How To Keep Running When All You Wanna Do Is Stop…
I had my first run since last Sunday, yesterday morning and it went well but I faded towards the end. I did 11.02 miles in 1:46 which is a 9:39 min/mile average. This wasn’t bad going but doesn’t particularly inspire confidence for a sub 2 hour half marathon in June.
Today I went out and ran 12.4 miles in 1:58 at a 9:32 min/mile pace. This was slightly better, but still quite off the pace if I’m to record a sub 2 hour time in Lisburn on Wednesday.
Towards the end of both runs I was struggling quite a bit and was considering just stopping and walking home. But I did not give up! I carried on through the wall and finished both runs strongly.
This post is dedicated to ideas to get you through those thoughts of giving up on your runs!
- Whatever you do don’t think about how far left you’ve to run – This will kill all of your motivation to continue if you’re already struggling. It pays just to focus on putting one foot in front of the other until your mind is in a better place. Today at 2 miles I knew I wanted to run 10 and the thought of continuing on for that long brought me down. I got through it with a dash of hatred. I seen a number of people I hated and I used my feelings as fuel to sustain me. It worked well. But I did bite the inside of mouth which was really fucking sore.
- Try to separate yourself from negative self chatter – Don’t fight or argue with ‘yourself’. Just accept any negative talk as if it were on a television on in the background. Instead focus on your breathing and adjust your pace if necessary so that you can continue on comfortably. I’ve found that negative self talk only begins when I’m running too fast. It seems to be a natural way for my body to tell me to slow down. Once I start thinking “you’re really shit at this you fucking twat! Go back to eating pizza for living you whore! I’m gonna dress you up in a tutu when we get back home, fat boy!” it is time to zone out and slow the fuck down.
- Don’t waste your 2nd wind – If you manage to pull it back and you feel alright on the run, don’t start on another burst of pace immediately. Wait until you’ve settled into your stride and leave any pace bursts until you’re closer to home. As you run more you’ll get a greater feel for your limits and will be able to time pace increases more effectively.
- Don’t be afraid to stop to walk – Stopping doesn’t have to mean an end to your workout. You can use it to catch your breath and to continue on with your run on a stronger foot. If you’re moving forward, you’re moving forward. Keep doing it!
- Focus on trying to make time go by more quickly – If you’re struggling on a run then time will pass by so fucking slowly that it’ll almost be like torture. To make time pass more quickly I try not to look at my GPS watch and instead concentrate on my breathing and how I’m moving. When I was starting out I’d try to make time pass more quickly by running faster. This never worked as I’d become even more out of breath and I’d eventually give-up. The key in making time faster for me is to run at maybe 50% effort. If I try any more, then time will creep by.