Friday, July 30, 2010

How to keep on running?

Sometimes when you are running, you get this urge to stop running and start walking or just stop and relax. There's no logical reason for it. The body is ready. The mind is just turning lame for some reason. This is the point when that little voice in your head tempts you to stop, saying: "Come on, why bother, stop running, no one need know."

Of course the more you run, the greater your stamina, but it still feels tough sometimes to keep on running when you feel like stopping. So much of this is psychological. Often the first fifteen minutes or so feel like the worst until you 'get into your stride' and it starts to feel a little easier. So what to do when you hit a wall while running? Here are some tips:

1. Keep going
Promise yourself that, no matter what, you will go on, even if you are walking, crawling, or puttering. Initially you might feel a bit of discomfort, but after a few trips, your body will adjust, and what seemed impossible, will soon be something you can easily manage. So stay on your feet; Eyes straight ahead. Move.

2. Don't think
Have a blank mind of thought and run "in the moment" or "in the present". This will create a state where everything is effortless and there is a fluidity of motion, a natural economy of motion that is efficient, smooth, powerful, effortless, and without suffering.

3. Focus on breathing
Sometimes this one works; you will notice less discomfort and less whining from the mind about the body not feeling quite energized. You will feel ready enough to continue running.

4. Be creative with your workouts
Doing the same workout day after day leads to boredom and burnout. Find some new running routes; challenge yourself by adding some speed or uphill climb to your workout. Being creative with your workout will add new life to your running.

5. Reward yourself
Rewards can be a powerful motivator. When you do succeed, make sure to do something nice for yourself. Many runners who have reached their goal treat themselves to some tangible reward: a new running shirt, a sports watch, a meal at a nice restaurant, or a special trip. The ideas are limited only by your imagination.

6. Make running sociable
Running solo might be boring, but if you can make contact with other people then that can be fun. Run with a friend or your life partner. Perhaps even your dog could become a training partner.

Any of these mind games can be initiated by you consciously. But, it's really cool to realize that your brain did it on it's own to get rid of the whining. Running and motivation go hand-in-hand.

There is something about running that transforms you. In the beginning, it can be very difficult, and there will be times when you feel like stopping.

But if you can beat that little negative voice inside you that wants you to stop, you will learn that you can beat anything. Running will teach you to overcome your doubts and negativity, and that's a gift that will take you to new heights in anything you do.


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