Keep stopping to walk

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26/03/2003 at 10:32
I've been running on & off for 6 months & at the beginning of the year got up to doing 8 miles - 10 minute miling but that's fine by me. Then I got injured & went on holiday. Since I've been back, although I've been able to make myself go out and run, (3 or 4 miles), 3 or 4 times a week, I keep stopping to walk. My legs don't feel tired, so I don't think its really my fitness, just my head! What can I do to keep myself going - I trying slowing down to an even ploddier plod, but then I just walk. Once I've started walking, that's it I keep doing it every couple of minutes. So frustrating. The thing is I want to do the Plymouth half at the end of May and am worried this will hamper my schedule.

26/03/2003 at 10:35
I imagine Gail from Coronation Street chasing me - that always stops me walking! But there are all sorts of similar (and not so similar) mind-games you can play to keep you going. The tried and tested "imagine you're actually in a race", for example.

I agree though, the big problem is that if you stop once, you keep stopping.
26/03/2003 at 11:04
Emma-i have two suggestions for you stopping problem. Firstly, if you are training on your own, music is always a good bet (high tempo stuff). Also, I find that if i run in a semi-busy environment (ie.quite a few people around) the temptation to keep going and look good overides the tempation to stop running and walk! Secondly, I find that training with someone else really helps loads. If you do train with someone else, you can talk and lets your minds wander! Before you know it, you'll have been running for an hour and a half!

Hope this helps, good luck with the Plymouth half!
26/03/2003 at 11:10
Thanks for the tips guys. I tried running with music the other day, the walkman chaffed my hip! I run with a couple of friends but they're happy to walk if I want to, likewise if they're tired, I'd walk for them. I guess I should ask them to shout at me to keep me going. Unfortunately, I have no shame, (good job or I'd never go out for a run!), and don't care if people see me walking, chances are they're even more unfit than I am!
26/03/2003 at 11:56
Hi Emma,
What about trying a shorter run for a while. That way you wont feel so much like walking. Once you have kicked the walking habit you can build up the miles again.

Or you could follow the Penguin's advice and run 5 mins and walk 1 min. If you build the walks into your training you wont feel so bad about it. In the webchats with the Penguin, he thought that most people would be faster with 1 min walk anyway.
26/03/2003 at 12:42
one of my running pals has had this problem, and once she starts walking she never wants to start again. the rest of us have tried shouting, cajoling, nagging...everything but little seems to work. I always think it's much harder to start running again once you've stopped. to break the cycle, why not allow yourself to stop (if you really really have to) but only walk the distance between two lamposts. if you stop to walk you must then run the next distance. it might work (it's helped my chum abit to get out of the habit of thinking that stopping is the easy option)
26/03/2003 at 16:54
I don't think that walkmen are necessarily a good idea, just from the point of view of us girlies being snuck up upon from behind whilst distracted by the music. However, I do agree that music is a good idea. Personally I get round this by singing to myself (in my head!), sometimes even just a line or two from a song that's got quite motivational lyrics. I know it sounds lame but the sort of cheesy music that you get in your average aerobics class works for me.
26/03/2003 at 19:23
I used to do the same weasel, but I couldn't get Karma Chameleon out of my head so had to choose between buying an MP3 or being sectioned :-)
26/03/2003 at 20:02
I just started training recently, and found that training with a friend didn't help at all. Different pace, stamina and all that. I find it much better training on my own.

What helps me is my sports watch. I set it to bleep at set intervals, and I don't stop running until it bleeps.

Hope this helps.
27/03/2003 at 08:30
Thanks for your ideas - I'll give them ago tonight - speedwork in the gym planned. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated. Maybe I just need someone behind me to give me a kick up the pants if I start walking.
27/03/2003 at 09:22
oh no keswick, now you've mentioned it I'm sure that I too will be listening to Boy George next time, argh!!! :o)
27/03/2003 at 10:37
#...running would be easy if your colours were like my dreams, red gold and green...#
27/03/2003 at 15:56, gold and greeeeeee-eee-ee-eeeeen...#
27/03/2003 at 17:36
"Every run feels like survival!"
27/03/2003 at 19:25
"you're my running partner not my riiii-val"
28/03/2003 at 08:29
Emma, I'm having exactly the same problems since a nasty bout of flu in January.
28/03/2003 at 15:28
Well last night I did my 3 miles with 50 metre bursts singing along to Culture Club, and it worked! I reckon a couple more of these and I may have cracked it that walking business. Sassie, give it a go - if you don't like culture club, try something else - perhaps you were a Duran-ette?! It definitely help setting myself an easyish run after a couple that I found tough - definitely maybe go a little shorter to get your "I can do this" type confidence back up. That's what I find most frustrating - I've run 5 miles before, why can't I do 4 anymore!
28/03/2003 at 16:45
Good comments you lot. Well done. I will try it tmrw morning.

Got that flippin' song stuck in my head now though!
28/03/2003 at 21:54
Emma - I've thought a lot about your problem since reading it a couple of days ago, 'cos I'm tackling the same thing.

I'd get this overwhelming desire to stop and walk - in training runs and in races. So I tried to think it out logically. It happened when I was not particularly distressed by effort - usual training pace of 70% working heart rate, 3:3 breathing - no sweat. I wasn't ill - usual good health despite slight overweight and excess alcohol intake.

Therefore: it wasn't physical, it must be mental.

I looked at the "self-talk" when I wanted to stop - the "tapes" that were playing in my head....

If I was running with other people , I was saying "I won't be able to keep up, I can't keep up, I must walk..."

If I was running alone I was saying " So many more miles to go, I can't keep this up, I must walk.... or, I'm running well, it can't last, I'll get tired, I must walk..."

and lots of variations on these themes, so: I started a remedial program of running alone, starting with about 30 mins and working upwards. I purposely went slowly, just a tad above the effort needed to sit in an armchair. The sole objective was to move along continuously (apart from stopping to cross road junctions which is unavoidable round here). I play different "tapes" in my head about felling comfortable, feeling strong, and going steadily.

It's working. I'm now back to running 8 miles continuously at a steady pace, in comfort.

Everybody is different, but you may be able to take some elements of this and adapt them - sounds as if you're beginning to crack it already. Good luck.
31/03/2003 at 08:53
Thanks Lynne. I actually did exactly what you said yesterday and, true to my Plymouth 1/2 training programme did my 5-6 miles, (well I ran for an hour). Legs feel tired today but that feels good. Hoorah - I can run forever!
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