Sunday, August 17, 2014

6 Ways People Make Running Harder Than It Has To Be

People are always telling me how tough running is. They just can’t seem to get out the door. They don’t have time. They are tired. Their aunt told them it was bad for their knees. They have ear hair that needs to be plucked and there is simply no time to run.

Then there are the moans and groans about how hard the actual act of running is! It makes you breathe hard! It is exhausting! It makes you sweat! It gives you side stitches and gas! Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think the majority of the time people make running harder than it has to be. Here are six ways you or someone you know might be sabotaging yourself/themselves:

1. Overthinking – Thinking too much is the most powerful motivation-buster (in my opinion). Some people’s brains perceive running as hard and grueling. This means that if you give the brain a choice, it will typically try to talk you out of getting out the door. The trick is to not make it a choice. It needs to be a decision. When you make a plan to run (and I think it’s a good idea to make running appointments with yourself that you put on your to-do list), know that it is going to happen much like you know a doctor’s appointment is going to happen. Do not have the internal argument of whether to go or not. Just go.

2. Expecting too much – Raise your hand if you judge yourself while you run. Maybe you think “I'm too slow” or “I’ll never be able to finish a race” or “I can’t possibly run ten miles.” I want to ask you – is it fun to be so hard on yourself all the time? Aren't you supposedly out to run because you sort of enjoy it and it makes you feel good? Don’t soil your run by constantly second guessing yourself. Do what you can do, and know it was good enough that day.

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3. Waiting for the right moment – I cannot tell you how many runs I have had this year where I’ve been uncomfortable due to being too tired, being too hot, being too cold, being too busy (so the run felt rushed), being lambasted by the wind, or being sort of sick to my stomach. I did it anyway. Although there will be those “perfect” days where everything comes together, most runs are not that way. If you wait for the ideal conditions, you are going to get really out of shape. Again – assess the situation and do what you need to do to make it happen. Excuses are unflattering.

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15 mile run on a January day in Colorado when it was 5 degrees. Ever step sucked.

4. Thinking you have to go far and fast to be a “real runner” – Time and time again people classifying themselves as “not real runners” because they perceive that they run too slow and that they can’t run far enough. Guess what? No one gets to define you as a runner. A world class runner might run 4 minute miles. An average Joe (or Josephine) runner might run 10 to 11 minute miles. Who the hell cares? In my opinion, the second that you break into a run from a walk, you are a runner.

5. Believing that since it has hard you are a sucky runner – Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: running is hard. That is why when you run with other people you can hear them breathing like they just smoked a pack of Marlboros and can’t get a decent amount of air in their lungs. That is why only .02% of the US population ran a marathon last year. That is why people probably tell you all the time that they would run too if it wasn’t so difficult. Life is about choices. Some people choose to suffer a bit but feel accomplished, and some people avoid discomfort and stay forever in that boring place called “comfort zone.”

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6. Worrying about having to poop/pee, being too hot or cold, or what you look like – Yes, it’s true that running is messy. It can involve everything from runny noses and snot to stomach cramps that have you desperately searching for a potty or a bush to uncontrollable farts that you are certain will propel you right into a ditch to sweating so much you have pit marks the size of coconuts. Guess what? It happens to everyone. I know there are some dainty girls out there who claim they don’t experience the nasty side effects of running, but I don’t believe it. Don’t be afraid to let your body do what it does when you put it the test. It can, in fact, it can be kind of liberating (well, desperately searching for a bathroom to avoid a mess is not all that fun, but it feels pretty awesome afterwards).

You’ve probably surmised by now why this blog is called “Shut Up and Run.” The things that are tough in life require making a finite decision and not surrendering to excuses. Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

SUAR

48 comments:

  1. Is this a 'note to self" ? :D Haha! So true that running is hard, but it's worth it.

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  2. I love your shirt! LOL

    Great post!

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  3. This is both hilarious and true :) Seriously loved it - thanks Beth!

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  4. I think I ran for at least a decade before I called myself a runner! No excuses SUAR!

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  5. Anything in life that is worth while is hard.

    Only thing you missed is the chub rub topic in this post. Chub rub can kill..lol

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  6. Effing totally! I have lost count of the times I've gone for a run expecting it to be sucktastic and it ended up pretty good. Now I give it a couple K to get settled down and as long as nothing is actually hurting, like real pain, I carry on with whatever the plan is. I no longer care about the weather. No such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices. The only thing that will keep me indoors is a thin slick of recently refrozen ice and poor lighting.

    The right moment comment isn't just good for running, it's good for everything. There is no right moment, there is only now. Get off your ass and do it. (Hmmm, GOYAADI, I wonder if I should rename my blog?)

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  7. Amen! Love it!!!! We runners are a special breed aren't we? :)

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  8. "Don't be afraid to let your body do what it does when you put it to the test." Best statement ever.

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  9. Thanks! Came at just the right time. # 2, 4, 5 really hit the spot!

