How to avoid training groundhog day

mountain running

I don’t know about you but at this end it certainly feels like Groundhog Day. But even though day to day life is becoming a little tedious, that doesn’t mean your training has to follow suit!

You always have a choice, so if you’re currently doing the same workout or run, time and time again as it’s familiar and comfortable, I’d highly recommend that you vary things. Not just to prevent monotony but also to gain the physiological benefits that come with changing things up.

Here are some suggestions:

Try a different type of run – For example:

  • Tempo run (typically about 20-30 minutes in length and should be 25-30 seconds per mile slower than your current 5km pace)
  • Intervals (400m’s, 800m’s, hills etc)
  • Progression run (where your pace increases with distance)
  • Fartlek training (where you vary your pace throughout, alternating between fast segments and slower runs)


Run a new route – Ideally one you’ve not done before. Be sure to plan it so you don’t end up miles away at the end though.

Change the surface you’re running on – Why not add in some grass, undulating trails or even sand if you can logistically. However, if you’re not used to a particular surface, don’t perform the entire run on it as this brings injury risk.

Take a break – If you feel you need it, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time out from running. You could take the bike out more or focus on strength work for a period. Then come back to it with renewed enthusiasm.

Have a think about the above and plan your next session accordingly. I really urge you to keep things fresh and interesting, particularly during this period. Could you take a break from the long, slower runs and do some speed work instead? Have you not run hills for ages and this could be an ideal time to reintroduce them? Whatever you choose, happy running!

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