How does running get more manageable and your long run easier?
The biggest struggle for runners, including myself, when we take time off is to work our way back into fitness. I won't lie. There is nothing fun about it.
It is one thing if you are a seasoned runner who has been running for years but what if your brand new, overweight, or have never run a day in your life?
Running is one of those sports that no one can truly learn to love unless you spend sometime really giving it a shot.
Get in the routine
The hardest thing is getting back into a routine, it takes me a good 4 weeks to get back into the mindset of loving running again after I take just 2 weeks off.
I am even more in the hole right now because of a little ‘job' I have to accomplish for the next 9 months that is taking me away from some big races I had planned on running this year.
The trick is getting the rust off your shoulders and get back into great shape. We all need a dose of motivation sometimes and you have to find ways to motivate and fuel your goal.
Have you seen the movie ‘what about Bob'? Have you caught yourself saying similar mental montra's to get you fired up,
I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful… I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful… I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful…
Chances are it might have not helped, especially when you are first getting back into it.
A 5-minute run may seem like a chore but let me tell you, don't lose heart over it. Give it time. This is SO important. If you have to think like Bob Wiley so be it…
baby steps get on the bus, baby steps down the aisle, baby steps…
The idea of taking baby steps to get your endurance built up, as ironic as it sounds, is all about taking baby steps until you have finally built up the strength and stamina to get fit enough where running is actually fun.
It is a hassle to get out for a 5-10 minute run but don't forget the small steps along the way.
I know how you feel and can relate to people who are just struggling to do a 5-minute run and I understand 3 hour marathoners struggling with thoughts that they don't have the ability to break 2.40, 2.30, 2.20.
Find your motivation
I simply get my iPod out because I know when I am out of shape, music is my answer to override having to hear my every step early on.
If married, go out with your spouse.
Join a great team!
I have been going out for walks with my wife talking about how fast I want to run next year.
It takes some steam off and helps me to remain motivated to get back into shape.
Your 5 to 10 minute jog may seem hard now but finding a way to keep motivated and getting out the door on a daily basis is going to build up a great deal of strength to extend your run out to 60 minutes.
Consistency is so important.
Running with music, especially early on, can make a 10-minute run feel much easier and help your body in producing endorphins that will make longer runs feel much shorter than they actually are. Baby steps!
Be Overly Patient
Do a 10-minute run every day with one 20-minute run and build from that. The beautiful thing about the sport is running is cumulative.
The miles you ran years ago are still in your legs and you can only build strength from every run you do.
The biggest hurdle for most people is the early stages of training is you feel as though you'll never get into shape.
It is a normal feeling.
Your willingness to get out the door everyday is huge.
You do that consistently and I promise you, you will be doing 60 minute runs and they will feel easier than the 10-minute jogs you did early in your build up.
The body will adapt to any stress you place on it but you don't expect instant results. Be patient.
One Run At A Hard Pace
It could be a ten minute run early on. You warmup for 2 and a half minutes, then run at a harder pace for 5 minutes, with a 2 and half minute cool-down.
You will notice large gains in how you feel on easy runs a few weeks down the road by practicing running hard one day a week.
It doesn't have to be complicated.
Build your lactate tolerance
I am not talking about anaerobic threshold training or molecular adaptation here but doing simple techniques in your weekly training that will pay you back ten fold down the road.
If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it – Michael Jordan