Tag Archives: lazy runner

get motivated – tips from a lazy-ish person

7 May

Every time I see an article that says “running motivation tips and tricks” I immediately start reading it.  I’ve read countless articles like this.  I appreciate what they have to say, I really do.  The advice is quality but doesn’t always address my motivational dilemmas.

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Most of the authors seem to be people who can’t sit still.  Me?  More than capable!  Or it seems the days they aren’t motivated are few and far between.  I seem to struggle with the motivation to get up and get out more often.  So, I decided to write a piece myself.  Perhaps it might resonate with you too.  I can’t be the only person out there who needs a slightly different take on the “how to go for a run (work out) when you really don’t want to” … at least I hope not.

Problem #1: The couch is too comfy.  The thing of it is, I can be lazy when it comes time to working out (as you might’ve guess by the title!).  Once I get too cozy, all bets are off and there is a higher chance of me staying where I’m at rather than hitting the streets in my trainers.

 

The Fix: I hate to say it, but I can’t sit down when I get home.  I have to change into my work out clothes immediately and can’t do any of the  “I’m going to sit for a moment” business.  Don’t sit down!  Ride the wave of adrenaline from getting home from work (or wherever), or the alarm clock, do the little things that need to be done, change, and get out the door.  As fast as possible.  Before the couch’s siren calls or the snooze button become too loud and convincing!

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this is essentially where the couch comes into play

Problem #2: Sabotaging my workout time.  There are way too many times where I’ve decided on a time for a run when deep down I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit it into my schedule.  I’ve picked a time during a really busy day when I knew it was going to be massively crunched and it could be sacrificed.  But I felt all noble & accomplished that I was planning for it.  When it doesn’t happen, because my timetable was ridiculous, I get down on myself for not making the workout happen.  At the same time I can blame not going on not having enough time.  Built in excuse that isn’t based on being a lazy buns!

The Fix: There are going to be days when a run simply can’t happen.  I need to be honest with myself regarding these days.  This is the way of training.  BUT some time management needs to happen here.  I can keep the days where my agenda items are stacked miles high to a minimum by planning ahead.  This means doing as much prep for the day as possible and looking for more efficient routes to accomplish tasks <— a constant work in progress.  I know people suggest scheduling a work out time and viewing it as an appt you can’t possibly miss.  My brain is onto this game though, and if we are on the same wave length, so is yours.  This is where getting out the door by sheer force of grit and will come into play until it becomes more habitual.

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I need to work harder on making good habits … bad habits are just so much easier to establish!

Problem #3: Overhyping the start of training.  This is a classic motivation killer because it becomes this MASSIVE event.  I recognize some suggest to announce your training start date to the world to garner support.  However, for procrastinators like myself, it turns the start date into a scary impending opportunity for defeat.  Suddenly there is this monumental task sitting there and it’s much easier to shy away then risk falling flat on my face in front of an audience.

The Fix: Don’t make the sweeping announcement.  Pretty simple, yeah?  I do want to share with the world, but these declarations can too overwhelming.  An element of procrastination is fear of failure, so the build up can be too much.  Begin training and get a more established routine down, & then yell it from the rooftops!  I’ve done it both ways, and when I went ahead and waited until I was a couple of weeks into my training to spread the good news, I still got support and it was of the “keep up the great work” variety.  When I declared my start date, I got lots of “good lucks!” which are just as nice, of course, although the latter works better for me.

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Problem #4: Getting frustrated & losing focus.  This runs parallel to my conundrum of setting my expectations too high.  Train for a marathon in 6 weeks when my running fitness is in the gutter?  Of course I can!  I tend to get frustrated when I don’t make progress as quick as I want or expect of myself.  This is a common theme in every area of my life, so it naturally carries over to my running.  Hope is a wonderful thing, nevertheless, when it comes to expecting our bodies to perform physical miracles they aren’t possibly prepped for, they rebel.  In all kinds of painful ways!  With regards to losing focus, marathon training seems to last FOR-E-VER, so what is one missed run here or there?  Most likely nothing terrible, but for us motivationally challenged folk, the “here or there” can derail a great established routine quickly.

The Fix: Take a good look at the expectations.  Expectations really do get us in trouble – I find we tend to either set them too high or too low without taking all of variables into consideration.  Not to mention, the need to check the good ol’ ego.  Any type of training takes hard work, and focusing on small chunks at a time helps turn goals into realities.  The frustration piece … well, this could just be me.  I don’t mind hard work but I want results entirely too quickly.  I’m a bit ridiculous!  I also need to remind myself, A LOT, of just how easy it is for me to slip back into the cushy bad habits and crush those “it won’t be so bad” thoughts with a stomp from my Brooks.

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I’m hoping I’m not the only person who struggles with motivation and isn’t always helped by the pearls of wisdom that are commonly offered.  Again, I don’t think the advice is bad and I do utilize it, nonetheless, the above tips are what I fall back to when I’m in need of that boost.  I love running, I really do.  I love the feeling of a healthy routine of running when I get home from work.  Not to mention giving myself multiple high-fives when I’m done working out and all cleaned up from a good sweat session.  Getting started though … or fighting exhaustion after a long day … or simply a “I don’t wanna” can jeopardize success and be a challenge to fight.

