A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘How to Enjoy Running

I grew up around a lot of runners. My step dad ran track and field throughout college. My older brother did the same throughout jr high and high school. I had lots of friends who ran. I always wanted to run, but never thought I really could – especially distance. Sure, just about every able body is capable of running, but I had a dream of running distance, not just down the street.

I remember running for a few months in high school during basketball season. I had tried out for the basketball team {you can laugh at that statement} and part of training was to build up to a 3 mile run. I think I made it to 1.5 miles before I stopped. And I promptly quit the basketball team. In college, my longest distance was a mile. Maybe 1.5 if I’m being extra generous. And I’m pretty certain that 1 mile took me a good 20 minutes. I tell you all this to say – If I can run, anyone can run.

After Hannah, my second child, was born, I started working out. I joined a gym, got plugged into an aerobics class. Shortly afterward, some girlfriends suggested we run a 5K together. So, 4 months after Hannah was born, I ran my first race. I hadn’t done any training for it, but hoped that I had built up enough endurance from my aerobics class to get me through. I made it. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fast, but I did it. And a fire was lit.

The day after my first race, I ran again. 1.5 miles around our neighborhood. I told a friend, and avid runner, about the 5K. She encouraged me to run a 10K with her later that month. I thought she was straight up crazy, but I signed up. Shortly after the 10K, that same friend said “If you can run a 10K, you can run a half marathon.” Again, my first thought was she was straight up crazy. But that prod stuck with me. Two months later, I started training for my first half marathon. Three months after that, I ran my first half. I haven’t looked back since.

This year marks the most races I have ever done in a running season. By year’s end, I will have completed 3 half marathons, 2 10Ks and 1 5K. My race season next year will kickoff with my first full marathon.

Over the next month, I’m going to share my personal tips and advice for beginning runners. Whether you want to run a marathon, or you just want to run a mile without stopping, I’m going to share my insights to how to go from dreaming about running, to being a runner.

For about two weeks, every time I ran I felt defeated. There wasn’t anything that went wrong necessarily, but by the end of each run I was either physically or mentally exhausted.

Having a bad run can throw off my mental game. And that can set me up for really not enjoying running like I want. When that happens, I have to throw in a few tricks to get my running mojo back.

How I keep running when I feel like I hate it ::

1. Short runs – I don’t want to face a long  run on the heels of a bad training week. Instead I take a couple of short runs to give myself a mental boost. Giving yourself a shorting goal can help you feel accomplished and act as a cheerleader to help you refocus.

2. Fast runs – Just like short runs, having a fast run can really boost your confidence. Shorten your distance and run at just above your normal pace. It’ll get your heart rate up and allow feel good endorphins to kick in.

3. Fun runs – There are certain routes by my house that I dread taking. You’d immediately think they are hilly or extra long, but they aren’t. What I dislike is that they are flat and out of the hussle and bussle of everything, making it boring. While boring runs are inevitable, I try avoiding boring routes to keep running fun.

After combining those three tactics the last week and a half has made for some great training and given me back the joy of running.

How do you keep running fun? Running groups, new routes or upbeat music?

 

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