6 Ways to Rekindle Your Exercise/Training Routine

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Exercise and OCR training has been one of my greatest passions since I discovered the sport during my weight loss journey in 2014. That being said, it’s not always sunny in the land of fitness. Sometimes…

  • We are sore (from yesterday’s training!).
  • We get discouraged.
  • We lose hope (I’m not getting results fast enough).
  • We’re bored.
  • Just not in the mood.

Any of these sound familiar? Perhaps you have an addition. Either way, none of us are immune to the training blues, but there are remedies. Here are 6 ways to rekindle your exercise/training routines.

1) Explore New Trails/Routes/Exercises

Doing anything for an extended period of time, from exercise to marriage, risks mooring upon the aridity of routine. One technique to keep things fresh is to step out of the norm and find new trails or exercises for your training. Is there a playground nearby? Try utilizing some of the equipment during your run (or just play hard with your kids!). Run along a local hiking trail or along a river. Join a dance/yoga/CrossFit, etc. class for a few weeks and shake things up. Adding a little out-of-box flavor can do wonders for your routine and challenge your body in new ways.

2) Train with a Friend

I prefer training solo, however training with a friend or a group provides myriad benefits, such as accountability and competition. Many cities and towns have local running and exercise groups which meet weekly. Training with these groups–at least on occasion–exposes us to fresh ideas and provides a sense of community. We are more likely to keep and attain our goals if we are accountable to more than just ourselves.

3) Remember Why you Race/Compete

Spartan Race’s #whyirace hashtag is a brilliant piece of marketing because it keeps athletes goal-oriented. By reminding ourselves of the object of our efforts, we forecast any current struggle into a future result. No, your workout today will not shed those extra five pounds by tomorrow, but you will be one day closer to your goals than if you hadn’t trained at all. Setting goals means creating an outcome that is larger than the sum of your struggle. Go ahead, dream big.

4) Don’t Take Yourself so Seriously (all the time)

Athletes, and OCR folks in particular, can be intense–especially during race season. Everyone wants to podium (or at least finish top 10 in age group), and so the exercise blood lust begins, but at what cost? Of course our results are the sum of the choices we make, but that doesn’t mean we have to be so serious, so intense ALL the time. Relax, enjoy training and racing, have a good time. Sometimes we train as if we are attending a board meeting or we are being filmed for an intense YouTube promo. You think you look savage and fierce, but most of us look like this, and it’s okay:


5) Race for a Cause

Warrior Dash supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Tough Mudder supports the Wounded Warrior Project. BattleFrog Series supports Navy SEALs. The list goes on. OCR is one of the most charitable sports out there, so if you’re looking for a altruistic way to center your training on more than yourself, obstacle racing is the way to go. Consider raising money for one of these causes or help support a local need in your community by building a team for your next race. Either way, racing for a cause is a great avenue to rekindle the “why” in your training.

6) Volunteer/Coach

Giving our time is about placing the focus of training outside yourself and meeting the needs of others. Most races need volunteers for smooth operations, so why not consider pitching in at your next event? Such sacrifice is rewarded as well, with anything from free race entry to various swag and even meals. Volunteering also means local events. Youth sports are always in need of coaches, so why not make coaching a youth team part of your training? Bringing up youth to appreciate and enjoy athleticism and fitness ensure the health of our children and the continuity of sports, not to mention keeping up with kids is one hell of a workout! Coaching/volunteering provides excellent perspective and motivates us to keep in shape, that we might be a good example to those we wish to inspire.

I hope these tips help keep the fire in your training. What are some ways you stay motivated? Be sure to share in the comments below and join the Facebook page for more tips.




  1. My first (and only) half marathon was the Chicago Rock n’ Roll Half and I fell in love with the RnR sereis! It’s a GREAT first half marathon experience, I’m excited for you!!!

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