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Oh, and watch some inspirational running documentaries.  I love the one about the Barkley Marathons – these are always really helpful in the motivational category!

thursday truths

19 Feb

Man, I wanted to think of another “t” word for this title as I love alliteration.  But I was too lazy.

Anyway, here are some truths:

1.  I didn’t run Mon/Tues/Wed.  I know I said I was going to and that I didn’t think I should run more than 3 days in a row.  Now I’m about to run 4 days in a row to finish out the week.  What can I say?  I was cold.  And tired.  And lazy.

2.  I don’t like mini Reeses cups but I like regular size ones.

3.  I’ve figured out how to have two coffees a day.  I figure since my morning coffee is smaller (BARELY 16 oz) then I definitely need 6-8 oz more in the afternoon.  It’s science.

this is me

4.  My co-workers mentioned this movie today and now we all can’t stop laughing about it.

5.  As mentioned, I had pizza last week.  Now, I can’t get rid of that craving!  I’m ordering it again on Friday night.

6.  My friends have surprised me with a fun day on Saturday with all of us together.  They all have kiddies and two live out of town so this is a BIG deal.  The truth part?  We are going to watch 50 Shades of Grey.  The things I do for my friends.

7.  I’m really in the mood to buy stuff.  I’ve had to talk myself out of it on a couple of occasions so far and even asked office mate to step in and talk me down from the purchasing cliff.  Aside from the two pairs of running shoes (used birthday money) I’ve been doing okay.  But the urge is so tough to fight!

8.  I’m just freakin’ freezing lately.  It puts the kabosh on ALL of my motivation.  I want my hoodie/sweatpants cocoon forever.

this was basically me today

9.  I’ve been in bed by 10 pm (one 10:30) every single night for the last week and a half.  I’m surprised at how this has helped my tummy.

10.  Speaking of my tummy, I desperately wanted to order the best pizza ever this past Saturday.  It’s from a local place, mega deep dish, buttery goodness.  I mean, I had the phone number DIALED.  Then I remembered how horrible I felt last week and thankfully held myself back.  It was a good decision, especially since I’ve felt pretty decent all week.

11.  Of course this means I did some of that horribleness to myself last week.  Pretty much a work in progress, I am.

this is the opinion of my stomach

12.  My concept of hell would be an endless line of cars that I had to scrap ice and snow off of forever.  I absolutely hate doing this.  I have no idea why I live in MI.

13.  I’m headed to a real live PT professional tonight to have my ankle/arch checked out!  My arch has been messed up for a couple of years now and my ankle for about a year, maybe a tad longer.  It’s a free walk-in injury clinic that happens once a month through our local running group.  I almost didn’t make an appt because driving at night AND in the snow is just a bad idea for me in general.  Then I figured out I wouldn’t be able to make it for another two months.  I decided to stop being lazy/nervous and JUST DO IT.

14.  Apparently, I can’t count as I realized (with the help of a friend) that Simon will be 10 yrs old this May.  What in sam-hill?!  I can’t even get over this!  I thought he was going to be 8.  Some pet-mom I am.

Simon loves some rocky 4!  This was two years ago.  I'm weirded out...

Simon loves some Rocky 4! This was two years ago. I’m weirded out…

I WILL run tonight.  I can’t put it off any longer if I am going to hit 20 miles this week.  I’m hoping PT person will show me how to tape my ankle up right as it helps immensely.  Or they will just pull the ache/pain out of it all magic like – I’d be okay with this as well.

Over and out friends.

long run tips from a lazy runner

24 Mar

Here’s the deal… I’m not one of those folks who LOVES exercise.  I don’t thrive off of the idea of it and I don’t come home from work or greet the day with a loud, “Wahooo!  I get to work out today!”.  In fact, if you were to invite me to some kind of boot camp class or a movie, I would choose the latter, every.single.time.  I would rather go-go-gadget the remote, or coffee than my Hokas.

This should indicate just how much I actually like running.  I get up on my own accord and run some miles.  Yep, plural.  Weird.  That being said, the long run isn’t easy for me – the impending miles seem a bit overwhelming to be honest.  So here are my tips to get through, you know, just in case you are a lazy runner like me.

1.  Get off of the couch.  Yes, this is one of the hardest steps.  Then procrastinate a bit more before getting ready.  Yesterday I tried out a new hairstyle.  Look at the Health and Fitness pinterest page for some motivation or read a running blog to get all jazzed.  Then I really have to get off of the couch.

oh man, I would kill this guy but it looks fairly effective

2.  Wear comfortable underwear (or dress for success, whatever this means for you).  I’m not one of the commando runners and proper undies is very important for me.  Uncomfortable ones will make me cut short a run every time.  I could continue but I’ll leave it at that.  The rest of the outfit should be comfortable and make you feel confident.  I have this jacket from Costco that was cheap and fits so well!  It’s super cute and locks and loads my upper half.  Oh and it has lots of pockets!  Yesterday, I wore a shirt from a race I didn’t run.  Shaming can be a helpful motivator as well.

