Let’s be honest. Sometimes you don’t have the runs. Sometimes it’s cold outside and you just want to cuddle up under a blanket and drink coffee until you get a different kind of runs. Today is one of those days for me. There’s frost on the windows and I have lots of shit to do today. I tend to be busy on Sundays because sometimes I put off all of my work until the very end of the week. Running, however, can not be put off!
At the beginning of this journey even completing a 20 minute run felt like a miracle. Every time I ran it felt like a supernatural occurrence! The more I ran, the better I got. I was able to set mini challenges for myself which motivated me to run longer and faster. That’s the benefit of apps. It’s very helpful to SEE your progress and running history and it’s nice that they chuck in a few “achievements”. You ran 3 days in a row? Congrats! You completed 15k this week? You’re a star! Even if you haven’t gotten to a level where you’re proud of yourself, the damn Nike running app will be!
Cut to 3 months later. I’m sitting on a chaise longue, tucked beneath a blanket, trying to make excuses as to why I don’t have to run today. I mean, I’m writing at 9am on a Sunday for crying out loud. Usually I’ll do anything to avoid writing!
Now, there’s a different between not feeling like you want to go for a run and not wanting to go for a run because of physical ailments. You need to listen to your body. If your pelvis hurts every time you walk because it got busted from over-running (you know who you are) DON’T RUN FOR A BIT. You will only make it worse. Rest. Have a bath. Do some restorative yoga. It can be hard for those of us who crave that runners high but it will only prolong the injury which will result in less running and more pain.
Today the only reasons I have for not running are A) It’s cold. B) My legs are a bit stiff. C) I feel like I’m not progressing. AHA! I think we’ve identified the biggest culprit here and that’s my perception of progress. At the beginning it felt so much easier to break my records. When I ran my first 5K I felt like a was a super hero. Then I did my first 5K in under 30 minutes. Who am I, Usain Bolt?! A few weeks later I ran a 10k. I AM THE WORLDS BEST ATHLETE. And now I’m in the routine of running 5-7k about 6 times a week and I’m like “meh”. (To be honest I think 6 times a week is a bit much. Especially if you’re just starting out. More on that next week!)
“MEH?!” Am I insane? Just typing out the sentence made me realize how ridiculous I’m being. Sure, I may not be running my fastest or longest runs but I am being consistent and SHOWING UP. Showing up is 90% of literally everything in life. If you just keep showing up, something will click. Instead of seeing this phase in my running as a “plateau” I’m going to look at it as gathering nuts for the winter. Yes, that’s right. Gathering nuts for the winter. I’m going to accumulate all these acorns (stamina) and peanuts (discipline) so when the time comes, I’ll have the energy to go to the next level. This is a pretty sloppy analogy but I’m gonna stand by it. I’M FULL OF NUTS AND READY TO GO BAYBEEEE.
Sooooo, when you don’t feel like running just think about how good you feel AFTER a run. Don’t put so many expectations on your run. As soon as you start saying “well, I’m not going to be as fast today” or “what’s the point, I’m not even losing weight” you’re focussing on the negative and setting yourself up for failure. There are SO many benefits to running other than being the fastest or the strongest or the fittest. Is fittest a word?! It’s good for cardiovascular health and almost more importantly (for me at least) your mental health.
Run because you want to, not because you have to. Take a different route. Try a funky new playlist. Explore a new neighborhood. Buy a fun pair of leggings. Go reeeaaaally slow if you have to. Treat yourself to better running headphones. Say a positive affirmation. You are strong! You are resilient! You are sexy bitch! You can eat cheese and watch Emily in Paris guilt free after your run even though it’s honestly kind of a bad show but the people are hot and Paris is beautiful. Do whatever you have to do to just get out there. You’ll feel better because of it.
Now I gotta go cause guess what? I’ve got the runs!
Post run thoughts
I’m so glad I got out there! I was only going to do 5K but ended up taking a harder route that brought me down by the water. It added almost an extra 2K to my run but the beautiful scenery was worth it! I pushed myself by running up a giant ass hill (normally I’d walk it) but also listened to my body and went slower while running downhill, because the tendon behind my knee was acting up. It is so important to listen to you body and take care of it! Next week I’ll talk about the benefits of recovery days and adding strength and stretch training to your workout! And remember, I’m just some gal who started running and these are my experiences. I’m not the CEO of running, Doctor Runs-a-lot. If ever in doubt, consult a professional.
3 thoughts on “Running when you don’t feel like it”
Yes! Show up and do the thing with no expectations: it works for so much in life. And if you’re not Doctor-Runs-alot then you should be!
I love this post and that you talk a bit about the importance of listening to your body and how rest and recovery are important. I also love that you did the run!
I always run on my planned run days rain/snow/got my period you can’t predict what will happen at a starting line so if you go even on days when you don’t feel like it you’ll be prepared for anything and the added bonus of feeling like a rockstar
exactly!!! love this attitude 🙂