by Matt Forsman a.k.a Marathon Matt, SportMe Run Trainer
Training for a race is a serious endeavor. It’s a journey that often requires days, weeks, and months. Just looking at your training schedule can be daunting.
It’s only natural that you’ll have a day (or several) on which you’re just not feeling up to snuff. Maybe it’s been a tough week at work. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve felt the runner’s high.
Having dealt with thousands of runners over the course of more than a decade of coaching, I’ve heard just about every excuse to NOT run. Outlined below are some of the most common excuses I hear and a few suggestions for overcoming them.
The weather is crappy.
I lived in Kansas when I got into running. The summers were brutally hot and humid. The winters were cold, bleak, and depressing. Kansas was FAR from a runner’s paradise. More often than not, you were sweating your ass off or freezing your ass off.
Whether you’re training in Kansas or training in California, there’s no guarantee the weather will be perfect. If you train long enough, you’re going to be confronted with crappy weather when you have to get a key long run in. How do you deal with this?
The reality is a race is hardly EVER cancelled due to inclement weather. So, while it may suck to run in oppressive heat and humidity or a torrential downpour, you may very well have to deal with bad weather on race day.
Every time you go out and run despite inclement weather, you’re better preparing yourself for this possibility on race day. Additionally, soldiering on despite inclement weather is a GREAT way to develop mental toughness.
You had a long night at the office. You barely managed a few hours of sleep. You’re running on fumes. We’ve all been there.
Just looking at the run lined up on your schedule induces fatigue. The last thing you want to do is lace up and get your run in. I get it.
But, bagging out on a run because you’re tired can lead to something far worse. It can become a slippery slope. It can become a habit.
Cut yourself some slack if you’re feeling exhausted. Don’t run as far. Don’t run as fast. But, try to get ‘some’ running in.
As exhausted as you may be, I can almost promise you’ll feel better after just a few miles.
You don’t have time.
Most of us have demanding work lives. Most of us have busy personal lives as well. Finding time for everything is a battle most of us face.
Sometimes the fates conspire. Getting in a run becomes impossible. But, this should be an exception.
Get creative. If you can’t get the entirety of your 60 minute run in, break it up. Split the run into ‘2’ 30 minute segments.
If you simply can’t get the entirety of your run in no matter how you slice it, get some of it in. Get 15 minutes in. Get something done.
You’re stressed out.
It happens to the best of us. Stress becomes you. A run sounds far less appealing than a stiff cocktail.
I’ve been there. I’ve found myself vacillating between a run and a cocktail. The run (almost) always wins this battle.
Why? Running is one of the best ways to relieve stress out there. The simple act of rhythmic breathing (and sweating) never fails to bring stress levels down.
BTW, you can still have your cocktail AFTER your run if you really want to.
Whether you were drowning your sorrows or celebrating your latest win, you had quite an evening. The morning arrives unwelcomed. You’re feeling ragged around the edges.
You have a cup of coffee and it does little to clear the fog. Bleary eyed, you gaze at what’s lined up on your training schedule. A faint wave of nausea overcomes you when you see how many miles you’re supposed to log today.
Running is the last thing you want to do. Curling up in the fetal position and sobbing gently is likely what you’re feeling more inclined to do. But, don’t give up on running yet.
The first mile or two may not feel great, but nothing is forever. After breaking a bit of a sweat, the endorphins start to flow. The headache starts to subside. The fogginess recedes.
You will likely feel vaguely human again by the time your run is complete. Just be careful to hydrate well before, during, and after your “hangover run.”
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