It’s all in the mind…?

I’m still struggling a bit on the motivation front. I can’t understand why. I know that I benefit so much from running, and I know that once I’m out I enjoy it. Sometimes it feels great straight away, I start off down the road and appreciate how springy my legs are. Other times it takes a while, maybe a mile to get into my stride. Losing fitness doesn’t help, but I’m still a lot fitter than when I started. Sometimes I will be jogging along and I find that I have slowed down to a walk, why? My breathing is OK, my legs don’t hurt. It’s like there is a little pacemaker inside my head that’s set to slow and I have to make the mental effort to over ride it, to say hey why are you walking, run! 

On my ‘ staycation’ I managed 3 short runs, and an 8 mile walk with the boys. On the other days I got involved with other things, so didn’t have time, then I went back to work. It’s been a seriously busy week ( so no running). Since I started running, I’ve been aware of lots of other people who run or who have taken up running. One of the girls mentioned a local group which runs on a Saturday near to where I live and suggested that I went along. I said I would, so despite feeling a bit tired and unenthusiastic, I went. It was good,a mixed ability group so I didn’t feel completely useless, and this was the first week of a 12 week programme leading up to 10k. The fact that it’s close to home is really good too. After I’d done it I felt a real motivational boost, but spent the rest of the day feeling shattered.

i find that I used to read a lot about running and find it motivating. Now much less so. There was a really good article in one of the running magazines about how people ( very good amateurs) fit running in around their lives. It just made me feel awful that I haven’t been able to get up at 5:30 every day to fit in a quick run.

so this afternoon whilst I was thinking about whether to go for a run or go to sleep I found myself asking myself how I could overcome this mindset, as just reminding myself of good runs and telling myself how much I had benefitted wasn’t getting me going. I came to the conclusion that the problem is in my head and to solve it I need to tackle my head, so I have downloaded a self hypnosis app to try to improve my motivation. It’s a bit if a strange move, but I googled hypnosis and running and surprisingly there is quite a bit out there,so I’m not the first!

anyway, just going out for a quick trot before bed. Can’t believe that it’s gone dark already at 8:30!

has anyone else tried any unorthodox motivation techniques?

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About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
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15 Responses to It’s all in the mind…?

  1. Craig says:

    Sorry to hear that you haven’t quite got your motivation back. Have you considering entering a race? Maybe having something to train and run for, will give you back your motivation.

    • mawil1 says:

      I have been thinking about that, either seeing if my friend wants to enter a 10k at the end of the course, or maybe entering a cross country event, of which there are some coming up in the area. I like off road better than road running, but it will be winter! Just wondering if I should think about spikes!

  2. Nev Boyle says:

    Happens to all of us sometimes. I look for a really nice location, leave my garmin at home, have a long slow jog, and at the end have warm coffee in a coffee shop reading the latest edition of Runners World. You will find your way.

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks for your comment Nev, I agree that sounds idyllic, a nice jog in the autumn leaves, a warm coffee shop and a magazine. You have worked out what kind of runner I am! Normally I run from the door of my house, which has the benefit of saving time, but I do have places I would like to run a short car (or rail) journey away, so I should, no will give myself permission to do that! Best wishes, julie

  3. bitzy-ku says:

    I haven’t heard about hypnosis for running – sounds interesting worth a check :-). It’s hard when you hit the wall, I hit it a few weeks back too – I totally lost my enthusiasm for running and started to detest it. It didn’t help at the time that I was very stressed and probably exhausted and I saw running as a pressure that I didn’t enjoy, so the theory of the mindset must play a big part. I hope joining a group can help you or joining a race, a new goal may help to work wonders. I’ve just upped the ante and gone for some new routes and slightly longer distance – the change of view is refreshing and I am both surprised and pleased with how I have coped with it – it’s renewed my faith in myself and my ability and perhaps this will be what you need to feel too, don’t be too quick to put yourself down – don’t forget how far you have come 🙂 🙂 xx

    • mawil1 says:

