Unmotivated to Run? Read This. - Page 3
I Can’t Stick with This Workout
When you feel this way, it’s time to apply coping strategies. If you are giving 100 percent in a track workout, the concept of doing another one or another five repetitions can be daunting. When you reach that level of pain, the body wants to flee the scene and hide under the bleachers. So here are some tips for you when the lactic acid is pumping and you are doubled over, afraid to look at your watch and see that you have to start running really, really fast in a mere five seconds.
Focus on the number of repeats you are going to do. As you go deeper into your plan and as your fitness improves, you are going to do more repeats in each subsequent session.
If you need to do one or two more repeats than last session, then give yourself some forgiveness on your goal pace. A good rule of thumb is an additional five seconds in a mile repeat session, but go ahead and come up with your own “zone of forgiveness.” The more experienced you get with track workouts, the better you will know your body and how much time to give yourself.
If you are attempting more repetitions than you’ve done before, try going to a track to do the workout where you can get the pace feedback you need at 200m intervals. Bear in mind, this instant feedback may run counter to the over- all “run by feel” approach that this book espouses, but there are some special cases, like this one, when checking your watch to make sure you are on target is allowable.
If you have to complete more repetitions this session, don’t time the extras. In other words, if you are to do six reps and you did five last week, then your last rep, your sixth, will not be timed.
Bring a special treat to your workout. For a hot day’s workout, it could be something like a little piece of candy (a candied orange slice, in my case), or a towel that you will wet, or a bag of ice that you will put on your head. At the end of the repeat, reward yourself accordingly. Think about your little reward as you spin around the track.
Another thing you can do is make a deal with yourself— something bigger than eating a piece of candy. Tell yourself that if you stick the workout—or just complete it—you will treat yourself to a nice meal at your favorite restaurant afterward. If you’re a bibliophile, you will treat yourself to a trip to the bookstore—something worthwhile that will bring a smile to your face, something worth the work.
Try to find workout partners who are doing the same number of reps you are doing. Waving goodbye to them can be demoralizing when you have one or two more reps to complete out there in the sweltering land of buzzing cicadas, while they are off to get into their air-conditioned cars and drive home to cold drinks and rotating fans.
Remember that not every repetition is going to be a strong one. Your body can be an enigma—or a stubborn mule—and you have to consider yourself lucky when you can successfully harness the mind and body to the point that you can get the body to do what it’s supposed to do.
For all the other times—when, for example, the ball of your right foot hurts, or you have a stitch in your side—accept that you are human.
Run the reps relaxed; tell yourself to stay limber during each lap.
Make peace with your suffering. Running is a rare recreational sport in that it can take you into realms of pain you aren’t used to being in. We in the West live such a comfortable, relatively sedentary life, and so asking your body to suffer is a bit unusual. As a human, it is your nature to avoid this kind of misery. But try to embrace it. Tell yourself that it will be over relatively soon and that your body is getting stronger because of it. Tell yourself also that you know you will encounter some form of suffering on race day and that the pain you are undergoing in your workout will make things easier for you.