. . . When the Going Gets Tough
It isn’t always easy to finish what we start. There have definitely been times when I’ve been too tired, in too much pain, too disheartened, too stressed, too hot, too hungry . . .
Here are my first five tips to keep going and below are five more tips for pushing through a run when you really don’t want to for today’s Friday Five from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run.
Use what’s around you
In ZOOMA Annapolis 2015, coming back across that bridge for the second time, I was toast. Done. Finished. Yet I still had almost half the race to finish.
So I told myself that I would run to the next beam, then walk, then run. You can use trees, mail boxes, cars.
I find I generally don’t need to do this so much anymore, since I follow Galloway (loosely) and therefore always have a walking break coming up. Some nice fall days, though, I’ll run a fartlek — usually using trees — in this method, just because I want to; because it’s a good run and it feels good. Works just as well for those bad runs.
Think about anyone but you
I’ve definitely written about this tip before, but we tend to get caught up in everything that is happening to me when we run.
So make it about someone else: a loved one, someone who is ill, someone who can’t run due to injury, someone who’s passed. You can even designate a person to pray for/think about every mile.
Think about what your why
When things go wrong it’s easy to just slip into that negative mindset. Try to remember why you are running: to get in shape, to challenge yourself, to train for a race, to have some me time.
If you’re having a bad race, remember why you chose that particular race in the first place.
Think about your goals
Building on “think about your why”: when it comes to races (or even training runs), it’s good to have goals. Not “a goal”, but multiple goals.
Maybe it’s to get in shape. Maybe it’s to get faster. Maybe it’s to go further. Maybe it’s to be able to run without feeling like your lungs will explode.
Whatever your goal is, think about it when the going gets tough.
Do a body scan
This is something I’ve gotten away from, and I need to do this more often.
Start at your feet. Go up your calves, your thighs and hamstrings, and so on and so forth. Don’t forget to relax your hands, your shoulders, your face.
Practice a little gratitude — for legs that allow you to run, for lungs that take in the oxygen your muscles need, for a heart that circulates your blood to all your muscles and organs.
And while you’re at it, be grateful you can run. It’s a gift.
Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:
Do you ever thank your body for the ability to run while running?
Do you have goals for each run?
What sort of goals do you have for your runs?