4 ways to Break up the Monotony of Training
Practicing and training for anything for a long period of time is guaranteed to become monotonous. Quickly, I want to share the importance of breaking up that monotony and 4 ways to do so.
I have trained at the same college for almost exactly six years now (9 months out of each year). As you can imagine, I have probably seen every nook and cranny of that track. This can absolutely be monotonous, being in one place for that long can drive you crazy if you never spice it up from time to time. Luckily, I have had a great coach and team, who welcome change. Here are 4 ways I break up that monotony in my training.
1. New Workouts and Exercises.
Every season I have a base of workouts and exercises that make their appearance. I have learned to expect them, I have a love/hate relationship with them and they provide a weird sense of comfort and repetition to my season. However, every year we inevitably add new workouts to our repertoire.
This really adds fun to workouts, and provides a new sense of challenge each time. Your muscles memorize movements you practice frequently (via your brain). Not only is it crucial for your mental state but for your physical performance to add new workouts and exercises to your training.
Some favs this years have been: Tuesday Partner Ab Workouts (shout out to my training partner Sirena),Yoga, Beach Sprints and Competitive Frog Hops (as seen below.)
2. Have a great Training Partner
If you're training by yourself or with people you're not fond of, training sessions can drag on forever. In most sports you can't always choose the people you have around you, especially who you train with. If you can in anyway control that, try and work out with people you enjoy being around (see previous article.)
Having a training partner who you vibe with will only elevate your workouts. Your team will push you, your team will make you laugh, your team can make an other wise boring practice, something to look forward to.
A few different occurrences this track season have caused me to be the only person of my team still competing, and it really made me realize how much a training partner breaks up practice monotony.
3. Change the Scenery
Like I mentioned before, I've run at the same track for almost 6 years. That track feels like home to me, but just like your home sometimes you want a change of scenery and it's not a bad thing.
Throughout different parts of my season I change up not only how I do my workouts but where. In the beginning of the season, I do a lot of long runs and lifting. I change my course and lift outside of the gym quite regularly. During the last half of the season I am on the track doing short workouts a lot. My coach recognizes that and often gives me shake out days. Recently, I have been seizing this opportunity to do my workout in the parks and all smaller track near my house.
As you can see below, it really is a peaceful breath of fresh air. It also provokes a childlike joy, that I often share with those who follow me on snapchat (see creepy dog filter haha.)
4. Take a day off
Lastly, take a day off. There is a common trend to proclaim #NoDaysOff. Now, would you do that with your job? No! Would you do this with eating super healthy? No! Then do not do it with your workouts.
It is so important to take days off from what you love, because grinding 365 days out of the year can turn that love into hate, quickly. Also, your body actually needs days off. Your body needs rest to recover and heal to perform at it's best.
Your body and your mind need a change of pace once in a while, so hopefully these 4 tips can help your long term workouts be less of the same next time.