At the minute I’m finding it really hard to get up for morning runs. I seem to find perfect reasons for avoiding exercise and it seems my mind is becoming ever more cunning.
Here are 10 of the excuses I came up with this morning to try to avoid the run. Fortunately I ignored the bastard inside my head and ran 8.5 miles in 81 minutes.
- “If you just let me lie here for 2 more hours then I’ll be so refreshed that I will be able to outsprint Farah later!” - I don’t know about you, but when I sleep through until my normal waking hour and miss my run, I always feel more tired and more depressed. It’s maybe the thought that I will either have to scale back my training plans for the week or play catchup. Both outcomes are pretty dire. At the time though I try to convince myself that not running will result in some inspired performances at a later date. It’s all lies.
- “I’ve gotta save myself for the big race!” - The biggest mistake I’ve made with races over the years is to rest too much before race day. The problem is that I would stop running altogether, get fatter, lose any conditioning I had and feel like utter shit. There’s nothing wrong with saving yourself for a race, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out a few days before it for an easy run to test your legs. I’m meant to be saving myself for the Lisburn half marathon tomorrow night, but the truth is I don’t care that much and would rather just get out for a run for the sake of my mind.
- “I ate too much yesterday, I can’t run as I’m now too fat and bloated’ - I ate an entire portion of chips on the train home last night. At the time I was proud of myself. By morning I was taken in by a fit of catatonic despair. I was bloated and slightly ashamed of myself. The sad reality is that I didn’t even enjoy those chips, largely because some strange man in suit sat beside me on the train of his own volition and said ‘All I can smell is chips!’. I was angered by his approach. I wanted to respond with ‘Yeah and I’m sure you can smell vinegar too, as there are plumes of it wafting up from your vagina’. Thankfully I just kept quiet. I thought about this man and my chips when I was debating whether to run this morning. The more I pondered the whole situation, the more I just wanted to go back to bed. But I did not give into despair. And I burned those chips off with my 8.5 mile run.
P.S. I’d just like to say this to that shithead in the suit. Damn you suit-man. Damn you to hell and back you judgemental fool. The next time I see you, I’ll pelt you with my chips you flaming Communist bastard-whore.
- “The week is ruined, I haven’t ran at all, so what’s the point of recording a few measly miles?!” - Breaking a dry running spell is the hardest thing to do. It takes courage to go out there when you haven’t been out in a while. Let the past be the past and start afresh today and run as far as you can. If I didn’t run today then the chances are I wouldn’t have ran the half marathon tomorrow or again until probably Friday. I had to break myself out of the cycle.
- “It’s too early in the week to exercise” - In recent months I think I’ve ran maybe twice on a Monday or a Tuesday. This has meant that in order to complete my marathon training schedules for Paris and Belfast I often had to run 3 or 4 consecutive days over the weekend which is a great way to get injured. Running early in the week gets your training off to a great start and keeps your regime balanced reducing the chance of injury in the process.
- “I don’t have enough time for my normal morning workout…therefore it isn’t worth going out at all.” - This is an awful attitude to have and I fall foul to it far too often. Sometimes if I’m not training at all for a race I’ll lose my grip and stop exercising altogether and resort to eating like a pig again. I’m glad I ran 8.5 miles this morning. Normally I’d aim for over 10 but when I weigh it against not running at all, I’ll take the 8.5. Hell I’d take 2.5km over 0.
- “I haven’t got any clothes ready” - It’s surprising how my running kit seems to mysteriously disappear when I don’t want to run. As punishment I’ve made myself go out in running tights twice and I can still feel them on my legs to this day. The last thing I do at night now is get my kit ready so that I can’t use that excuse anymore.
- “Sure you can run twice tomorrow!” - This lie/promise rarely works for me. I woke up at 5am on 5 separate occasions last week and only ran once. On the last 3 days where I didn’t run, I’d promised myself that I would run at least 14 miles over 2 runs the next day to make up for it. The thought of such a strenuous day ahead made me switch off my alarm and think ‘yeah there’s always tomorrow…’. My point is that you can take some of the dread, guilt and pain away from tomorrow by going out today and doing a little. It’s much better than doing nothing at all.
- “It’s too cold, too warm, too windy, too rainy, too airy, too….” - ‘Imperfect’ weather conditions provide you with ideal conditions for race day. If you train in the rain, then won’t pussy out during a shower in that race you’ve been training for. There is no such thing as perfect weather conditions. Your mind will always find an excuse to not run. You’ve gotta establish your own perfect running conditions and they come from within.
- “The act of running suddenly seems so complicated! I just can’t do it!” - After nearly an hour of arguing with myself over the merits of running today, I finally slipped on my shoes and closed the door behind me and put one foot in front of the other for 8.5 miles. At the height of all the internal quarrelling, running seemed to be like rocket science. My mind makes it into more than it really is. Pace, distance, timing, route, hills, lack of hills, potential for speed work, weather…….None of that matters. It’s all about getting out the door and putting one foot in front of the other.
by Matt the Angry Jogger
Angry Jogger loves running to lose and maintain his weight. He started running as an obese man and is now only overweight at 200lbs. He started off at 280lbs.