WhattonI had a little revelation the other day. There I was, happily minding my own business, then wham- into my head it popped.

The revelation? I was in a rut. Sure, I was getting out there walking and stuff, but I was suddenly uncomfortably aware that I was just doing the same few routes all the time. All of them started from my house, and I had gotten into the habit of doing them because they were basically safe and didn’t require any thought or effort beyond the physicality of walking and running.

I knew just what to expect- no surprises, no uncertainty, and no I-wonder-if-there’s-a-herd-of-curious-cows-in-the-next-field.

And… it was boring.

I was struggling to make myself get out there and do it, and my distances were actually getting shorter and shorter. I found myself with a list of a million and one things I’d rather be doing than training. When it got to the stage when the thought of ironing was more preferable than getting out there I knew I had a problem!

This clearly wasn’t great- ok so I don’t have a specific event I’m training for right now (and perhaps I need one, as there’s nothing better than the fear of not being able to complete an event and feeling like a great big fool to motivate you!) but I want to keep my fitness and endurance levels fairly high to be ready for any events I see. And right now going out for just a six mile walk/ run was becoming a big deal.

It was time to take action to smash my way out of it. I took a day off work, dug out my copy of John Merrill’s Short Walks in Nottinghamshire and committed myself to completing two walks out of it in the same day.

So I drove to Whatton for the first route, slithered along muddy tracks, sat and had a coffee on a little path by the stream, watching the sunlight dapple the leaves (it was a gorgeous Autumn day), and read the history of Thomas Cranmer in Aslockton (he was born there).

Pool near Whatton, Nottinghamshire

Pool near Whatton, Nottinghamshire

Aslockton Church, Nottinghamshire

Aslockton Church, Nottinghamshire

Then I got back into the car and set off for Willoughby-on-the-Wolds, where I ran through the mud ahead of a herd of curious galloping cows, had a coffee in the tiny village of Wysall, watching groups of lycra clad cyclists whooshing past, and got wet legs swishing through fields of crops.

Swishing through wet crops...

Swishing through wet crops…

Lovely Autumn sunshine

Lovely Autumn sunshine

And it was great!

Now, as I type this, I can’t wait to go out again… even if it’s local. It’s amazing how just going somewhere new or doing something a little differently can change your whole outlook. I have decided that I will walk somewhere different at least once a month.

So if you find yourself in a training rut, think what you can do to change things up a bit. Can you drive a little further afield to somewhere you’ve never walked before? You don’t even need to go that far- both the walks I did were around ten miles drive from home.

Can you walk at a different time than usual? Try doing one of your regular routes in the dark with a head torch (stay safe though!) Or break it up into two or three shorter routes in one day like I did.

What can you do to get your training mojo back?

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