3 Ways To Break A Workout Rut

I have a confession for all of you: After my marathon fail, I fell into a period of doubting my fitness levels. Don’t get me wrong, 16.5 miles is really good, but when you’re supposed to be completing 26.2, it’s a bit….disappointing. And by a bit, I mean it’s kind of like being kicked in the stomach.

3 Ways To Break A Workout Rut

Top, c/o Duluth Trading Co. | Shorts, Lululemon | Headband, c/o Duluth Trading Co.

After the race, my drive to work out was at a steady zero. I lacked motivation, which kind of surprised me, because I thought for sure I would be all — YOU CAN DO THIS! 26.2 IS CALLING YOU! START NOW! Except I was more like…well, let me just take a walk around the block and check the workout box for today. And that was if I even left the house! You guys, it was bad. Physically I wanted to be there SO BADLY, but mentally I was out to lunch.

A couple weeks went by before I really felt “all in” again and a couple more weeks went by before I was back to enjoying working out again. During this time, I realized that I had officially entered a fitness rut. I needed help! Today, I’m sharing a couple things I did to pull myself out of that funk in hopes that it might help some of you reading 🙂 Be sure to read to the end because there’s a fun surprise waiting!

So let’s get started…

1. Music. It’s amazing to me what music can do and for me, music is so important when it comes to working out. I mean, if I get to the gym and realize I’ve forgotten my headphones, I don’t even turn the car off. I’m already driving back home to get them and..most likely…forfeiting a gym workout for running outside. Here’s the thing – music gives me life. I need it to get shit done. Workouts, house cleaning, driving…you see where this is going. It just makes me feel good and want to accomplish things. Do I sound like a crazy person or do you get it?

Anyway, I went through all my old music off hard drives that I didn’t even know existed anymore to pull songs for new playlists. I had been listening to the same 300 tracks on loop for MORE THAN A YEAR. That just wasn’t doing it for my anymore, so I created multiple playlists, all in varying lengths to inspire me. I’m sharing one of my favorites below. Fair warning – my music tastes are ALL OVER THE PLACE! Seriously – I’ll let you have a look for yourself…


2. Routine. For so long, I was in the same routine – get up, drink coffee, RUN, go to work/go about my day. After the marathon, I dreaded my coffee, because that meant it was time to workout. This HAD to stop. I had to break the routine, because I was starting to do myself a disservice by continuing it. Usually routines have the opposite effect, but in this particular instance, I was just plain tired. I had to do something different. I signed up for kickboxing, spin and full body exercise classes for different types of cardio at all different times of the day, I upped the ante with weights and I began running with our dogs to break the cycle of mindless endurance training. It sounds so simple, but IT WORKED!

3. New clothes. People, I had been training in the same clothes for a year. I know that doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you’re sweating in them for up to 4 hours every day – they’re gross! That’s the bottom line. One of the ways I motivated myself to get back to it was with new clothing. I know how that sounds – but putting something new on got me excited again. In this process, I discovered Duluth Trading Co. They specialize in durable outdoor gear, no matter where life’s adventures take you. I like them because regardless of if I’m hiking with Dane, running with the dogs or heading to a spin class – I know their gear has me covered. The key word with them is durable. You’ll notice that much of their site is geared toward outdoorsy, cooler weather wear, but I’m hooked on their Cooling Tanks for high cardio activity (hello wicking) and NoGa Gear for family adventures like hiking. Aside from workout clothes and outdoor gear, Duluth Trading also offers casual wear and accessories for both men and women. There’s even a section for pet gear, which I LOVE!

And a quick note about their headbands – THEY DON’T MOVE! I have a larger-than-average head and usually struggle to keep headbands locked in place without serious effort. Who has time for that when they’re getting their groove on? Not me. The first time I tested it out, I was prepared to have to adjust it before my class even started. I remember walking out thinking – this headband is so snug on my head I hope it doesn’t leave an imprint!! Yep – you are all set with these bad boys.

While I was telling the folks at Duluth Trading how much I loved their stuff, they very generously offered to host a giveaway here! I have not one, not two, but THREE $100 GIFT CARDS to give to three lucky winners! How fun is that?! Simply follow the directions below and winners will be selected next week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you ever been in a workout rut? How did you get back on track?


February 14, 2017
February 17, 2017


  • WILD WILD WEST!!!! You are the greatest! I have no further comment.

