How do I get myself to love running and physical activity?
October 1, 2013 7:38 AM   Subscribe

I've been on a bit of a health kick lately--excercising, moving around, and trying to really improve the life I've been leading. I've also begun to run as well and even though I know it is good for him, I always balk, delay, or procrastinate when I know I should do it. After exercising I feel great. Awesome. Amazing. However, it is the initial thought of getting out there, that effort, that strain that prevents me from breaking inertia and actually getting out there.

One thing i've started doing as someone with a literary bent is to read about running. Murakami's work on "What We Talk About When We Talk About Running" has been great in inculcating in me a sense of persistence and effort when it comes to working out. The idea of running with someone as of yet is scary as I am still terrible at it. I run for about 30 seconds, then stop, and then go again. And afterwards I feel exhausted and then great.

What did it take for you to love to run? What hurdles should I overcome? How can I become more receptive toward exercise and stop procrastinating when it feels soooo good afterward.

Before anybody responds with this object let me address it: Yes, I can do other just as beneficial physical activities such as basketball and tennis. However, I want to get into running because it is more readily available and easy to do without a partner or friend. It's something that I want to cultivate in myself, a healthy solitary habit.
posted by RapcityinBlue to Health & Fitness (34 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
I did Couch-to-5K and the progress I was making, and the regimen of it, inspired me to get out there on schedule. Now that I'm able to run a 5K, I've entered a couple fun ones and had a blast.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:44 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Running my first 10k, with thousands of other people in Central Park. I ran SLOWLY (my current PR is about 12 minutes faster), and my legs hurt forEVER afterwards, but it really made me feel great to be part of the running community. I've run over 4000 miles since I started in 2010, and running my second marathon in 11 days.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:45 AM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Honestly, just making it a habit was the only way I found to overcome it. It's not something you think about anymore, once you've been doing it for a while, you just... do it. And on days when I *do* think that I really, really don't want to do it... I've found that those are the days when I need to exercise the MOST, so the thought that I don't want to do it is, perversely, the one thing that makes me WANT to do it, because I know how glad I'll be that I did it, once I'm done.

Just keep doing it. I would say it took 2-3 months for me to get to the point where I don't think about it, don't question it, just automatically get myself dressed and do it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:53 AM on October 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


I found that trail running made me love all sorts of running. Being out in the woods, fighting to stay upright and not trip over a rock or a tree root made me forget that I was running, and allowed me to go farther than I would have if I'd just been on the sidewalk. If there is a trail system near you, I highly recommend checking it out.

Here is a tip for conquering procrastination: just put your running clothes on. Tell yourself, "Oh, I'm just going to put my clothes on, and then I can decide whether or not to go." Once your clothes are on, you'll feel like an idiot if you don't go, because otherwise you'll just be sitting around the house in shorts and running shoes.
posted by coppermoss at 7:57 AM on October 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


Seconding rabbitrabbit about just keeping at it. Once you get into a routine, you will find it much easier to focus on how good you feel afterwards. As a trainer I once worked with told me, "you will never regret having worked out."

Also, don't worry too much about stopping and starting, just let yourself enjoy bursting into a run when you feel like it, like you did when you were a kid. After a while it might start to seem fun to challenge yourself to longer and longer bursts, so do that. But in the meantime, just focus on the joy of moving.
posted by rpfields at 8:08 AM on October 1, 2013


I was very unhealthy and totally inactive for much of my life (even as a kid I hated playing outside and would have much rather done something that involved sitting still) and I now exercise more consistently (outdoors, even!) than almost anyone else I know and I LOVE it. For me, forcing myself to be active every day was really key - lots of times that just meant a half hour walk, but I think getting that little endorphin boost every single day was important.

This is just my pseudo-science-y hunch based on personal experience, but I feel like you WANT to cultivate a dependency with exercise. Sort of like how someone who only smokes cigarettes twice a week is going to need them less than someone who uses them daily, for me exercising daily made me crave it and enjoy it more than when I tried exercising only a few days a week. Also for the first 2 years, I was really forcing myself to do it - I would procrastinate and put it off, but I made it a priority and eventually that resistance and "ugh, I don't WANNA" subsided over time (still happens every once in a while though.) I now honestly can't WAIT to go for a run when I've had a really stressful day, the way a lot of people can't wait to chill out in front of the tv or get a glass of wine. Going a week without running feels a little weird to me now, like not showering or brushing my teeth for a while, which makes being motivated to get out there a lot easier. And when I'm running, I enjoy it so much more than I ever thought possible earlier in my life.

Also backing up the advice that couch-to-5k and signing up for running events are great motivators to get out there and train regularly. Also, running communities are awesome and supportive (and diverse! Not everyone is the super-fast, young, thin, runner stereotype I thought they'd be.) Good luck!
posted by horizons at 8:11 AM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


You need goals to give you a sense of progress. Couch to 5K is great for this since it starts you off from about where you are now and builds you up to running 5K/30 minutes. You could also look into signing up for a race so you have a "deadline" of sorts you need to build up and train for. I've done several races this year but signing up for a new one still gives me that "OH GOD IT'S COMING FOR ME" feeling.

