It happens to the best of us – when running takes a dip, you mainline Netflix and your favourite pair of running shoes gravitate to the back of the wardrobe. You look on your scales – perhaps the numbers haven’t changed much but your clothes are a little tighter and you start feeling soggier around the edges.
And I’m not alone. The lovely Amanda who I met up with for lunch yesterday is in a post-marathon funk. The issue, and one many of us share, is training for a marathon is hard. But when it only feels like work, that’s when it becomes drudgery. And the result? Running loses its joy and once the marathon is over, running comes to a grinding halt.
I can’t blame anything nearly as impressive as a marathon. While I deferred London this year because of issues with my lower back, it didn’t rule out running totally. Instead, life got in the way as it’s apt to do every now and again. I did keep running but fewer miles and slower and slower. Earlier in the year I was in Brisbane, and did run!
But I’m getting out of the funk and moving on. I decided it’s too much hard work being miserable.
So, I’m two weeks in to trying to silence the blerch. I’m doing better some days than others.
Getting back into running
Last weekend was great – both days. Albeit the runs were slow and there was a bit of walking involved, I did get to take some pics along the Thames, hang out with some fabulous folk and eat cake! Perhaps a little too much of the nutella and banana cake, but it happens.
Tuesday – running home from work was OK, some walking up a mile long hill on the route but other than that, fine. Thursday – awful. It felt like running through mud – my legs heavy and slow. No zip in my step and a few too many walking breaks.
The one big lesson of the week
I’ve got choices about how I respond to awful runs. One is to beat myself up and get grumpy. The other is to be a little more Zen about it – I was out, I was running, and there were no bus rides for me on the way home (though it was very tempting). I choose the second option.
My question is: when does running get easier? I’ll let you know. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in a month’s time, but it will.
It will take some time. There will good, bad and downright ugly moments, but it will get better.
15 ½ miles further along than I was a week ago. Good times!
I’ve had some brilliant advice back on ‘When does running get easier?’ Thanks all.
Here it is so far….
Sam – For me? It’s about my tenth run back. I just accept it’s hard to get back but improvement comes….It’s a funny improvement curve.
Mel – I sign up for a race and then panic run
Harriet – I’m coming out of this – just! Yesterday I did 6 miles but remember not so long ago completing 3 and not being able to go further….don’t think of how fit you were when you were doing the marathon. Don’t compare yourself to then…As they say, a 12 minute mile is the same distance as an 8 minute one!
Amanda – Today I started small. Very small. 3k teeny tiny small after oooooh many months!
Emma – Just remember there are always ups and downs! Pick a route you like that isn’t too long and don’t put pressure on yourself. Decide on meeting small goals. I had been off with a virus for 2 weeks in the middle of half marathon training. Forced myself out to do 10 miles yesterday. It was horribly tough but have a great sense of achievement afterwards. I nearly didn’t go as was feeling too scared!!
Rob – for me it got easier when I had a routine that fitted with my commitment to running and other areas of life
And I think this has to be my favourite….
Heather – Sign up for a run with wine en route. Cheers you up no end and give you energy you never knew you had!
Lessons to take from this
- There are ups and downs and it takes time
- Get your shoes on and get out the door
- Don’t compare now to where you were when in proper training
- Running needs to become just part of your life
- Sign up for a race
- Sign up for a race with wine en route
Further advice welcome!