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Lost my running Mojo. Help! (Read 205 times)

bone_china


    I have been running for 9+ years and am primarily a recreational runner for keeping myself fit. I have never taken part in any race nor do I intend to. I have enjoyed running all these years and have been very modest in my ambition and achievements. On average I run 3-4 times a week with a weekly mileage of 20 - 25 km.

     

    All was well till this year. Year 2013 has been different from all the previous years. I was beset with a troublesome knee injury (patellar tendinopathy) and only recently started visiting a physio. I have had 6 sessions so far with the physio and the treatment comprises ultrasound and hip / quad strengthening exercises. It seems to be working although it is early days yet.

     

    The larger issue however is that I feel exhausted every time I go for a run. Maybe the knee is part of the problem, but another contributing factor could be that I ran about 25% more than my usual yearly mileage in 2012 - which may have caused a feeling of burnout. I have struggled all through 2013 trying to motivate myself to get back to what I was in 2012 - to no avail.

     

    I dont know if age has anything to do with this. I am a male, will turn 45 in Jan 2014. I tried running a few runs real slow and that seemed to have helped - but it necessitates keeping my ego in check 'cause I have to run *real slow* to not feel exhausted.

     

    Can someone please help me with what I could do to re-discover the motivation to run ?

      Hey, sorry to hear you're having a bunch of bad runs...and this, apparently, for all of 2013 to date? That sounds really frustrating, and I'm not sure I'd look to "overtraining" in 2012 as the culprit. If that were the case, surely you would have recovered from it by now, and adapted to the new training load? What about medical issues like thyroid, iron levels, or some other underlying problem - have you looked into that? Are you eating enough calories and/or enough carbs to fuel your runs? How are your stress levels? Are you maybe suffering from undiagnosed depression? Do you sleep enough?

       

      Just a few thoughts...

       

      Or, you know, maybe you've been trying to run too fast, and "real slow" is simply where your body feels happiest for most of your runs. I know mine does. Hey, I've already run twice as much this year as I did in 2012, and 99% of the time I am very, very slow.

       

      Does any of this sound plausible?

       

      MTA: there are no paces listed in your log; do you time your runs? Or just track the distance?

      bone_china


        runharrietrun, thanks for asking. stress levels are in control, diet is fine (although it is improving given that i have recently been diagnosed with non alcoholic fatty liver disease and hence have given up alcohol, sugar in beverages, fatty foods in general). sleep is adequate. no mental problems either.

         

        i have never tested myself for thyroid / vitamin-d / iron deficiency. i have a routine blood test coming up in a few days; should i take the opportunity to get myself tested? are there any specific tests i need to focus on?

         

        i am inclined to believe that speed (and the nagging injury) are perhaps the culprits and i may have been doing all my runs at a pace that is faster than what my body can handle. i'll wait for others to chime in and off course if you have anything more to add. thanks again.


        Cheap and Evil Girl

          Maybe a change of scenery?  Do you like where you run or do you get bored with the scenery?  One thing I like about running in a rural, natural setting is that every day the scenery changes just a tiny bit as the seasons progress.  I might be easily entertained but that's always interesting to me.

           

          Do you have a dog, or access to a friend's dog?  Taking on a dog as a running partner was what really rejuvenated my running.  I'm not into racing either, and the way a dog runs without being worried about time, just seeing and smelling the world...well, that really changed my attitude towards running.  A dog likes to run because it feels good to move, to see the wildlife, to just be with his person for an hour or two and travel.  At least that is what I think he is thinking lol!  He seems to enjoy it, and it reminds me why I run in the first place.

          I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.  

           

          "Mental toughness is built by doing something that is hard over and over again, especially when you don't feel like doing it. Our society has conditioned us to believe that there should be no discomfort, to stop when we are uncomfortable. But the discomfort we feel when we're doing a challenging workout is an important part of the strengthening process." -Jim Afremow, The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive

            Definitely test for thyroid, iron, and vitamin D.  The iron test should be for serum ferritin.  The doc may want to test RBC.  If so, insist on serum ferritin.  There's a number of threads about iron, Google is your friend.  

              If you are healthy when your knee gets better, why not take part in a few races? That might spark your interest and get you excited again. Races are a lot of fun and they inspire me.

               

              I have been running for 9+ years and am primarily a recreational runner for keeping myself fit. I have never taken part in any race nor do I intend to. I have enjoyed running all these years and have been very modest in my ambition and achievements. On average I run 3-4 times a week with a weekly mileage of 20 - 25 km.

               

              All was well till this year. Year 2013 has been different from all the previous years. I was beset with a troublesome knee injury (patellar tendinopathy) and only recently started visiting a physio. I have had 6 sessions so far with the physio and the treatment comprises ultrasound and hip / quad strengthening exercises. It seems to be working although it is early days yet.

               

              The larger issue however is that I feel exhausted every time I go for a run. Maybe the knee is part of the problem, but another contributing factor could be that I ran about 25% more than my usual yearly mileage in 2012 - which may have caused a feeling of burnout. I have struggled all through 2013 trying to motivate myself to get back to what I was in 2012 - to no avail.

               

              I dont know if age has anything to do with this. I am a male, will turn 45 in Jan 2014. I tried running a few runs real slow and that seemed to have helped - but it necessitates keeping my ego in check 'cause I have to run *real slow* to not feel exhausted.