3.  A good playlist.  This is probably obvious but a good one can really amp me up.  There are certain songs which basically keep me running even when I don’t want to.  There are other songs that remind me of people in my life and I end up thinking about them as I run.  Sometimes I leave the tunes behind but this is typically on the shorter runs.  It’s kind of like bribery by music.

4.  Plan your route.  On a long run a few months ago I thought out a route that I swore would be 19 miles round trip.  Planning out a 19 mile route is actually tougher than I anticipated and not even half way through I was very discouraged because the miles weren’t adding up.  It was like running through quicksand without making any progress.  And it broke my spirit.  When I plan it out, at least I don’t have any misconceptions of how many miles I am running.  Reality seems to help… well, sort of.  I can be in denial that I am running X miles but then not have my soul crushed when my garmin registers 3 when it feels like 10.

5.  Visualize.  When I am starting to hurt I think of past races where I surpassed my own expectations.  I make sure to stick with recent races.  Or I think about how I will feel at the finish line of my next race.  This is what I did with Dopey and I was surprised by the effectiveness.  Plus it got me excited to get to the finish line.

you can insert any race there!

6.  Create a mantra.  Some people will do things like, “kill the hill” or something along these lines.  Mine?  I say, “focus on form, not on pace”.  Sometimes “pace” turns to “pain” – it just depends on which mile I am running.  I know, it doesn’t seem like something that shoots my motivation through the roof but it has a good beat and keeps me focused.  I don’t think a mantra has to make a tiger roar – it has to get me through the miles.

this is more like what my mantra makes me feel like

7.  Rest day.  Tell yourself you only have 2 more runs until it’s a rest day!  Or at least a cross training day.  I never count the days, as in 2 more days until a rest day since this makes it seem very far away.  Counting the actual runs makes it seem much closer!

8.  Walk breaks.  I used to think walk breaks were the worst!  I felt as though I failed.  Now, I’ve learned to recognize the benefit of walk breaks.  I read an article that talked about how walk breaks also build endurance so I started to be okay with them.  I still like it better when I can run the whole route but you know, I don’t feel like a failure anymore.

great advice!

9.  Stick to downhills.  At least as much as possible.  Yesterday I started my route backwards so I climbed the toughest hill first and then the rest of the run was a bit better.  It’s fairly hilly around me anyway but I didn’t incorporate some of the more beastly ones.  I was too tired from Saturday when I didn’t follow my own advice.

10.  Work off your circadian rhythm.  On weekends I love to sleep in a bit, drink coffee, hang out on the couch and catch up on whatever is on the telly.  I like running in the afternoon/evenings much better.  Careful about waiting too long – this can lead to, “I’ll do it tomorrow”.  Trust me.

because I’ve gotten dumber since graduating, I thought it was a “cicada rhythm”. I’m slightly ashamed.

11.  Tweet.  Not when you are done – before!  And ask for encouragement.  Our twitter friends come through with “you can do it!” and the cheers help me out.  Then tweet when you are finished.  You/I deserve the accolades.  Also, I always imagine cars driving past me thinking one of the following:  “Go runner girl go!” – this is from a fellow runner.  “Wow, I wish I could do this too” – this is from someone who wants to run.  “What an idiot!” – this is from someone has some respect but doesn’t understand running.  Chances are no one is thinking anything but I like to pretend I have cheerleaders everywhere.

12. Take the phone.  This way, you won’t feel rushed to get back for an important call or possibly miss that text you’re hoping comes through from that certain someone.  Taking your phone alleviates this (not that he texted anyway but this is more of a personal issue!).  Oh and for safety.

oh man, isn’t this the truth?!

13.  Be proud.  Yay!  We did it!  I’m not sure if long runs are harder for lazy runners or not but I know it takes quite the effort to get up and go.  You know how people say, once you are out there you are fine?  Nope.  I can be out there and cut it short.  Or how about, just get dressed and then you don’t have any excuses.  Nope.  I’ve been half way dressed and decided not to go.  Completing the miles is always a big deal for me.  It doesn’t come naturally and I push hard to accomplish each mile.  Then there is that endorphin rush when I am finished (most of the time) and then I’m all jacked to do it again next time.  This running thing is quite strange.

I am excellent with excuses.  So, I have to be very diligent when it comes to long runs because I can think of TONS of thing to do other than hit the pavement.  Like take a nap.  Since I want the end result, a sub-2 half marathon time, be in better shape and some kick ass leg muscles, I need to do the work.  So annoying.  I wish that once you have run a marathon or a 1/2 that your body could always do it.  You know, like riding a bike.  Then all you would have to do is some extra speed training.  Maybe in another universe…

this really is the truth

this really is the truth

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