      Hi, yes I remember you seemed to have a lull awhile back. I think you are right about stress and pressure playing a part. I’ve actually taken on a new role at work, which is stimulating but really taking up a lot of my spare time and energy at the moment. However it’s good to hear that you have come out the other end! Nev Boyle also suggested going on a favourite run, and maybe I should just opt for fewer but better quality runs, ie go somewhere I like and enjoy some new scenery, which sounds like what you have done. The ironic thing is, when I started running I was really quite stressed and I was surprised to find how much it helped me, as I had expected physical fitness, not mental benefits! Although I’m not as stressed now, I am aware that I have the kind of busy-ness and pressure that could lead to stress so I should be running as an antidote! So I’m stressing about not running ha ha!
      About the hypnosis, I played it at bedtime a couple of nights and fell asleep, so I’m not sure what the subliminal messages were. Interestingly though the next day, it was like my legs had a mind of their own and although there was a little voice in my head at one point saying ‘why don’t you walk now’ it was like my legs were saying ‘why don’t you shut up whilst we show you what we can do?’. I don’t know if it was the hypnosis or the fact that my legs are very well rested with only 1 or 2runs per week, but I’m keeping an open mind and see how I get on today! 😊😊juliex

  4. So... says:

    It’s part of the cycle of running. I found myself stressing over getting in my runs, watching my time etc and got worked up silly. The textbook method of doing stuff doesn’t quite work for me, so I went back to what I used to do. Running without a watch. It works every time.
    Hope you find the zing soon.

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks for your comment. There does seem to be a general consensus in the comments I have received that the key is to go for a run that you enjoy, in a nice place, and like you say no watch. I have to admit that I find it hard to let go of the watch/ phone tracking my run. I feel like if I do the work I need to make it count by having it on my little chart! But why? But maybe that s the point, to truly enjoy the run rather than doing it for the ‘reward’ of the little graphs on map my run. I will try it, but it’s going to hurt, not to switch that app on when I set off!!!!

  5. oscardiamond says:

    It’s fine for some people to say they fit running in around their lives. They do so because they can physically do so. If you’ve got substantial responsibilities and pressures, these can frequently increase or spill over and seriously impair your running mojo. You are right, it is a mindset problem. You’re beating yourself up unnecessarily by setting a standard which is not appropriate at the moment. So whatever you do, you fall short and feel you’ve failed. Forget times, don’t make comparisons, walk and run, remind yourself objectively how busy and exacting your life is and sometimes somethings got to give.
    As I write this, a news pop up has just informed me that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a second baby.From the sublime to the ridiculous!

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks, Oscar, I’m just reading through the comments people have made and there is a common theme. I think that I may have become a bit too reliant on the achievement aspect of running ( albeit personal achievement – I’m no competition for anyone!)rather than concentrating on the aspects that I enjoy. I have been busy, I’ve had a promotion at work so there have been times where I’ve had an early morning meeting when I would otherwise have gone for a run.
      I’m surprised that you aren’t thrilled at the prospect of an addition to the family of your local nobility. As you live in Cambridge aren’t you one of their personal serfs? Is that it, the prospect of being called on at any time to change the royal nappy? I suppose that would make it less of a happy event!😉 juliex

  6. pwhent says:

    I am really interested to hear how the hypnosis idea works out. I think joining the running group is a great idea – sometimes exercise is more fun if you make it social. The single best move I have made in the last two years has been to join my local triathlon club. I am sure your mojo will return, but I know how frustrating it can be waiting. Good luck.

  7. pwhent says:

    Julie, reading the comments above, don’t use spikes for off road. You can get specialist trail shoes which are much better. Salomon do a lot of them. If you can lay your hands on the most recent edition of 220 Triathlon magazine, there is a section which looks at all the major trail shoes. The article may be on their web site by now. If I were you I would try the first race in your normal running shoes and see if you like it before you sink c. £100 into trail shoes. Good luck – I plan to do some cross country this winter so look forward to comparing notes!!!

    • mawil1 says:

      Hi peter, thanks for your comments. I’m just catching up on the blog before heading off for my group session! I think that you are right about the spikes! It’s time I bought a new pair of shoes though(I know that women always say that anyway) but I’ve had my last pair a year and even at 10 miles per week they must be getting a bit worn by now. I can use my older ones for cross country and see how it goes. I have found running locally though that muddy grass is very slippy. Ankle deep mud I don’t think it matters what you wear! I think re the mojo issue, most people seem to think its about getting back to basics,just doing what you enjoy and leaving the timer at home. So I’m going to give it a try! Best wishes juliex

  8. Mimi Loves to Run says:

    Some reason whenever I try to hit like on my WordPress app, it does’t work. “LIKE.”
    I really think if you need a break from running and hardcore training, take it.
    I think our minds need a break from running. It becomes this obsession we think about and just like anything, it is good to step away. Of course, I am not an athlete per say. More the middle aged mom trying to get her grove back. I took my break and now I am feeling enthused again about running. You rock. You will return when your mind and body connect with ahhh..I miss that. It finally happened to me after two weeks! Great write by the way.

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