You've downloaded a training plan and promised yourself you would stick to it because you have a goal in mind and you do not want to fail at achieving that goal. Or maybe there is no plan, but you would like to get back to having a consistent relationship with training because when you do, you feel better about yourself.
You have the best of intentions set, in your heart, you are motivated and have the desire to get up and go, but alas, the snooze button gets hit, and you roll back over into the deep warm cuddle that is your bed! As you start to rise and reach for your social media, you find it tough watching everyone updating the morning miles, while you're still in your PJ's.
Your challenge isn't about that one run. It's about that promise you made to yourself (again,) to actually get up and go this time. It's a promise to yourself that you're trying to get to where you want to be in life. The broken contracts we make are so easy to brush over, but they compound over time, leaving the thoughts off if we can't trust ourselves who can we trust?!
It's not motivation, because I know you want to run and become a healthier and happier you. Your primary challenge is energy, and you're spending too much of it without giving yourself the adequate rest to put fuel back in the tank. Those runs draw on the very same energy reserve that work, life, managing emotions, behaviours and willpower all sap from. Your well is drying up quickly most days, and your body is trying to send you this information every morning as you struggle to move.
Your real challenge is that you are not listening to the most trusted resource you have to help you understand what you do and do not need to navigate towards the future you envision, your body! Instead, you're looking outwards trying to find the hacks to bypass that valuable feeling and information, by asking the World Wide Web,
"How do I get up and run when you don't want?"
With all its wonder, the mind convolutes what the body is obvious in expressing.
Stop demanding perfection of yourself, across everything you do in life.
It's ok to miss a run.
It's ok to run less.
It's ok not to run as far.
It's ok to slow down.
It's ok to pull back from training for that Marathon.
It's ok to tell your boss you are finding it hard to keep up with the workload and you need support.
It's ok to say I'm doing too much and something needs to give.
Also, you may not love it at times, but it's crucial you learn to live in your body and love it for all the highs and lows you have been through together because it is the most honest relationship in your life. When it's tired and needs to take a break, it will tell you. When it's scared, it will not only tell you, but it will give you the resources and energy to tackle that fear. When it's full of beans, it will make sure you know and carry you through any challenge you set yourself.
That's real magic!
Go to bed in your running kit...Is the most pointless advice I've ever heard.
If I don't want to get up and go for a run, nothing is moving me! Just means I've more shame to carry as I'm getting ready for work. We do want to change behaviours though, and when changing behaviours, it means we've stepped over a threshold and become aware that current behaviours are no longer serving us, but more so hindering. It is therefore likely that we are a little stressed, under pressure, low on energy and potentially leaning towards burnout (at worst.)
So tip one is about merely becoming aware of the current emotional and physiological state your body may be residing in and being gentle in the steps (or runs) you are taking to move beyond your current state of being.
Entering into training can feel like moving from the known to the unknown. The key is finding the balance between both.
Imagine a door in front of you, on one side is stability, safety and certainty. On the other side are unexpressed emotion, unknown outcomes, unknown challenges and unrealised possibilities. This instability can cause us to freeze, panic or run away from opening that door entirely (especially if we are low on energy and under pressure from life.) The secret is to open that door with one foot in the unknown and one foot firmly planted in the known, where we are grounded with the people, tools and systems that give us energy and confidence to keep moving through. This is why listening to your intuition, eating well, sleeping better and sharing how you feel about training with those you trust is key to managing the highs and lows of getting to where you want to be and feeling like you belong there.
Go for a walk, if the run feels like too much of a mountain to climb. Why did you start running in the first place? To feel better about yourself? To feel healthier? To give you energy for life? To provide you with some "me time?" These benefits can come from simply putting one foot in front of the other at a gentler pace, one that doesn't require so much energy, and therefore your body is willing to go along with what the mind wants, as it has the resource to give. This potentially solves a second problem, which is creating too many hard habits at once, which we are not great at.
Maybe, for now, you need to summon the willpower to get out of bed, without stacking the will to run on top. Build a routine around getting up and going for 5 minutes of fresh air. Once that becomes an automatic behaviour, move to up, out and a 15 min run.
Remember, forming new habits can take as few as 18 days or as many as 245 to form*.
If you continue to not look at and make changes to how you approach training, you will struggle to find fulfilment and move beyond your comfort zone into a place where truth grows occur, the unknown. Exercise will always be hard at times, and with that energy and motivation will zig-zag. Training should and can be a virtuous circle that gives you energy and doesn't keep sapping you off whatever you have left in the tank. If you follow these tips and continue to explore this question I assure you of the following
Until next time friend, keep it simple, don't make training harder than it needs to be and ensure you keep taking action to make your personal and professional development enjoyable
" I give you back the time, energy and focus for getting results across your personal and professional goals, while still being able to show up for family and friends. These consistent and lasting results come from practical tools and strategies that are quickly implemented around your unique challenges, busy day and are realistic to maintain, even when life is hard. Your result is a life that is simpler, easier and more enjoyable. "
*UCL - https://www.the1thing.com/blog/time-management/the-21-days-to-build-a-habit-myth/
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