Running seems to be one of those truly dualistic exercises. On the one hand, it can give you a high that feels euphoric, as though you're literally invincible. On the other hand, it can make you feel like you've entered a fresh new layer of hell. So, it's all but necessary to figure out how to make running fun, particularly if you tend to identify with the latter of those two feelings.
But most worthwhile things in life come after enduring a little suffering, right? Sometimes, when I'm jogging around the park or find myself on a treadmill, I really have to tap into my well of motivational phrases, or even play a few mind games with myself.
For real. I'd never run if I didn't talk myself through it. Here are a few things I like to tell myself to make my job just a wee bit less brutal.
1. "You're Just Going For A Walk"
And you can literally start by walking if you want!
Begin walking for five to 10 minutes to warm up, then kind of “trip” into a slow jog, and voilà!
2. "You Don't Have To Run Fast"
If you're pushing yourself to go fast, and you feel your body resisting, take the hint and just slow down -- because you can!
If you remind yourself you're allowed to go slow when you need to, it becomes way easier to put some pep in your step at other points during the run.
3. "Just Make It Through This One Song"
When you feel like giving up, just tell yourself to make it through the song you're listening to. Setting little goals like this really tend to help you push all the way through to the end.
And you know what? You might forget you set that goal until you've gotten through one or two more songs.
4. "This Too Shall Pass"
This one's an oh so true classic. The beginning of a run is often the hardest part. So when the aches, pains, and emotional resistance crop up, remember, once you get through the initial struggle, you usually find a stride, and the rest is cake.
5. "It's Not A Race"
Seriously, it's not.
Who are you comparing yourself to? Who are you trying to beat? While setting goals can be great, remember that nobody is keeping track of your results. Your run is just for you and only you.
6. "Give It Your All For Just One Minute"
Allow yourself to have moments when you really are giving it all you have.
Telling yourself it's just for a minute helps, even if you tell that to yourself 15 times in a row.
7. "That Nap Later Is Going To Be Glorious"
You sleep better when you exercise, hands down.
Plus, it can be super motivational to think about how good you'll feel when you're finally in that cozy bed resting your sore, tired muscles.
8. "You Are Enough"
It's nice to remember this at all times, but it's especially reassuring when you're using your body, and perhaps feeling like you aren't meeting a certain standard.
You are and will always be, enough.
9. "This Is Fun, Right?"
Fake it 'til you make it, my friend.