When a Run isn’t Fun
This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t feel like running every time I go on a run. To be honest, the days that I want to bail out are rare and often the laziness occurs after I have started. All it takes is one, niggling thought: I don’t want to do this.
Suddenly, my entire run is off the rails. This thought doesn’t show up on long stretches of beautiful trails or when I am headed out on the back roads alone, it always waits to show up until I am with a group of people and often surrounding something involving speed work.
The trick is knowing how to keep pushing through a run that you are just NOT feeling.
1. Remind yourself you love this. I try to make myself feel silly for not wanting to run by going over all the reasons you love to run. Don’t love to run? I really have no answers for you on this one!
2. Force yourself to smile. I often find this works for every situation where I do NOT feel like smiling. It is science, if you are smiling, you are happier whether you are feeling it or not.
3. Relax and FOCUS. By focusing on the task and counting strides, intervals or anything really, I am more likely to fall into a rhythm and have a stronger workout.
4. Make goals and make them measurable. If you are afraid you are going to need to quit, say “just one more” after each interval and push through. Focus on your achievements, no matter how inconsequential they may seem, like doing strides and being able to keep up with the person in front of you, or completing an interval.
5. Change your terrain. Sometimes by changing your training location, it will provide an interesting distraction for those more painful runs.
6. Don’t dwell. Don’t focus on the issue that is making your run mentally tough. There are good days and bad days and you will need to run through both.
I have ordered an interesting book on the idea of sports psychology and training your mind called Mind Gym by David Casstevens. I look forward to sharing some insights once I have dug into the book.
What are some of your top tricks to handle a run that isn’t going well?