Of course, dealing with injuries are a little different since you have to be patient with yourself in order to get back where you once were and stay healthy in the process.  But, you are never going to get there if you continue making excuses.

Let’s kick start your training again.  Let’s get you to where you WANT to be and stop dreaming about it.  Let’s FALL IN LOVE with running again – because you know that it is the best feeling in the world when you finish a run!  I WANT this for you and I am HERE to SUPPORT you in your journey!

If you are struggling in your training right now and need some focus and direction on how to get back to where you once were, let’s chat about your running goals!  Let me help you work through your struggles and set real, achievable goals that will get your training back on track and your running back where you DREAM it to be.  Schedule a FREE, no-obligation goal setting call with me!

Happy Running!