I did not want to run this morning. I had a root canal yesterday that was deeper and more painful than expected (also it meant I haven’t exactly eaten much but oatmeal and yogurt yesterday or today), my bed was gloriously warm and cozy, I’m sore from Tuesday’s track workout, I’m tired from working/other activities and it was foggy out. I hit snooze 3 times and finally convinced myself to get the heck out of bed and get my tempo run done. Although my tempo was, ahem, kind of a wreck… I was glad to get in 7 miles before work.
And it got me thinking about the kinds of tricks I use to convince myself that running is more fun and beneficial than sleep or coziness.
So what are some tricks I use?
1. Make your coffee the night before and set your machine to auto brew. I cannot emphasize this enough. Knowing there is fresh coffee waiting for me gets me out of bed. It’s sad, but true.
2. If you don’t want to run, do it anyway. Force yourself out there. Even if you feel like crap and things don’t go as planned at least you’ll have the self-satisfaction of knowing that you at least gave it a shot. Don’t be emotional. I don’t usually feel like brushing my teeth, going to the bank, pumping gas or paying my bills, but I usually do it anyway because it’s a necessary part of life.
3. Find a buddy to keep you accountable. Even if it doesn’t work to physically meet someone for a run, let a like-minded friend know your intentions and ask them to verbally assault you if you start slacking.Verbally assault you with love, of course.
4. Make a rewards system. I am very motivated by presents in all areas of life– I love new stuff. My deal is that if I complete all my scheduled runs to the best of my ability for a month, I get a running treat. Sometimes it’s something big like a Garmin and sometimes it’s somthing small like new socks. Whatever it is, I love shiny things.
5. Keep your focus on the big picture. Training cycles and plans are the sum of a lot of small parts. Having a larger goal will get you out there. You can’t be the best possible runner if you’re skipping speed work or even just regular, everyday shake it out easy runs. Remind yourself that although skipping a run every once in a great while is no big deal that regularly skipping is detrimental to your larger goals.
6. Plan out your week. I generally know what my week looks like on Sunday night so I spend a few moments planning my runs in my head. Life requires adjusting but if you schedule your runs, it’s easier to fit them in. I run before work– if it doesn’t get done then, I usually don’t have time. So, I get up early. It’s not always fun, but I like that it’s over by 7am.
So that’s what I do. Sure, some mornings I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed and can’t wait to get out there, but some mornings, like today, I don’t. But then I remembered I had coffee, new socks and a big picture race to worry about and I rolled my sorry self out of bed. No, my run wasn’t a good time and no, I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be, but I was glad I did it.