On the dreaded running slump: Reframe it.

Ever plan your workout, lace up, and hit the pavement, only to feel sluggish and slow? A crappy run like this can easily snowball and, if you’re anything like this weekend warrior, the pressure to have a “good run” the next time starts to set the tone. We’ve all been there… sometimes you just fall into a running slump.

I recently discussed my slump with my roommate and running partner in crime as we set out for a jog amidst a frazzled start to our week. She said, “Have you ever noticed that the runs that always turn out the best are the ones you actually needed — the emotional runs, the runs to clear your head, where you set out with no plan or expectation. You just run. I think it's because on those runs you are really running for yourself.”

The possibility of running for myself is something I’ve known and owned at times, but is admittedly an area where I’ve really struggled lately as I squeeze a run into my busy  schedule whenever I can — yet another thing to check off the to-do list. In the past year, running has become less of a gift and more of a task to accomplish, preferably in a timely manner. This more than anything has created my run slump.

Yeah, yeah, Kendra’s the “caboose” at Jock ‘N Jill Monday Night Run, you’re probably thinking, but I do have a point…

Consider race day: It’s similar to the slump scenario. The course is planned, you lace up, fuel up, hit the road, and there it is again — that permeating sense of pressure and need to complete a task.

Instead, consider what it would be like to reframe race day — to think of it as a gift, rather than a challenge. The road is the canvas, your legs are the brush, and the race is your work of art. Just being there and doing it is a gift to yourself.

Me and my slump are going to give this mindset a go, and I encourage all you gearing up to race this #marathonmonth to try it out, too.

Happy running (and racing!) — Let us know how it goes!