Running Psycho Babble
Yeah I know, I can hear you all from here..here comes another lecture!! And you are probably right, so if you are tuning out you are probably the person that needs to hear this the most. It has come to my attention that a lot of my runners are about as disciplined as Bart Simpson! You are great at running with the team but can't seem to be bothered running on other days by yourself...not good..you need to run more than twice a week to keep your training and fitness levels up.
It is hard in running to be disciplined because it is a solo sport and it takes a lot of self motivation to get yourself out on the road. I worked in a football club in Victoria and of course discipline comes easy for them in the form of punishment..if they don't turn up for training they get dropped; if they play bad they hear about it for the next week from their coaches and teammates; someone else is always relying on them on the ground so its easier to stay focused. However, runners don't have any of that, so they need to learn self discipline..and it's hard..but it is worth it.
Here are some techniques that work for me:
If I say I'm going to run in the morning..I bloody well run in the morning. I don't wake up and look out the window, go to the toilet, scratch my head and get back into bed..I go for a run. If I'm running in the morning, I find it helps if I get my running gear out beside the bed, I wake up and look at it, jump up put it on and I'm gone, that is so much better than rummaging for socks in the dark. Do not hang around once that gear is on, just go.
There are exceptions to this of course..if you have been up half the night with sick kids, or you are crook (and I'm not talking hangover crook) or you have left it to late to run and then get home for work..but remember if you don't do the run you said you were going to do, you have gone into a running debt and you need to clear that debt by the end of the week. So that run is still there waiting to be run.
I always say in my mind how far I'm running before I've even put the shoes on..and that's how far I run. I don't say 'I'll see how I feel', or 'I'll run till I get buggered and then come back', I run the distance I say I'm running. If you run until you are buggered, what's the bet you are buggered after 10 minutes, your body will tell you you've had enough if it thinks that is going to make you go back home, you're head will tell you, 'No, come on, you said you were going to run 10kms this morning and you are going to do it". If you turn around everytime you are feeling it, you will never extend yourself. I've often found that the lazier I feel, the more I challenge myself and often I feel fantastic afterwards.
I always make one run a week hard, by that I mean long, or fast, or hilly, and at the end of the week I ask myself if I've done "The Horror" run yet, if I haven't it has to be done! I used to be in a pattern of running the same course of 10km, 3 times a week and thinking I was pretty fit..then every now and again, I would run Noosa National Park or Noosa Hill and find out how unfit I was. Your body gets used to everything, so after a while 30km of flat running a week, means nothing to it, I might as well stayed in bed, but if you mix it up and put in a different course, a different distance or a different speed, if makes a big difference to your fitness levels.
If you hate running by yourself or you can't get up..find a running buddy..we all know plenty of them now. Just once a week tee up to run with them, you are not going to stay in bed if you know someone is waiting for you.Write yourself a running program and stick to it..if you are running on Mondays Wednesdays and Saturdays you ARE running on those days, if you miss one day, once again you are in debt, you have to make it up! Also write the coarse and distance you are going to run on your run days, and no questions asked, that's what you are running.
Change your running program every 3 months so that the course, days or distances are different, that will make it less boring. If you make sure you attend both Lazy Runner sessions in the week then you are most of the way there!If you are running in an event..train for it! Write up a training program and follow it right up to race day. Write done the time you want to run your race in, in big red texta and figure out what you have to do to get that time.
Often in the middle of a training program things go AWOL and you find the plan goes out the window for a week (like mine did last week), don't ditch the whole thing, pick up the next week and get straight back into it, the work you have done before and after that horror week will get you through. Don't ditch an event just because you had a bad week, rewrite and recoup. But do not go into an event untrained, it's bad for your body and it's a horrible feeling when you crash and burn because you were not ready.