Thursday, July 31, 2014

When Running Seems Too Hard

Some days running just seems too hard. I've been running for 20 years. You'd think it would be like breathing for me at this point. And it is, to a point. 

Pretty much a day without running is like a day without brushing me teeth. Yuck. But somedays running just seems too hard. Then what do I do?

1. Crosstrain. I'll be honest with you. I'm not going to NOT exercise. Running is by far my fave workout, but on the days when my body says "nah,"  still going to move. Elliptical, cycle, spin, swim, kickbox--heck, pole dance if that's what gets you going. Just do something other than running.

2. Take it slow. That's right. Take it down a notch. Chances are if your body is telling you it doesn't really want to run you might just be hitting it too hard. If I'm not scheduled to do a speed workout or a particularly hard workout I pull back on my pace until I feel in control and comfortable.

3. Do intervals. This happened just today. Running felt awful but I was still 3 miles from home. I switched things up a bit by running hard for 1 minute then walking for 30 seconds. I finished my run and didn't barf. Hooray!

4. Rest. Evaluate your body and think about your training. Are you feeling achy, fatigued, depressed. Have you recently increased your mileage? Have you been stringing together several consecutive days, weeks, months of running? You might be overtrained. Stop. Rest.

5. Embrace the suck. You know what? Sometimes running just sucks. It's called homeostasis--the body resisting change. Running is work; it promotes change. And your body will fight to maintain homeostasis. Embrace the battle within. Push through those tough miles and reward yourself for a job well done. Sometimes it's all mind over matter.

Bottom line is this: at the end of any run you should be thankful for the opportunity to move, to breath hard, to run.
Take on the climb!

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