In the first part of my running career I was lucky to be part of either a high school or college team, where a group of competitive, dedicated people came together to run faster. This meant that I had the added benefit of obligatory runs, weight training, cross training and injury prevention. Since moving to a post-collegiate running career and remaining competitive on a national level, I've transitioned to training mostly on my own. This means more flexibility in my schedule and training, but also the need to convince myself to get out the door every day without they accountability of anyone noticing if I don't. Needless to say, as the weather here in Indy has taken a turn for winter in the past few weeks, it can be a struggle for all of us. Here are a few tricks I use when I'm opting for the couch instead of the door:
I won't comment on this for long because Trena Roudebush did a great job of covering it in our blog last week. Simply put, if someone is counting on you to be there, you're roughly 1738x more likely to show up (and you're more likely to have a good time, too!).
Play Mind Games
Run. One. Mile. Just one. Sometimes, when I look out the window to (insert whatever terrible weather event you want here), the only thing I can do to start running is promise myself that I only have to do one mile and as slow as I want. Then, inevitably after 5,280ft of angry, resentful, footsteps I realize that it's not that bad, and I might as well keep going since I already put forth the effort to put on my running clothes.
On that note, for whatever reason putting on running gear is like an irreversible chain reaction for me. If I have my shoes on, it's far more difficult to talk myself out of running. Even though I like to be awake for a while and have a coffee before I run in the morning, if I know that the run is going to be a struggle sometimes the first thing I do upon waking is get dressed to run. It's way harder to transition from couch to run if you need to add in "change out of pajamas" in between.
Remember, for the hundreds of reasons that people run, the primary one should be that it's enjoyable. With the caveat that it's always important to be aware of your surroundings, I've recently taken to listening to podcasts on long runs. I only listen to them while running, and find myself looking forward to the next episode!
Reap The Rewards
On a cold day, one of the best things I do for myself is set my coffee pot to brew about ten minutes before I plan to finish running (in the summer, the equivalent is leaving a bottle of water in the fridge so it's extra cold). Having something to look forward to at the end of the run can make it worth it.
Remember, you don't regret the runs you don't skip. Happy Running!
Editor's Note: Rhiannon Johns is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for the IMM. She is the 2014 Canadian Women's Marathon Champion, and is living & training in Indianapolis. She will be a pace group leader for the Indy Runners Spring Training Program.