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  10. Great post Beth. Thanks for the reminders!

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  11. Nailed it. Some runs are tougher than others, and that's just the way it is. Find the good in every run, because it's there.

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  14. Beth, Once again you never fail to dispense with great advice and humor! I appreciate all of the encouragement you give in your blog. I've been following your blog for several years now, and am thankful for your contribution to the running community! I began running myself back on November 14, 2011. I've run countless miles, many halfs, 5, 8, and 10K's, and one marathon (I've said that was my first and last). During this past year or so, I've hit a severe dry spell though. Somewhere along the way, though, I've allowed my mind to talk me out of running. I've always had the "mind over matter" mantra, and have used it to my advantage when facing a challenge. I believe that running is one of the few things that tests this philosophy, because it's immediate "in your face", (there's no where to run and hide - pardon the pun). Anyway, after reading today's post, I'm going to challenge myself this evening to review it once more and use the positve aspects to encourage me to get back to what I love! Thanks again, Terry

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  15. This is great! Just decide to go, and then just go. This applies to running as well as everything else, whether it's exercising, meeting people, getting things done around the house, whatever. Your mind will always choose to sit on the couch if you give it a chance.

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  16. I love this. I was guilty of so many of these when I started running before I got pregnant. Once I get back to serious running, I vow to shut up and run!

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  17. Years ago, during the first running boom in the 70s, I asked an ardent runner how he forced himself to get out the door every mornings. His reply? you have to think of running the same way you think of brushing your teeth -- it's just something you do as part of your routine. That has helped me all these many years.

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  18. Spot on. I love it when people ask me why I run at 4:30 a.m. and follow it up with they don't have time to run. Yep neither do I. That's why I run between 3:45-4:30.

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  19. Thanks for the post which reminds me why I am doing what I am doing. 12 weeks into 24 weeks of virgin marathon training has me in need of an attitude adjustment. Your training and posts have helped motivate me and keep me from being a pussy about all my aches, pains, whines, farts, chafing, etc. Thank you.

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  20. Wow, just say it like it is. I completely agree with every single point. More importantly on the issue on what makes you a runner. I constantly agree that if you run then you are a runner. Plain and simple. I've had a hard time judging myself too much when I run and not to constantly be pursuing a PR cause that will never happen. I need to just go with it.

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  21. Everything right said! Need to be bolder and you will feel a lot of new pleasant sensations. And then you will want to repeat it.

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  22. get shots of the Steel Stacks when you're there....it looks like it was run by the Star Wars bar scene extras....got a story you'll love, SUAR: I ran the Via Marathon there last year and needed a #1 break at 20 miles, right behind a woman in major gastric distress...she tried both sides of a two-fer and came out pale, saying "NO TP!" I gave her my white singlet and moved on...afterward, I emailed Bart and said the organizer owed me a shirt...got me a free entry to this year's race!

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    1. That is awesome!! She soiled the singlet! Nice of them to give you a free entry. You deserved it.

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  23. ...or like Team Rogue in Austin puts it #jfr (just F'in run) :) Fabulous post. I'm gonna go run now-sans judgement!

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  24. "The trick is to not make it a choice. It needs to be a decision."

    This is sooo perfect. Thank you!

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  25. I want to tattoo this entire post on my forearm!

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  26. I'm like two different people. When it comes to training runs, I'm not a morning person. If I schedule a time in the late afternoon, I stick to it, but if I plan on running in the morning, I procrastinate. Races are a different story. When the alarm goes off, I'm out of bed like a rocket and focused on getting ready.

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  27. I'm like runningstamper - I start so early in the morning (our group starts running at 4.45 am) that when my alarm goes off I don't even think, I just roll out of bed and progressively wake up as I get ready and drive to where we meet. This morning was really tough and I nearly bailed a few times because I also knew it would be a fast run. It was, and I hated it at the time, but I'm mentally patting myself on the back now that I'm at work and the toughest part of my day is over!

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  28. Dietary Tips: Eliminate Sugars and Starches......smolov

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  29. Yes yes yes!!!! I love every word of this! So much truth and I have been guilty of all of them.
    ]"the hardest step for a runner is the one out the front door"

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  30. Wow! This post came at the right time! Even after 7 marathons, umpteen halves and 12 years of running, I've relied on more than one of these to get me out of a run this summer. Thanks, Beth!! This list is getting printed and posted where I can't miss it the next time I'm procrastinating.

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  31. I struggle with keeping up my motivation and I have to agree with you Beth, overthinking is NOT helping. Thanks for the article it pretty much summed up my running experience so far and the attitude change I need to make. Stop thinking, stop whining and just run!

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  33. thanks for reminding me not to wait for the perfect moment. I'm overdue for a run because of that. The weather here in New England hasn't been kind to us but I have been manufacturing more excuses than miles because of it.

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  34. The weather here is all-time hot and it is about 33-35 degree every day except raining season. But ill still go for a run every day. At least 10 minutes!

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