For The Days You Don’t Want To Run
I thought I would use the rest of the week to tackle some of the common running questions that I get from you. The problem is, they are good questions, which means I have a long answer (per usual) and split them into two posts.
Today’s question: Do you ever have days that you just don’t want to go running? What do you do about it?
To be honest, I don’t have many.
When I first started the process, there were many more runs that I just wasn’t feeling because I was building up the aerobic base, adapting my body to running and just learning the ins and outs of the process.
Over time, going out during a sunset or sunrise run on my favourite route became a reward rather than a requirement.
A few things I tried when I was just starting out to keep running interesting, motivating and fresh were to buy new workout clothes and shoes, find another friend who was just starting out too so I could learn more about what I was doing, setting a goal, whether it was to add one kilometre to my run or train for a race, tell someone who was influential to me that I was going on a run so they would check in or go at a time of day when I was feeling confident and motivated. (Often first thing in the morning before I was fully awake!) If you leave it till the end of the day when you are just getting started, I find that you spend the day worrying or dreading it!
When you are just getting started though, my number one piece of advice is to pick a race to train for, especially a local 5 km! There has been no greater motivation over the years for me to stick to my training than a race.
Some runs remain forever etched in my memory because I was tired, sick or just not in the right headspace.
I strongly believe that the above quote is true. Once you have pushed past the aerobic base building phase and have a platform of fitness to work with, the hard runs are the ones that your mind just says NO to.
Now that I have that fitness base built up, the hard runs are the ones where my body is feeling sluggish or I am rushed or goodness knows what else. At this point, it is not my body I need to coax, but my mind. Here are a few things I say to myself to keep myself running:
“Just run out (insert number of miles) and run back. At least you get some training in.” (Bartering)
“This isn’t a big deal, you are not a professional athlete. No one cares if you quit.” (This one makes me mad and I push harder)
“You can have a nice cup of coffee after this.” (Bribing)
“Don’t be a wimp.” (Personal insult)
“Nice job, sweetheart!” (Stroking my own ego)
“Ignore the pain. You won’t get injured.” (Famous last words….)
Regardless your level of running, whether just starting, intermediate or professional, there will be days when you just don’t feel a run. It is at that point where you need to develop phrases, counting or other mental tricks to keep moving forward. When all else fails, there is that deep love of just running that lives deep inside the heart of a runner.
And when that fails, there is bribery.
What are your tricks to push through a long run?