  • Fitness ruts are the worst, the problem I tend to run into is that I get bored. I have to switch my routine. I was on a barre kick for a while and included cardio. Wanted a bit more and picked up on kickboxing while we’ve been in Virginia. I’ve upped my running. Next, I want to start adding weights into the mix. I just need to do different types of fitness activities. Once we move again, I have no idea what I’ll get into! But I’m with on the music, I need it to survive, man!

  • Lexi Michelson

    We have used #DuluthTradingCo for running jackets for Gilly! They have reflective stripes on them and are perfect for the winter because it’s both dark & cold! She loves her jacket! I would love to see what #DuluthTradingCo has for women’s workout clothes as this is my main form of daily attire! 🙂

  • Lauren

    UM, totally just had to youtube Wild Wild West by Will Smith …

  • Oh my gosh, that playlist is GOLD. It’s amazing what good (and sometimes just straight up dirty rap music) can do for a workout!

  • I would definitely get some new running gear! As I’m upping my miles, I’m realizing I need some new clothes and accessories. #DuluthTradingCo

  • JG

    Girl, January and February have been all about finding my mojo again. I NEED some new workout gear. I never buy workout clothes because I have a glut of clothes I’ve been gifted, but they aren’t my style (clingy PT belt colors) so I never look forward to wearing them. New stuff would be awesome! #DuluthTradingCo

  • Great tips Kait! My treadmill/clothes holder is going to get a break… and I’m gonna try walking outside with the dog! Wish me luck!

  • That playlist though! I need some warm workout gear for my new colder workout state!! #DuluthTradingCo

  • I buy all my hubby’s briefs and farm clothes from #DuluthTradingCo, but had never considered them for workout clothes! I would use the gift certificate to buy some new workout clothes (I just noticed my 10+ year old workout gear that I brought over from the mainland is rotting! Eeks!), and you had me at “…their headbands. THEY DON’T MOVE!” I have a large noggin, too, but I like to think it’s to hold that huge brain of mine. LOL Great post, Kait! Mahalo!

  • Oh, and I have been in a work-out rut before…I could not cut my time running until I started listening to something different on my Walkman (yes, this was a while ago!)…I started listening to USMC running cadence, and I cut my mile time by ONE MINUTE…consistently! I went from a 9:30/mile to a 8:30/mile! Try it out sometime!

  • John LOVES Deluth underwear!! Great playlist!!

  • KV

    I would buy the Women’s No-Yank Long Sleeve Scoop Neck T-Shirt. #DuluthTradingCo

  • Jen

    I’m all about buying new workout clothes, it’s amazing how good that can make you feel!

  • Sonya Morris

    I would buy my husband underwear! #DuluthTradingCo

  • Lindsay

    My husband loves Duluth!! I’ve wanted to try their stuff too but it’s a little pricey so the gift card would be great!!

  • Reilly

    I am in a major rut, clothes don’t fit because of weight gain… I would get some outfits that would help me feel better to help
    Me get and stay motivated! The struggle is real but I need to conquer the struggle!

  • YES!! I’ve been in so many ruts before. Music is typically my go to to switch it up! Have you heard of Lindsey Stirling? Her music is my fav to run to. Being post baby has been so hard to workout again. I have lost all my core strength and have lots of extra fluff. I’ve had issues going to the gym, a place I always felt so confident in. So I found a Groupon for Pure Barre classes to switch it up and it has done wonders for me!!

    I would love to win a gift card! I don’t fit into many of my old workout gear so I would definitely stock up! New clothes always make me feel good ??

  • I’ve been in a workout rut also, so this came out in perfect timing. I would definitely buy myself some new clothing and HEADBANDS. It’s always motivating to change up your routine, but I was in the same shoes, I hated changing anything about my day. I’m realizing now that it’s necessary. Thank you for this! #Duluthtradingco

  • Nicole

    I have been in a serious workout rut, after going really hard for months I just feel like I don’t have the ambition anymore or that I am any good at any of the workouts I have been doing. I LOVE Duluth’s clothing I have a few key pieces for when I backpack but I would love to try some of their workout type clothing. Its all great quality #Duluthtradingco

  • Lindsay

    This bag looks gorgeous & like a great way to spend that giftcard 😉 http://women.duluthtrading.com/store/womens/work-clothes/top-picks/58801.aspx?processor=content

  • I’ve never heard of #DuluthTradingCo but you better believe I’m always up for some new workout clothes. And while new music can be nice for breaking out of a rut, going through old music is actually really helpful too I find – if I find something that used to really pump me up on runs but I haven’t listened to in a long time, I find I can recapture some of those old feelings. Hope you are feeling back in the swing of things yourself!