Well, I did it, I beat my own goal. I ran for 12 minutes today. Well not 12 minutes straight, but one seven minute session, and one five minute session. Admittedly, I ran at a pace that barely registers as running. But hey, barely running, still counts as running- even if only barely.
As I ran I thought of tips for people who need to run but hate running- those of you who are like me.
1) Bring a watch but don’t look at it too often. I found that using my watch works best when I work it in with landmarks. For example, today I started running at the 5 minute mark (judging by my watch). When I began running I set a goal to run until I reached the end of the street. After I started running I didn’t look at my watch until I reached my goal. By that point I was at the 12 minute mark. I walked back until my watch said 16 minutes, at which point I began to run with the goal of reaching my front step. I didn’t check my watch until I got home, by then it read 21 minutes. At that point I went for a quick cool down walk.
2) Bring a companion. I find canines work better than humans since they don’t talk. I always bring my dog Kane when I run. He fends off stray dogs that try to bother me, and he is always ready and willing to run farther than I ever could. He is a tireless running partner. Plus, controlling your dog will help take your mind of the fact that you are engaging in one of the most miserably boring activities around- running.
3) Thus far the trick seems to be (if you can’t make yourself enjoy running) getting your mind off of running. I don’t recommend day dreaming, as it can lead to a lack of focus, and to a potential face plant. Sometimes I pick a number, like say 300. Then I count backward from that number, repeating each number 5 times. So I might say in my mind (or out loud if no one else is around), “five, five, five, five, five, four, four, four, four, etc.” All the way to zero. This helps my type A personality stay focused and keeps my mind on something else.
4) I know I said don’t daydream. But if you can stay focused enough to avoid tripping over your dog or your own feet, then let your mind wander. I spent most of my run today thinking about what I would write on this blog- so if this isn’t very good blame the lightheadedness.
5) Well, if all else fails, (and you should have tried this first), try to think positive about something. Although I find it hard to enjoy running, I thought positively (and joyously) about being able to tell everyone who reads this blog how far I had been able to run today. I also thought about how my own story might encourage others. It gave me a nice boost that got me through my last 5 minutes of running.
I hope these tips help you. Let me know if you try them and if they work for you.