Friday, 10 February 2012

The love affair with running is over (for this week anyway)

I'm having a small argument with Running. Nothing major, not a deal breaker kind of row, but a smaller you-haven't-put-the-rubbish-out-again type of thing.

Why? It's probably a number of reasons including:
It's rainy and cold and icy and snowy
It's the dark months
I'm in the heavy training period for marathon des sables
I seem to want to sleep for 12 hours a day
I can't seem to find any inspiring routes to run

So my Mr Motivator plan to tackle this lack of motivation for running is this...

Visualisation
When you are lying in bed imagine you are out that door running. If you are lucky your legs may move a bit if you are asleep.

This is exactly the same concept as burning more calories if you eat standing up or are drunk while eating.

Voila! Your run is done and you can reward yourself with more lying in bed but eating kit kat chunky too.

Lying
A different sort of lie. Lie to your legs. They are stupid. They have no brains. Sneak to the door and before they have worked it out, you are out pounding the pavements. Ha!

They may fight you but you are in control of them. Your feet cannot shout at you because they are already stuffed up tight into your trainers. Your legs are sausaged up in leggings and there is nowhere for them to hide.

Ignoring yourself
Actually found yourself actually out running? Nice one. Then Mr Pain joins you. Now what?

Just ignore him. He's boring and he's not your boss so you can give him the finger. Or even better, start shouting at yourself "Is that all you've got Pain!! Huh!! Well I've got something for you" and take off faster down the road, avoiding frightened pedestrians who are eyeballing you like you are wierdo runner or something, till you collapse in a hedge and vomit over your shoes.

And more seriously? How to inspire motivation and a love of running again?

Vary your sessions
Both length of run and pace, but also "treat" yourself to treadmill sessions where it's nice and warm. It's never going to be fun if you just stick to running 10km at the same pace every session. Snore. Speed it up, go further, do hills. Surprise yourself.

Treat yourself
I've booked myself in for a sports massage this weekend. I'm also looking forward to getting through the next month and spending most of march in the sauna, doing yoga and enjoying the returning light.

Just another excuse for spending money on running porn really - yes I DO need a new pair of shorts.

Buy some more tunes
I like listening to music on some runs - generally uplifting trance music - but whatever floats your boat. Having shiny, new music to look forward to losing yourself in should help get your leggies out the door again.

Write down what you run and how you feel
I often fail to appreciate how far I've come when I'm training. I'm a bit tough on myself at times so I find it helpful to just list what session I've run each week, how I felt, how far I ran and how fast.

When you are bogged down in the middle of training and the end is not yet in sight, I find this a good way to reflect on where I was to begin with and give myself a big pat on the back.

Remember why you run
Remember when you had that lightbulb moment about running, had a really, really good endorphin run, or got to the finish line of your first race?

When it's rubbish outside or you're tired, remember that, and remember how good you feel when you have finished. Yes, some runs are hard - they are supposed to be - but I always, always, always feel better physically and mentally after I've finished a run so I try and keep that in my head if I'm having a tough time running.

Sod the schedule
Don't worry about being a slave to your schedule all the time. Just go out for run to enjoy it. Don't think about times, or distance, or technique. Just go for a run to enjoy it and stop when you've had enough. And don't feel guilty about it. Though obvs you can' t do this all the time ;-)

Right, who's for a run.....

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