A few weeks ago I was in a running rut – I got myself so wound up all the time. I used to live, breath and sleep running, yet my running wasn’t improving at all. If anything it was getting worse and I was becoming physically and mentally exhausted.
After a while I realised that running was starting to feel like work and it wasn’t enjoyable at all! This is supposed to be my hobby, it’s supposed to be fun and I’m supposed to love it. I read a few articles about sports psychology and one of them mentioned, unsurprisingly, that being too tense and too stressed about always PBing can have a negative impact on your running.
So I tried to remember why I loved to running in the first place:
– Gives me a sense of freedom and gets me outside in the fresh air
– I’ve met some great people
– Gets me out at the weekends and makes me visit places I wouldn’t normally
– Gives me a sense of achievement
– Keeps me fit and healthy
Then I went back to basics – I started running without music taking in my surroundings and listening to my body, and tried to look at my Garmin less or run without it, and run what I felt like running at the time. I looked after my body and gave it rest when it needed it. I ran races and looked at the scenery, sucked up the atmosphere and enjoyed it.
What followed in 2 months was an unexpected bonus – I ran 3 new PBs:
– 5k in 25.04 – knocked a minute off
– 10k in 52.32 – knocked 2.5 minutes off
– Half marathon in 1.58.57 – knocked nearly 12 minutes off
With the start of the #Sub50Project it might look like I’m all about PBs, but I’m not. The objective of the #Sub50Project is to learn more about running and what makes us tick as athletes and it’s a chance to share these experiences with others. Running can be such a solitary thing and we can get so wrapped up in ourselves it will be nice to remember we are not alone in our struggles. I’m hoping the meet ups will also be a whole lot of fun! 🙂 If hitting a sub 50-minute 10k happens as a result, then that’s a happy bonus!