I have a confession to make: the last two months I had a huge problem with regular running. Although I was staying at home and did not travel I found it very hard to motivate myself and keep running routine. Here is a short post on how to deal with running routine crisis. I’m sharing with you the process of how I did it so you could benefit out of my struggle.
First, it was about the weather conditions. The temperature near freezing, strong wind and often rain slash snow discouraged me. I used the poor weather as an excuse for not running. I don’t know where do you normally run but this is quite popular to use this excuse. To overcome it I bought winter running outfit so I had no more excuses, or so I thought.
The Norwegians say that ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes’ and this is so true! The moment I bought long trousers and warm jacket this problem has disappeared. Before I bought it I considered it to be expensive but this is not true. You can buy relatively cheap winter outfit in big supermarkets. I bought mine for less than 20 EUR (trousers, sweatshirt, and hat). Thus, I thought the problem is over. But it was not.
I had a proper outfit and thought I dealt with an issue but this was not the end of my struggle. I used the second most popular excuse: I feel so weak I can’t run. Even short runs made me feel awful. I felt drained out and had no pleasure whatsoever. I run sporadically after forcing myself with all my motivation only to prove to myself that this is such a rotten idea!
When you find running too difficult drop it for a week or two. Yes, I actually advise stopping runs for a while. It is normal to feel weak from time to time due to the seasons’ change, different diet or million other things it is OK to drop this activity for a while and there is a reason behind it.
First to give your body time to adjust, second to treat yourself with love and third to keep the healthy attitude. My mistake was I was forcing myself to run harder and I did not listen to my body. This was wrong!
“There are so many things I need to do I have no time for running”. Now this is a classic. Too often we use this excuse in a variety of situation but it is especially popular in cases of physical activities. They tend to keep falling down on our lists of priorities and get occasionally back at the top when we ate too much and celebrated too long.
There is only one remedy to overuse of this excuse: you need to be honest with yourself and say it clearly that running is important in your daily routine and you are keeping it one of the top three priorities. What matters is that this is not a one-time thing. You need to keep repeating it from time to time, and what’s even more important, when you fail in doing it you have to go back to the roots and start over again.
So there I was, struggling with these three excuses with no real effect and yesterday I went for a long lonely run. I stepped back and decided that I should focus on what dragged me to running in the first place. I remembered this was a pleasure, feeling of total freedom and the contact with nature. Thus, yesterday I run 11K with no time pressure, no average pace control, enjoying the spring that came, listening to the birds and consciously focusing on the present.
You know what? The weather yesterday was awful. It was around +7C, it was raining and there was a strong north wind and I enjoyed every second of my run. Why? Cause I was focused on how enjoyable it was, how well I listened to my body, how I controlled my breathing and how beautiful the world is.
It was quite clear to me that the real power of a man is to control himself. I tend to realize this truth every now and then and I find it deeply inspiring.
How do you deal with the similar crisis? Do you have a good method to share with other runners? Let’s keep strong and share the tips to stay focused and motivated!