A Behind-the-Scenes Coaching Call on How to Escape a Rut

Whether it’s illness, injury, or stale training, most runners have found themselves stuck in a rut at times. Learn the best way to assess your running and start making progress again with this one-on-one coaching call.

We’ve all been there.

Maybe you’re injured and are struggling with consistency.  Or a hectic schedule has made it difficult to stay motivated. Or perhaps your training feels repetitive and your progress has stalled.

No matter what the cause, there’s a way out of it. While it’s important to look at the big picture of running combined with everything else you do, training structure is often the best place to start.

A well designed training plan gives runners the opportunity to move through a variety of cycles as they work toward a goal. Generally speaking, these include the following: a base training phase, a competition phase that builds toward more race-specific work, a peak/sharpening phase, and finally, time for rest and recovery.

Making a diagnosis: What’s holding back Ivan’s running?

No matter how perfectly you design your training plan, it can be derailed by injury, sickness, or other life events. While a few missed runs or workouts won’t make or break your training , sometimes a few days can turn into a few weeks, months, or even longer.

This week’s episode features a coaching call with Ivan, a Team Strength Running member. Ivan was a runner in high school and came back to the sport after over a decade away. Ivan had a successful buildup to a strong half marathon last year, but has struggled with his running after some recent setbacks.

Like many of us, Ivan’s bout with COVID earlier in the year made for a slower than expected return to training.  He has struggled with finding the right volume and intensity in training to both feel good and make progress.

Our discussion focuses on putting all the pieces together – looking at his past and present running – to help him get back on track and feel positive again. Ivan and I talk about the factors that impact his training, including:

  • All the things Ivan has been doing right with his training
  • Why more time off requires a longer base phase
  • The importance of pacing training runs correctly
  • What Ivan’s training history says about his racing potential
  • Why lower mileage is the right plan to focus on for now
  • Ivan’s long term goals for 2023 and beyond

This is a conversation everyone can relate to.  I hope you enjoy my coaching call with Ivan!

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Thank You InsideTracker!


This episode is brought to you by InsideTracker, one of the most reputable blood testing companies in the world. They were founded in 2009 by aging, genetics, and biometrics scientists to help you analyze your body’s data and get a firm idea of how well you’re responding to training.

Understanding your body’s biomarkers, from stress hormones to testosterone to Vitamin D, can help you figure out if you’re over-training, under-training, optimally training, or if you have a health issue that might be affecting your running. But the best part is that they give you personalized optimal ranges for each of these biomarkers and a host of ways to improve these markers through diet, lifestyle, or exercise changes.

I’ve gotten several Ultimate tests from them and the process is simple, easy, and very eye-opening if you haven’t done a deep dive on your biomarkers yet.  Of all the investments you can make in your running, this one is like getting a detailed checkup or regularly scheduled maintenance for your internal physiology. I scheduled another Ultimate test for myself soon and it’ll be interesting to compare with the test I got in February. Get yours today!

Thank you Elemental Labs!

A big thanks to Elemental Labs for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors. And you can get a free sampler pack of 4 flavors and 8 individual packets when you pay $5 in shipping.

Elemental Labs’ products have some of the highest sodium concentrations that you can find. Anybody who runs a lot knows that sodium, as well as other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, are essential to our performance and how we feel throughout the day.

The citrus flavor has quickly become my favorite. I’m drinking one a day now to help me get enough fluids in our dry Colorado air. It’s tasty and delicious and I find that I’m not peeing every 45 minutes throughout the day, which might be an indication I wasn’t eating enough sodium.

There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense. So check out Elemental Labs to try their new flavor or get a free sampler pack. 


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