When your body can do it but your mind makes it virtually impossible
I am looking to the wealth of knowledge that resides in this here forum (!) to help me with a challenge.
I am a fairly average runner - not very fast and I struggle to run any further than 5m (unless I am taking part in a 10k - bizzare?!) - but I believe that this struggle is predominantly a psychological challenge rather than a physical one.
My shins give me a bit of jip and I get tired legs, but if I were to be brutally honest, I'm pretty certain that - with the right mindset - I could run thru the discomfort and do much better with my pace and mileage. But that is my problem - the mindset!
I use music and I regularly change my route, to prevent boredom (I have a rediculously low attention span!!) but this is no longer doing the trick. I am considering using audio books to see if that could entertain and distract me whilst I run so that I stop focusing on the uncomfortable niggles and blowing them out of proportion which inevitably results in me not pushing myself, stopping running to walk and generally having a rubbish run.
I have toyed with the idea of hypnotherapy to help retrain my mindset to accept the discomfort, keep me mentally engaged and loving the task that is my run.
Don't get me wrong, I really do LOVE to run but hate to do it badly. I am an easy giver-upper and need some new strategies to lose this quit-style attitude.
I have no intention of giving up running, but I want to be able to acknowledge and address the running bogeyman thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts that move me on and enable me to progress.
Hope you guys have some pearls of wisdom!!
Sounds like you're trying all sorts to distract yourself from the actual experience of running... I doubt that route will help you to learn to enjoy it to be honest.
Maybe try a different sort of running? i.e. if you're a road runner, go and hit the trails, woods, cross country etc.
In terms of distance, if you can't get past 5 miles, do a longer out and back route... once you've run "out" for say 3.5 miles you have to get "back".
Its not that I am not enjoying running - I really do and I always feel magic after I've done it. However, I would love it a whole lot more if I would stop obsessing and fixating - mid run - about my tight calves, jippy shins, wound-up hamstrings, etc.
I am looking for strategies or techniques to focus on other things - not the sore bits - when I am running, so that I can just crack on and enjoy it more.
I like the idea about trails, woods, etc. Will have to research available places in my neck of the woods. Road running really doesn't help shin splints!
Thanks Nam x
I have all sorts of mental tricks which I find really helpful training ..although have yet to master the art of using them in races which I need to do.
I don't run fast so can easily switch into a ' meditative ' state and let my mind just wander. I then dip in and out of a mental check of how my body is coping. If I find myself fixating on a sore bit I try to focus instead on a bit of my body that feels really strong, or try just to switch back into letting my mind drift. ..sometimes works !
sing to yourself....I sometimes have to do that when skiing if I get scared (hate cat-tracks, even though I'm a competent skier and in no real danger). It's impossible to focus on anything else while singing "heads shoulders knees and toes", YMCA, or the Lumberjack Song....over and over again.
I think I stop being scared just 'cos I'm so bored with whichever song I'm doing!
BUT....sing in your head unless you want the rest of the world to know exactly how nuts you are
Believe me I know running in pain is no fun. Maybe see someone about those shin splints.
Running on softer ground might to you a world of good in more ways than one.
Thanks for all your great advice, Guys - I appreciate it!
I went out today and actually had a pretty good run - did a few off road bits to ease the pounding and concentrated more on smiling and singing! (Yes, I did stop when I came close to dog walkers and other members of the public!!). I also concentrated more on the quality of the run and not so much on the metrics, i.e. happily plodded along at a comfortable pace and didn't try too hard to go faster. Luckily for me I really like going up hills, so these help to add the extra workload and effort to the run.
I did go to a club before but felt under pressure to keep up with them - they were all a bit "elite" if you catch my drift. I may try another, but for now I am quite happy going out by myself with my iPod. The only time I really like company is when I go to the track, as that is REALLY boring without someone to run with/against. Sometimes my 9yr old comes with me and he is pretty good company, so that is the best scenario.
You were all so helpful -thanks again!
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