Archive for the 'Take it and Run Thursday' Category

Take it and Run Thursday: Motivation

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Ahh motivation. That one thing I either have in excess or don’t have at all. Sometimes I feel like the Energizer Bunny and at another times…well I feel like like Homer Simpson. If only I could find that happy medium. That place where I have the energy to get out the door and not start out so fast that I fizzle before I hit my running goal. But I digress…
To help me keep moving forward I use goals. The best type of goal to me is to have another race scheduled. In fact, at this time I am already registered for 7 races reaching all the way into January of 2009. So maybe that is a little excessive, but it is what works for me. Knowing that next race is just weeks away, or in the case of right now days (I have a 5K on Sunday) is usually enough motivation to get me out the door.
Of course there are days when thinking of my next goal isn’t enough to get my shoes on my feet and my hat on my head. That is when I tell myself just 1 mile. If after the 1 mile I still am not in the mood for my run then I allow myself to come home and get on with my day. I think I can count on one hand how many times I have made it through that mile and actually stopped. Of course sometimes getting out is not the problem, it is getting to the end that is.

There are a couple different tricks of the trade to keep myself moving while I am out. Often trying to remember my goal for that training running can get me to the end. That goal could be to run at a tempo pace, achieve negative splits or reach a new distance goal. If I concentrate on the challenge of reaching that goal it can keep my mind from wandering to the desire to stop my run short. There are days however that can prove to be even too challenging for that. For those days I have other little tricks up my sleeve.

Some days the next mile just seems too far. I know when I get that feeling it won’t last through my whole run. I just need to get myself to the place where I stop worrying about how far I have to go. I instead concentrate on the 10 feet in front of me. Those 10 feet are all that matter. When I get past those 10 feet I then look to the next 10 feet. Eventually I forget the dread I was feeling when looking at the bigger picture and start to relax and enjoy my time with the road.

Another technique is to count your steps. Might seem a little boring, but I have used this technique when I have run out of things to process. No more work problems to sift through or bills to worry about. This is when it is just me and the road and I have nothing left to think about. This doesn’t happen often.

You have to try different techniques to find out what motivates you. In the end it doesn’t matter whether it is a carrot at the end of the stick or a chocolate ├ęclair. If you find something that keeps you heading out the door and down the road then you are ahead of the game.

Read more on motivation from other Take it and Run Participants.

Take it and Run Thursday: The Basics of Running

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

A couple weeks ago Tom over at came up with an idea he called Take it and Run Thursday. He will throw out a topic and everyone that reads his blog and wants to participate can write on the topic and link it back to his blog. It sounds like a cool idea, so I decided to join in on the fun. The topic for this week: “The Basics of Running.”

I’ve decided to approach the topic as if I were talking to someone that was contemplating taking up running. Here goes nothin’!

  1. Shoes Talk to any runner about taking up the sport and the first thing they will probably tell you is to get the right shoes. That doesn’t mean going to your local Athlete’s Foot and grabbing a pair of “Running” shoes that you find attractive. This means going to a local running store and having a professional fit you for your proper shoe. I wasn’t happy when my first pair of shoes turned out to be pink, but I can tell you that my joints loved those pink shoes. They really can mean the difference between finishing your race and ending up with an injury.
  2. Start Slowly Most babies had to crawl before they walked, and likewise you should walk before you run. If you are starting up a running program and haven’t been physically active in some way then you should start walking before you start running. Once you get yourself up to about 20-30 minutes of walking then look into a beginning running program that slowly increases the amount of time you are running. I personally used the Couch to 5K program program. It starts you out running intervals that progressively get longer and longer.
  3. Body Glide is My Friend Something I never leave the house without when I am running is Body Glide. It is a lubricant for athletes that prevents chaffing from the clothes you are wearing. There are many runs I would have never completed if I hadn’t had this beautiful little product.
  4. Cotton Can Be the Enemy Cotton has a tendency to absorb sweat and hold onto it like there is no tomorrow. If you find that moisture in your clothes is a problem you should look into purchasing some moisture wicking shirts, shorts and undergarments. I am a sweater! Cotton just does not work for me for any distances over 3 miles. As I have been running more I have found that I just prefer the lighter feel of moisture wicking fabric while I am running. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be hot out for you to sweat your way through your clothes. I find that when the weather is cold I need that extra protection of the moisture wicking action even more to help me keep my body temperature up.
  5. Safety Safety comes in many forms. During the winter months I spend a lot of time running in the dark. To help keep myself safe I wear a reflective vest, hat, and pants to make sure that traffic can see me. I also carry some pepper spray when I run. Not only is this to help protect me from other people that might be out there but also from animals that may approach me while I am on the run.
  6. Listen to Your Body Overtraining can be a real problem for runners that are just starting out. Listen to what your body is telling you. If you are feeling tired or irritable it might be an indication that you need to take it easy until your body has a chance to recover from the training you are doing. Pushing yourself too hard can make you sick or cause an overuse injury that can put you on the sidelines permenantly if ignored. If something hurts talk to your doctor to help ensure that you will reach your goals safely.

These are the basic guidelines that I follow to make sure that I can continue with this sport that I have grown to love.

Read more on the Basics of Running from other Take it and Run Participants.