These Things Will Keep You Running When You Want To Stop!
Completing a training run isn’t always easy – but these gems of advice will help you keep going.
The hardest bit about training for a race isn’t starting. It’s keeping going. Some days you’ll feel tired, self-conscious, overwhelmed, or simply not up for it. Completing every run in your training plan is a massive achievement – and of course helps give you the best chance of success on race day.
Keep these bits of advice at hand to get you through those “don’t want to run” days.
Remember How It Feels.
Some days, even running half a mile feels like an impossible task. So ask yourself: have you EVER come back from a training run feeling worse than before you went? We bet the answer is no. Deep down, you know how running makes you feel. Powerful, proud, energised, happy, less stressed. So focus on those feelings and just start running. The happy hormones will hit and you’ll be glad you did!
Take A Detour.
We’d never advise you to go AWOL on a training run, but taking a new route can inject some excitement into a stale training plan. Go off road, explore a new part of your local area, or even run your regular route the opposite way to normal. Give your brain something to spice up the routine.
Don’t think about where you are on your route or how many miles or minutes you have left. Stop looking at your watch or your app until you’re at least half way.
Enter A Race.
If you’re reading this, you may have already entered the Meridian Windsor Half , but this is great advice for the future (or for your running buddies). When “just running” feels a bit pointless, give yourself a goal. Something that excites you, motivates you, and maybe scares you a tiny bit. Entering a race and doing a running training plan gives you a reason to run.
Play The Long Game.
Everyone has bad days, even elite level distance runners and Olympic athletes. So don’t beat yourself up if you have a day – or even a week – of feeling rubbish about running. Focus on the long term, and know that you will fall back in love with it again. Remember that there are lots of reasons for having a dip in enthusiasm. Tiredness, stress at work, family problems, financial worries, even positive stress like planning a wedding or a holiday. Any stress, worry, or tiredness could make running feel less fun. But keep it up, because that me-time and healthy exercise will actually help you cope with stress much better.
Focus On The Details.
Most runners keep a close eye on their stopwatch or smartphone, recording the important details of their training runs: pace, distance, speed. But there are other things to take note of, too. And focusing on these things might help keep you running when you really want to stop. Look up and around you. What wildlife can you see? What stage are the leaves and buds at? How have the trees changed since you last ran here? What can you hear? Take one photo of the view, and store it in your phone (or upload it to your digital training log). It will remind you that there’s more to running than minutes and miles.
Do It For A Cause.
Use the race to raise money for a charity that means a lot to you. That way, you’re not just training for yourself. You’re training for everyone who has donated, and for the charity that will benefit from your efforts. Your training runs will mean more than just going for a run. You’ll be doing a job, sticking to a promise, and showing people how much you care.
And if all that fails, remember that we are all in this together! Connect with runners on our Facebook page. There is always someone who is feeling the same way as you are – and you can get each other through it.