This post should be called, ‘how to move house, get your dream job and run twenty miles in one week’. If I thought fitting running around tube strikes was a challenge, week three has upped the stress levels.
I’m five miles into my long weekend run, my legs are heavy, I’m exhausted after a house move and sleepless night and I’m stressing about my pace now the marathon is now only 90 days away. It’s only when I got in the bath eight miles later and stumbled across Kate Avery’s Women’s Health article that I realised why everything had felt so hard. I wasn’t thinking like a champion.
Stress definitely changes a run, so here’s my week three tips on keeping calm and jogging on!
Make a ‘bad-run’ playlist
Some people love running with music, other’s hate it. Personally, I’d be lost without my Beats and Spotify ‘pop’ playlist on the long boring weekend runs (I’m still hunting for a running club to join – watch this space!) Yet when you’re having a bad run, even your favourite jam (I’m not cool enough to use that term am I?) can annoy you. My bad run playlist is not anywhere near as technical as Spotfiy’s pace-matching tracks, but always puts a smile on my face.
Take a deep breath
Kate Avery’s article mentions a London Marathon study that breaks runners down into four categories; internal associator (focusing on your body while running), external associator (focusing on your competitors or markers), external disassociator (scenery or landmarks) or internal disassociator (distracting your mind with other problems).
I’m definitely one to focus on my body whilst pounding the pavements, my tired legs, my ankle aching, my chest feeling tight, oh wait, now I’ve got stitch. Earlier this year, my physio told me the knee injury I was visiting her for was actually in my head. In other words, stop overthinking every ache and pain. Taking a deep breath and reminding myself that I’m ok often goes along way.
Stop and take a photo
Growing up in a family of real runners (as in, they really love running) I’ve always got advice to hand when I need it. Something that has stuck with me is to pick my head up and ‘admire the view’ when it gets hard. Stopping and taking a photo is one way to do this, as nine times out of ten, by the time I’m home and uploading it to Instagram, I’ve forgotten about the hard parts of the run anyway.
So my week three lesson? Set off thinking it’s going to be a good run and it normally will be. Bring on week four and my new positive attitude!
P.s If you want to sponsor me on my journey, here’s a link to my page.