               

              Can someone please help me with what I could do to re-discover the motivation to run ?

               

                If you are healthy when your knee gets better, why not take part in a few races? That might spark your interest and get you excited again. Races are a lot of fun and they inspire me.

                 

                 

                +1.  I don't train to race, but I enjoy running in races once in a while.  It adds variety and they can be lot of fun.


                Barefoot Jeff

                   

                  +1.  I don't train to race, but I enjoy running in races once in a while.  It adds variety and they can be lot of fun.

                   

                  +1. I dont win races. But the environment is very cathartic. You know, #1 (below). Anyway- even if you dont run the race, maybe going to one would be a benefit to you. http://runningintheusa.com/Race/Default.aspx <<-- this site has most races listed. It sounds like you are depressed over the pain / milage / injury limitation. Its pretty cold out most places, but another idea to mix things up is to go barefoot. Or just read a book about running. If you havent read Born to Run, you should. I hope you get your mojo back.

                   

                   

                  • ca·thar·tic [ kə thrtik ]
                  1. purifying: producing a feeling of being purified emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience or therapeutic technique
                  2. having purgative effect on bowels: describes a medicine that causes emptying of the bowels

                  RUN SAFE.     Barefoot 1st attempt: 6/9/13. PRs: 5k, 10k, 6.55 =8:16 pace.

                       SUN 4/27 Simsbury River Run 10K

                     5/25 Memorial Day FM    6/1 ING Iron Horse HM    10/11 Hartford ING FM   10/12 Rhinebeck Fall HM

                    having abit of struggle myself recently for a few reasons but am still getting out most days.  always trying to mix things up but hitting the trails always helps me.  thinking of doing a fun run/race next weekend to see if that helps to get the mojo back.  will be a raceday decision. today was a struggle but wanted to get an hour in.   stopped by gym for a drink/bathroom.  met a man walking his girlfriends papillion (we have 3 agility papillions)  & talked for few minutes..  cool.  basically just took my time & no worries.   it helped.

                     

                    how about renting a movie such as chariots of Fire  or the one with those guys running the Sahara, or one of the Steve Prefontaine movies.  & then plan on a run or run/walk afterwards.

                       

                      • ca·thar·tic [ kə thrtik ]
                      1. purifying: producing a feeling of being purified emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience or therapeutic technique
                      2. having purgative effect on bowels: describes a medicine that causes emptying of the bowels

                       

                      so what definition of cathartic applies, 1. or 2.? 

                       

                      if it's 2. "Barefoot & Incontinent" would be one helluva catchy name for a blog.

                      I bought my nephew an elephant for his room. He said, "Thanks". I said, "Don't mention it".

                        How about finding an occasional running partner? I have three and whenever I find it hard to get out of the door, I try to set up a running date.


                        Barefoot Jeff

                          mostly 1, but at times 2 as well.

                           

                           

                          so what definition of cathartic applies, 1. or 2.? 

                           

                          if it's 2. "Barefoot & Incontinent" would be one helluva catchy name for a blog.

                          RUN SAFE.     Barefoot 1st attempt: 6/9/13. PRs: 5k, 10k, 6.55 =8:16 pace.

                               SUN 4/27 Simsbury River Run 10K

                             5/25 Memorial Day FM    6/1 ING Iron Horse HM    10/11 Hartford ING FM   10/12 Rhinebeck Fall HM

                          Who Dey


                            Interesting that I should find this thread tonight.  I ran for 2 miles today.  My first run since July.  I'm 53 and have had a significant loss of interest in running over the last few years.  I suspect that in my case it's burnout.  I just reached a point where running wasn't as exciting as it once was.  That wouldn't be so bad if I had picked up another exercise to replace running, but I didn't.  I got lazy ... gained weight ... which made the running even more difficult!

                             

                            Maybe that's where you're at or maybe your physical issues have taken a toll.  It's no fun to keep forcing yourself to run when you don't feel good.  It's natural to think back to when the running was easier and that only accentuates the problem.

                             

                            If you're still interested in running, try shaking up your routine.  Try a race.  You don't have to "train" for it.  Just run it and enjoy the atmosphere.  If you run roads, try trails.  Run longer.  Run shorter.  Mix it up.

                             

                            I wish you luck.  If you find a magic solution, pass it along!

                            NathanF


                              Just curious why you don't race and don't intend to? I'm not saying you have to, or should, but for a lot of people, that is the extra motivation they need... something external to push them. You could try one and see how it felt. I've found racing to be incredibly motivating, but realize it's not for everyone.

                               

                              Otherwise, I'd suggest what others have suggested in terms of getting some health tests done.

                                How about joining a running club or training group? The one I'm in has a wide mix of people, from veteran runners who've been doing it most of their lives to enthusiastic newbies who have no idea of their abilities. The seasoned runners are a great resource for information, and it's incredibly inspiring to watch the new folks do things they never dreamed they could--hit new paces, new distances, race for the first time. Plus, I met my running buddy there, and for the past few years we've been getting each other out the door for our Saturday morning runs.

                                 

                                There have been days, weeks, and months over the past few years where I've struggled with mojo, and the interaction with other runners keeps me going. If nothing else, I know I'll get out there and run a few times a week so I don't embarrass myself completely at our next group run and can more or less keep up with my running buddy on the weekend.

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