You know that feeling when you are on a long run + you feel like you need to stop — you HAVE to stop — how do you keep going? Whether you are training for a race or trying to PR [or even if you are like me + are just running late ; )], how do you keep yourself running?
Of course if you are in physical pain + are concerned about an injury — stop IMMEDIATELY. Listening to your body is important if you want to stay active + well enough to continue running long-term. However if you only feel exhausted, running becomes a mental challenge on how to overcome fatigue + stay motivated. On your next run be observant + aware of your triggers that slow you down ++ try using these tricks to overcome running exhaustion —
#1] PLAN YOUR MILEAGE IN ADVANCE
It can be daunting to imagine a high number of miles, but it holds you accountable to establish your goals before you even start. To make your goal more manageable try breaking your run into smaller segments. Three 2-mile runs seems easier to accomplish than a full 6 miles. By planning your halfway//quarter//third points with visual landmarks you can remind yourself you’ve made it this far — no stopping now!
As a motivational reminder to yourself when you need it most, write your favorite quote on your hand or make your favorite inspo the background on your phone before you start running. Each time you check your distance or need a little boost, you’ll be reminded why you started. Some experts even say that repeating a personal mantra under your breath can keep you CHAARG-ing through your run. If you have your earbuds in you won’t even think about others hearing you ; )
#3] FEEL THE GOOD JAMS
Make a playlist with BPM that will match the pace of your [ideal] stride. Your running playlist will likely have faster songs than your lifting playlist. If you find yourself more likely to stop between songs, find a workout remix that never stops. You can even try listening to motivational Podcasts to keep your mind focused on something other than how much further you have to go. Music can make or break your run, so whatever you do, always bring your earbuds with you!
#4] RUN WITH A FRIEND
You’ll almost always run faster if you are with a friend + you are definitely less likely to stop. When you’re feeling your stride you can motivate your friend too. It can also be a great distraction if you are able to maintain light conversation. If you want to add some competition you can always do short races, like a sprint to the end of the block.
This may be my solution to everything, but that is because rewards work! Tell yourself at the beginning of your run, “If I don’t stop throughout my entire run I will treat myself to a bath // cup of tea // hour of Netflix // donut at the end of the route.” Incentives keep you motivated + pushing through when you really feel like giving up.
Any runner [beginning or advanced] knows that running is more a mental workout than physical. Embrace the journey of challenging yourself through a run — if your mind can accomplish a long run you are empowered to tackle any obstacle you find.
++ Mary Kesinger [@itsmarykfit] // VirtCHAARG Chicago