Since the snow has ended and I can run outside again, I am very excited for every run because I am so grateful to get outside and off of the treadmill. There have been times in the past when I might not be “feeling it” when I start a run, but I trudge along and it all comes together. I truly love to run. I love being outside. I love the physical challenge. I love how my legs feel when I am pushing myself. I love having someone to talk with when I run with friends. I love the time to myself when I run alone.
Sometimes I hear people talking about how hard it is to get through their runs. How they have to play mental games with themselves to keep going. Well, I have a few helpful hints to keep you from having tough runs…
1. Don’t run on a treadmill or in mile loops because you can stop before you finish your workout. Run to a destination and run back. You have to finish the whole distance.
2. Run somewhere that you enjoy being. By the water, through neighborhoods that you like, over scenic bridges, wherever you think the scenery is attractive.
3. Don’t think so hard about the run leading up to it. Just get dressed and go. Let go and enjoy.
4. Run with friends whose company you enjoy. Talk about something pleasant or something you are passionate about.
5. When you are by yourself, focus on the moment. Notice your body mechanics, your movements, your muscles, your breathing, the ease with which you are moving along. Picture yourself in that moment.
6. Think of running as a reward, not as a punishment. Teachers and coaches have tried to suck the pleasure out of running by using it as punishment for many years. Don’t let them win. Running is a reward that reaps many benefits for you. Treat it as such.
When you go out to run, it is a physical challenge. And you do have to push yourself and exert yourself more than you may feel up to at the moment. But, give it 5, maybe 10 minutes, and you will find your rhythm and it will feel great. Don’t fret over running, rather you should look forward to getting away to some place fabulous, either with good company or enjoying solitude, knowing that when you are finished you will feel better than when you began!