The Joy of Running

2020/08/04 Home Education and advice

The Joy of Running

I’m starting to pick up running, but I find it not as easy as it seems for the runners I meet on the street. Yet it’s as simple as a pair of shoes and then you step one foot in front of the other! But I don’t find it fun, I find it difficult, and I quickly run out of steam.

So I push through it, because I tell myself that this is a new sport for me, I will probably get used to it. Motivated to persevere, I put on my running shoes and set off for a run in the streets of Montreal. I’ve been running for 1 month, for about 30 minutes, 3 times a week.

Still no sparks between jogging and me. It is still difficult for me to run every time. I still haven’t found the joy I was looking for.

Joy. The joy of running may vary depending on the perceived exertion during the race. This depends on the state of physical and mental fatigue. To self assess where you are mentally and physically during the effort, ask yourself how much you want to slow down or stop, how much pain you feel, and how much you want to reach your goal.

Several studies have attempted to identify precisely what determines the limits of endurance. These studies looked at the physical limits, but failed to find the exact answer because much of the limitation is in the brain. It is largely psychological. It is our head that processes the information sent by the muscles that are fatigued, that decides to stop when the body gives the information that it has done too much. It is the brain that analyzes information and perceives it. It then makes the decision to stop the machine, or to continue.

It is possible to modulate motivation while running simply by thinking positively. For example, using self-persuasion can be very effective and can become an automatic the more you use it. So we replace the thought of “I’m tired, my legs are tired, I still have 3 km to run to reach my goal, I will never finish” by “I only have 3 km left, I’m more than half way done, I’m fine, I’m proud of myself ”. With, as a bonus, a smile on your face, which will facilitate these thoughts (and perhaps make passers-by want to run!).

Here are a few tips to make it easier to smile while running

  • Run at a comfortable pace. Find YOUR speed. A speed that you can catch your breath.
  • Learn to listen to yourself. Are you mentally and physically exhausted after your busy work day? Put your intensives training program aside and go on a 15 minute mini-outing
  • Find a course that you enjoy. Discover Montreal on a sightseeing tour, go for a walk in the park, run on trails in the forest, or on the water’s edge during the heat waves.
  • Run with people. Find yourself a running partner. Invite a friend, accompany an experienced runner. There are several running clubs that you can join.
  • Listen to good music. You can even use it to dictate your pace. There are 170-180 bpm playlists that could guide your pace.
  • Use a pre-made running program. This will give you a guide of ​​how to progress. Do not necessarily follow it to the letter, progress at your own pace. There are a list of them on the Clinique du Coureur website
  • Listen to your body. See a physiotherapist if pain prevents you from running.
  • Run for the joy of running. Try running without a watch, without a strap, without a gadget that calculates your running stats.
  • Replace your performance goal with the simple goal of having fun. Once the fun of running is regained, the two will work together, and improving your performance will be easy.

Go on and enjoy your run!

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