This is my first ever post. I started running about 2 months ago now with my aiming being to complete a Run for Life which I did on Sunday. Started from a base of pretty much zero but within 3 weeks could run the 5k in about 35 mins. Ran the full distance about 3 times then up it to 6k and also managed to run the whole way. They I developed a problem with my left leg which lasted for about a month before being sorted by a sports therapist last week. I kept running during this time but was never able to run the full distance and had to walk run. The problem is now sorted out and I ran the Race for Life on Sunday in a respectable 29 mins and 15 secs but I still wasn't able to run the full distance.
I now feel that I have a complete mental block about keeping going. I find myself paying more attention to thinking about when I can stop rather than thinking about making it to the end. I know that I can do the distance physically but just seem to have a total mental block. Does any one have any tips?
As you've identified, it's mental rather than physical. I normally get over it by deciding to run to a point I can see ahead of me. When I get to it I decide to run a bit further to another point, and so on. That breaks the run into small sections and I never have a long run stretching out ahead of me.
That also works for me. I find running such a mental struggle. Tend to find myself shouting at myself in my head to keep going, i also think about how good it will feel to tell people i ran all the way and i dont want to let myself or them down so i try to concentrate on the pride i will feel at the end of the run if ive ran it all.
Good luck, well done on your RFL time, ive got mine this Sunday and know its going to be a mental challenge to run all the way!
As mentioned above, shouting out loud at yourself and setting continuous mini-targets (keep going to the car 100m away, then the next tree etc) is probably best.
Do you take any energy sweets/gels/drinks before or during the run? You might be running a bit low on fuel maybe. Even sucking on a hard glucose sweet might be enough to give you the extra pep to keep going.
Have the same problem myself sometimes - getting in to the routine of taking walk breaks and finding it hard to run continuously. I found that part of the reason was because I had speeded up without realising and so couldn't sustain the pace. However mostly it's just the voices in my head saying 'go on just walk it doesn't really matter' and because I don't really think it matters a great deal sometimes I listen!
Have been plodding a lot longer than you and still going slower than you - so like the voices in my head it's probably best not to listen to my advice
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond. I'm going to try the mini-target route tonight and see how it goes.
Dog Leash - I agree with the "doesn't really matter" thing and that's how I feel but then just feel so disappointed when I get to the end and feel like I could have done better!
Cartman 78 - the food thing is still a bit of a problem. I've been trying to lose weight so food had been a bit scarce! Then realised that if I wanted to run I had to eat properly and that by running I could eat properly without putting on weight but trying to find the balance between eating enough at the right time to give me energy whilst not eating too much so that I spend the whole run thinking I'm going to throw up is still work in progress. I've read all sorts of things about what to eat and when but still haven't found the solution that works for me.
Fingers crossed that I'll be back tomorrow to tell you all that I've cracked it and my new career at 33 is going to be Olympic athlete!
Have you tried doing a timed run/walk schedule - i.e. run 5 minutes walk 1 minute - or whatever interval you are comfortable with, then increasing the run length each week by 1 or 2 minutes, until you are up to running the full 30? That gives you the 'permission' to walk, but is still building up gradually, rather than trying to make yourself do it.
That said, there's nothing wrong with walking!
Just a quick update. I've had one really good run since posting and used the idea of breaking the run down into small sections and just thinking about one section at a time. It seemed to really work. Unfortunately, I'm now back to having a lot of pain again so, having had two pretty dismal attempts at trying to run (I can't walk properly so what possesses me to think that running is a good idea is still beyond me!) I've decided to stop until I see Sports Therapist on Friday. It's really really frustrating as I'm desperate to get back out there but have had to admit defeat. Hoping she can sort me out on friday and then I'll be back again.
Thanks again for all your help
I do the exact same thing. I've been running for about a year and did my first half-marathon back in November. I managed to do it all without stopping for a walk (apart from through the water stations, which I'm not counting as walking as you can't run and drink!). I did a 10k race recently and must have stopped to walk about every half to three-quarters of a mile, and for no reason at all. I find that on my training runs I'm the same, I stop at least once a mile. I am going to try counting from 1 to 10 then back again, that sounds like it might work for me. I've started counting to four several times when going up hills and that has made it easier to complete a hill, as I know I can do at least another 4 steps, so I think the counting thing will help. I find trying to just get to the next lamp-post/car doesn't work for me as my legs seem to know i'm tricking them and that another target will be coming up next!
I hope the sports therapist will sort you out and you'll be back running soon!
M.ister W wrote (see)
I do this too - also, if I am feeling the urge to stop and walk, I try just slowing down a bit. (I am already pretty slow, but I can usually manage to reduce the pace a bit more, and that is enough to keep me going!)
My 5k took me 32 minutes and I did run all the way, so your running is obviously faster than mine!
Just picked up on your post again. Glad to hear you managed to overcome the mental issue! Sorry to hear your struggling with pain when running though, hope it when well with the Sports Therapist and your back on track soon!
So, I saw the sports therapist and I'm moving in the right direction. I have done two runs since I saw her and the pain is definitely better.
I ran last night and I had a kind of break through moment........no I didn't keep running.............I accepted that actually walking a bit doesn't matter to me! The whole reason I started running was to lose weight (1st 7lbs lighter I can tick that box!), get fit and have fun. I loved my run last night even though I did walk two little bits and that's what's important to me. I think I've left it a bit late to switch my career to Olympic athlete and I have so many areas of my life that are high stress that I don't want to make running another one. I run with a friend who is better than me and who hasn't lost time to injury and I've decided that if I keep beating myself up about the fact that I can't keep up with her and that I'm not able to just keeping running for as long as she can then I'm likely to get despondent and stop althogether. So, for now, I'm going to keep going out, keep doing my 6k route, run for as long as I want to run and if I want to walk then I'll walk.
Give me a month and I'm sure I'll have changed my tune but for now, I'm just going to enjoy it!
Thanks to you all again, I love this forum you can find out so much stuff
Glad to hear the pain is improved! You are completely right and thats a good attitude to have, think i need to adopt that one as i keep beating myself up for walking too, it doesnt matter really if you do, your out there moving, getting the heart going and as you say getting fit and losing weight!
Keep on enjoying it!
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