Climbing out of ‘The Rut’

So if you’ve took any sort of interest in my running in the past year or two. You’ll know that I’ve been really happy with my progress and I was steadily improving all of the time. I never really had a dip in form, I just kept improving.


Well – now I’ve had that dip in form.


In fact, I don’t even think I’ve done a serious running event since the Great North Run in 2012. I haven’t been injured, I haven’t been ill. So why haven’t I ran?


I guess I’ve been feeling like I’m “STUCK IN A RUT”, and I’m sure it’s something that you’ll have experienced at some point.


A combination of working more and helping other runners, bad diet and the weather (yea, I hate the cold too) had been the excuses I’d been giving for not running. My dad actually had a go at me for making these excuses not so long ago!


I know that losing your fitness is something that comes with being a runner, and I’ve never really had that problem until this winter.


I’ve not shared this with anyone really, because I was a little embarrassed. I get pretty bored of running blogs and articles when people are moaning and just talk about how everything is going badly. Who wants to read that??



So I thought I’d go through some of the problems I’ve faced and hopefully shed some light on the reasons why they’ve occurred and to give my advice on how to get out of ‘the rut’ you may be stuck in.


So a few weeks back I had a sore throat, phlegm and was feeling run down (pardon the pun). I haven’t had a cold since 2011 by the way, so this was a little out of the ordinary for me.


I know that these symptoms are my body’s way of telling me that it needs a rest and that is it highly acidic. An acidic body is caused by a number of things such as poor diet, stress, overtraining (or under-resting). Acidity in the body causes sickness and causes you to store fat – two things that I DO NOT want. So I knew I needed to alkalise by consuming more fresh food and enough water (I usually just check my pee isn’t yellow). You can work it out by having a litre of water for every 20kg you weigh. I also had to make sure that I was sleeping better.


Alongside feeling better, I knew that I had to make a change to get my running kick started again.


Here are some of the other simple steps I took a few weeks back with the aim of maintaining for a good period of time (at least 12 weeks)…


1. Finding a group to train with…


This was a big problem for me as most of my training was done on my own. Running on your own sucks right? Now I have a schedule and know when I’m training and who with.


Having 2 or 3 training sessions you can go along to each week with other runners makes it so much easier to get out, run, and get fitter.


So my training was VERY sporadic over winter because I was running on my own. But now I have a schedule and a foundation to work from.


All I need to do now is turn up to the group training sessions and do the session. Training sessions go much quicker when you’re running with others and it almost seems easier. Another added bonus is that it makes it MUCH HARDER for me to cancel when the rain is pouring and I just want to chill out and watch Friends on E4.




Tuesday – Group Training Session



Friday – Group Training Run

Saturday – Group Training Session



The rest of my training in between sessions has also become easier as a result.


Monday – Run across the fields on my own

Tuesday – Group Training Session

Wednesday – Run across the fields on my own

Thursday – Strength and Conditioning + Run

Friday – Group Training Run

Saturday – Group Training Session

Sunday – Run on the roads


I also do a little running with my running camps alongside coaching.



2. Increasing Protein Intake and Sleeping More


The aim of increasing both of these is to boost testosterone levels – for growth and repair.


I’ve studied quite a bit into running, nutrition and recovery. A high majority of books and even a lot of my studies throughout college and university were about how cow’s milk, sugar and sports drink help performance.


After university I started studying more and more into nutrition and found that these products aren’t always tolerated well by a number of people. I AM DEFINITELY ONE OF THESE PEOPLE!


A few hours after consuming dairy and sugar, I feel sick, tired and have a complete lack of energy. Last year was definitely my best year of running and I put this down to reducing my intake of dairy, sugar, sports drinks and processed foods.


However, the problem for me over the winter was that these foods crept back into my diet over time. This has definitely caused my stress levels to increase. You may be feeling the same – TIRED, FATIGUED and quite honestly – I DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO RUN!)


Another problem with high stress levels is that testosterone levels become lower, which makes it more difficult for the cells to repair after training – causing you to need longer periods to recover.


By taking in a portion of protein with every meal, alongside fresh fruit and vegetables and at least 8 hours of sleep – testosterone levels are boosted and you’ll start to feel MUCH better!


If you’d like to know more about the type of meals I’ve been having. You can download ‘Clean Eating for Runners’ at


So now I’m now 18 days into my new kick start training plan and enjoying my running. I wouldn’t say I’m quite out of my rut but I’ve made the first steps to climbing out!


Will I be fitter after 28 days? Of course I will!


Can you be fitter after 28 days? Of course you can!


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