I just signed up for a 10k (the AgeUK Leeds Abbey Dash, if anyone wants to join me) and I am not ready for it.
Running makes me feel good, but that doesn’t change the fact that my running style is more Pheobe-from-friends than Mo Farrah.
When I run, I’m slow and uncoordinated. But I guess, as long as I am running, I’m doing okay.
But theres the kicker – as long as I am running. And I’m not always.
I have a tendency to give it my all for a few months, miss a run, then miss another one, and suddenly realise that I haven’t been out of it for weeks and I’m not even sure where my trainers are.
That’s part of the reason I signed up for a 10k: I’ll need to get in training.
Even when I’m mega busy. Even when I feel sluggish, and crappy and down. Even when it’s too hot (my current excuse du jour) or too cold or too rainy.
Not going for a run makes it harder to go next time. You know the pattern:
If you miss a run because you don’t feel like running, then you’ll likely feel even less like running next time. So you skip another run. So you feel even less motivated to run, and you skip the next one.
Until you’re back at square one, and you can’t find your trainers.
And I’m afraid there’s no easy answer. You need to break out if that cycle.
Besides a looming 10k race, here are some of the other things that motivate me to lace up my trainers, put on my headphones and move. Maybe they’ll help you get motivated to go for a run today, too.
10 Reasons to go for a run today
- Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first: running is good for your body. We all know that exercise is good for you. Obviously exersice in general is good for you body, but running specifically reduces the risk of things like heart attack and stroke.
- More importantly though, running is good for your brain. Endorphins, baby! Running, like any exercise, has been shown to improve mood, so the act of going for just one run can help to break that cycle.
- Contrary to popular belief, exercise actually leaves you feeling more energetic, not less. So going out for a run should help that feeling of sluggishness.
- Running can also help you to sleep. For anyone with problems falling asleep, getting exercise, and daylight have been shown to help you drift off.
- Which leads nicely to my next point. Unlike a lot of other forms of exercise, running forces you outside (unless you’d rather run on a treadmill). A daily dose of sunlight is important to help you get enough vitamin D, amongst other things.
- Running is one of the lowest barries to entry of any sport. Literally, a pair of trainers, comfy clothes (leggings and a t-shirt are fine, especially for beginners) and a sports bra (1000% essential for anyone above an A Cup) and you’re good to go (I cover some of my running essentials in this post). Which means you can almost undoubtedly go today – no need to wait until you’ve bought the equipment, applied for the membership of learned the moves.
- Running gives you a sense of achievement. Research has shown that goal setting and achievement release dopamine. As with those tasty endorphins mentioned earlier, sometimes that first ‘win’ (lacing up your teainers and getting out of the door today) is all you need to spark the craving for achievement.
- This might be a controversial one, but try treating your daily run as something you do to get a reward. Gamification (introducing game elements – like prizes and leveling-up – to non-game activities) is a proven motivational technique. Make your run a game (think: Mary Poppins persuading Jame and Michael to tidy up the nursery) through the use of apps that let you level up your achievements, or through your own system of rewards (once I’ve been for a run I’ll have a bubble bath, or a slice of cake, or a long phone call with my BFF – whatever works for you)
- This one might seem a bit ‘woo’ a first, but hear me out: Think about how future you might feel if you go for a run today. I don’t mean that in a grand, ‘picture yourself in 5 years winning the London Marathon whilst wearing your Olympic gold medal’ way. Just, if you’re a regular runner, remember the hard work that not going today could undo. And if you’re not a regular runner yet? Consider where you’d be if you’d started a few months ago, and where you could be in your running journey in a few months time.
- Running gives you time and space to think things through. When I’m at a block with my writing, trying to solve a problem at work, or even just want to clear my head and organise my thoughts, running often does the trick. I’mma be honest, I can’t find any evidence or science on this, but but for me, running kind of lets challenges simmer under the surface, and I’ll often have a breakthrough before I get home.
So think of the benefits – how great you’ll feel and what you can achieve (whether thats over the coming weeks and months or just as a rusult of this run).
I like to think that no run is a bad run – by which I mean that running at all means youre doing better than if you’re not running.
I’ve regretted not going for a run, buy I’ve never regreted going for a run.
Find your trainers.
Dust off your leggings and your sports bra (if you use one).
Open the door. Go outside. Run.