All runners hit a plateau at some point and their skills may even go into decline. This is demotivating and may make you give up running since you think you’ve reached your limit. When you go through a period of doubt like this, it’s essential to objectively analyse the reasons why you are in this situation.
- You haven’t got a training programme
If this is the case for you, the good news is that you have plenty of scope to improve.
- Do you have a suitable training programme?
Your volume of training (number of runs per week, intensity of training sessions) is beyond what you are capable of given your family and professional obligations. This is called over-training and doesn’t just apply to top-level athletes. On the contrary.
- You are running too much
If you run in competitions, you may have clocked up too many races and too many kilometres within too short a period of time. One of the keys to progress is recovery. It is better to have done one less training session than one too many.
- This is not the right distance for you
The target you’ve set yourself may not match your physical aptitudes. Some people are predisposed to run short distances whereas others are made for long distances. That’s just how it is. Training can change this to some extent, but remember that Usain Bolt does not run marathons and Haile Ghebresselassie does not do 100 m sprints.
Mental aptitudes are increasingly important as the distance increases.Here too, not everyone is the same.
5. Injuries are preventing you from making progress
Do you regularly injure yourself? Endless injuries may be due to incorrect training, unsuitable equipment, a problem with your diet or an unhealthy lifestyle. You can only make lasting progress when you do not injury yourself too often.
Once you’ve reviewed your situation, you now need to find resources to get started again. Here are a few ideas:
1. Set yourself a short- or medium-term running target
This is an excellent way to remotivate yourself and subconsciously force yourself to start working again.What’s more, if you achieve your target, you’ll certainly be motivated and make progress again.
2. Run with others
With a club, association, friends or work colleagues, etc. If you look around a bit, you’re bound to find other people to run with. This will make you go out on days when you really have to force yourself to run. You will feel great satisfaction when you get back home after finally doing a run that you’d probably have put off if you were alone.
3. Follow a training programme
This is a decisive factor for building up lasting progress and boosting your desire to run (and for making you feel guilty about not going on a scheduled run).
4. Progress is not only measured by a stopwatch
Although your scope for improvement is not unlimited, remember that it’s not all about speed alone. For example, properly managing your exertion, improving your strategy and correctly managing your final weeks of training are also involved.
I hope you’ll find plenty of ideas to start making progress again. But sometimes you need to put your stopwatch to one side. The main thing is to enjoy your sport and experience well-being and fulfilment when you do it.
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