“But I hate running. …” (Sigh) Yes, I know you do. You told me yesterday and the week before that. You even tweeted it last night. But have you ever asked running’s opinion of you? Well, I asked, and let’s just say running has a few things to say.
It gets a lot of lip in the bumper-plated world of sweaty garage gyms and converted warehouse boxes. Some members have the audacity to row, lift or, dare I say it, not even show up on “running” days.
In fact, you put way more time in looking the part and coordinating your shoes, shorts and knee-highs than you do on the running itself. Yeah, we know what’s going on there.
So putting your own selfish feelings aside, this is what running has to say about you. And if you ever care to get back in its good graces, you might just want to follow these tips:
1. You don’t call.
Like the neglected friend that you don’t call, text or even follow online, there couldn’t be more distance between you and running. There’s little love lost, and guess what, that goes both ways.
In fact, don’t be surprised that when you do “call” on running, when you realize you just might need this friend in your life, running is busy and has better things to do. And at first that burns. Chances are you feel bad or guilty because running is something that we are all supposed to be good at, right?
Guilt, though, ain’t helping as you sit sullenly with jump rope in hand staring at the 400-meter repeats on the board that you now have to do.
TIP: Fortunately, you can get over it! Pick up the damn phone and start showing up again on those running days. Add a short running day of your own, and you and running will be soon back in that honeymoon phase.
2. You don’t listen.
OK, so the day your gym makes you run farther than 400 meters, you do anything other than listen to what’s going on. Akin to the obligatory phone call to your great-aunt, you keep the conversation short and all surface. “Yeah, I’m good. How are you? Great? Well, nice to hear. Talk to you next year.”
Running expects as much enthusiasm and focus as squatting and Olympic lifting. You’ve got to sit down, stay awhile and dig in. You have to at least pretend like you’re having a good time. But if you fake it long enough, you just may realize that running, like your great-aunt, is actually one of the cooler things going on.
TIP: Do yourself a favor, pause your YouTube stream of snatch world records and watch a running video or two online and pay attention the next time you’re out there. You just might learn something.
3. You’re too sensitive.
Running will not be your best friend on day one. It might even pick on you a little bit. But don’t be too sensitive. Running is just showing you, plain as day, what you’re missing as an athlete. And if you listen carefully, it’ll show you exactly how to get it back!
TIP: If your calves are smoked, give yourself some TLC and focus on running more relaxed with better posture. Knees beat up? Roll out those quads, hit the couch stretch each day, and focus on your cadence and pulling mechanics.
Set your expectations accordingly, and you will enjoy the process of grinding out new running gears and cleaning up the ones you’ve had this whole time.
4. You want too much too soon.
Whoa, pump the brakes. You both just met, so don’t expect to move in together. Move too fast and whatever charm running has wears off real damn quick. You’ll be back on the street with a bruised ego, a bum knee, smelly shoes and a heart-rate monitor strap no one else wants.
Move slow and consistently, however, and you’ll be building a foundation that will carry you the rest of your life. Remember, every little “fight” is an opportunity to further understand why you break down, how to fix it and move ahead stronger for it.
TIP: Running doesn’t have to be hard in the beginning. There’s a lot of value in getting good running reps in at lower intensities. Add two extended warm-ups or cool-downs each week of 10 to 15 minutes, and you’ll be moving ahead at a sustainable pace.
5. It’s all about YOU!
Running has given a lot to you your whole life. Some form of it got you outside in the world, transported you to work and even prepped you for the latest CrossFit workout. It probably got you out of danger at one point, and you know you played a lot of recess on those feet of yours way back. We are and have always been runners of some form or another.
But when you’re asked to call, to listen, to occasionally have thick skin, play the long game and give back, we throw the remote to the ground looking for a new game to play or new show to watch.
So yeah, you may “hate running,” but as we can see, that door swings both ways.
The good news: We have a plan for you. Think about your future of almost guaranteed awkward and painful running encounters and realize it can be the exact opposite. Running can be your ticket out of injury, boost you to your next level of performance, manage your stress and get you exploring the planet as we are all meant to do.
So stick around, give back even just a little bit by following the above tips, and this is one relationship that will repay you for the rest of your days. Running is the key to the castle. It’s the crucial and all too often missing ingredient in our athletic ambitions and yes even our long-term “quality of life” retirement plan. Check us out at The Run Experience for way more great content on how to run strong, fast and injury-free and build that running relationship you’ve secretly always wanted.