And put yourself in a position to succeed. When I worked out of an office, I'd bring my running gear so I didn't go home and make some excuse to not go. I picked a gym on the ride home. One of them even had a stoplight in front of it I always caught so even if I was all UGH NO I'M NOT DOING IT TODAY, I had no excuse because my stuff was already in the car and I was sitting in front of it anyway UGH FINE DAMMIT I'LL GO. Don't make it something you *can* procrastinate. When I'm done with work now, I'm up, changing clothes, and going. It's a given that it's happening, there's no "motivation" to it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:15 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


For me,. it helps to have a social obligation component -- that is, if I've made plans to play squash with a friend, I'm only going to cancel if I'm actually sick (rather than the way I get "just too tired" for my solo exercise plans). Run with somebody, play a sport, meet to work out and have drinks after; whatever makes it more appealing and also more awkward to blow off.
posted by acm at 8:21 AM on October 1, 2013


Do the same awesome thing that you love so much after each workout (e.g., a bar of dark chocolate). If you love it, but you only do it after the workout, then your body/mind will associate the workout with the awesome thing and WANT to workout to get the awesome thing.
posted by 3FLryan at 8:30 AM on October 1, 2013


I'll nth the suggestions for C25K and signing up for a race. In their own way, those two elements helped me a lot (although I also had the motivation of the Boston Marathon bombing behind me; I was living right along the route at the time, and the only way I could cope was to start running the very next day). The C25K will provide some structure, and hopefully the deadline of the race itself will provide some motivation. Note that C25K is more of a concept than a set-in-stone program; there are a lot of variations out there, so look at the details of the program and pick one that suits you.

Coping mechanisms aside, another thing that really helped me get going was the Zombies, Run! 5K Training app. Although I didn't follow the run/walk audio cues religiously, I found that wanting to know more about the characters and the setting helped push me out the door when I otherwise really didn't feel like it. I've since moved on to the regular Zombies, Run! app, and the story just keeps getting better. It sounds silly, but having a story line to run to really helped this video game and book nerd get up off her butt and actually start to enjoy running for the first time ever, to the point where I'll be running a half marathon next month—and trust me when I say that used to hate running. Even if you don't share my fascination with a good apocalypse story, you might find you really enjoy it.
posted by cellar door at 8:48 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and in terms of stuff to read, Born to Run was really good if you don't mind some philosophical hoohah. I mean seriously if a bunch of Native people can run barefoot through terrifying mountainous terrain all day for funzies I can get my happy ass down to the nicely carved running trail that is flat and scenic and nice and has water fountains and bathrooms.

This Outside story was also supermotivating. Basically, we humans are not especially fast or tough or good in a fight. There is one thing, however, we are great at: Distance running. We can run you into the ground until you overheat and die. So when you're running, it's putting you in touch with pretty much every single ancestor you have going all the way back to some little tribe of the first humans on the plains of Africa somewhere more than a bunch of family trees or pictures from the past ever could.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:55 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Run somewhere beautiful. When I started running, I ran in Balboa Park, along the bay and on the beach. Go find the most idyllic place you can possibly run and run there.

BTW, you're absolutely correct about running - it's incredibly convenient. Travelling? Take your running shoes and you're good to go! However, the same could be said about walking. If you find that running just isn't your bag today, then a good walk keeps the fitness-on-you-feet momentum going.
posted by 26.2 at 8:57 AM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think it helps to lay your workout clothes and shoes out in advance. If it's all right there staring me in the face when I wake up in the morning or get home from work, I'm much more likely to do it.
posted by scottatdrake at 9:13 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I ran for years; now I do interval training. With both of those, I have found that no matter how much I love doing those things, and no matter how aware I am of just how awesome I will feel after the run/workout, there will be plenty of days where I just 'don't feel like it'.

For me, the thing that takes the 'don't feel like it' out of the equation is making the run/workout the default. As in, I run or work out at least 5 days a week. There are plenty of things in my daily life that, given my preference or mood, I'd rather not have to do 5 or 6 or 7 days per week; but I do them anyway. It takes some will power at first to stick with it, but then once the habit and routine and ritual of it are in place, it takes on its own momentum.

And for that initial period of trying to stick with it? Nthing the suggestion to just put on the running shoes and shorts, etc. It's amazing what the simple act of tying your shoes can do for your resolve, even in the face of 'so tired and sore and legs feel like lead and don't want to...'
posted by fikri at 9:27 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Running is my third-string exercise behind lifting weights and riding a bike.

Two things make it tolerable: music with a good beat and podcasts/audiobooks.

It also helps to have a water bottle with a good grip and a headband.

The biggest thing for me is to make the experience as smooth as possible so I don't have to think about the drudgery of putting one foot in front of another for an hour. I'll spend a little time at the beginning making sure I've got my correct form and then try and shut my mind off and run on autopilot as much as possible. So if I'm thirsty or need to wipe my brow I don't have to think about it. I put all my attention on whatever I'm listening to and let that propel me forward.
posted by Tevin at 9:46 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why does running still feel so painful for me. When does it get better? One of the people who responded got it right in that i am trying to cultivate an addiction and it's not working. I feel like the initial pain I feel when i have to get my ass out there is so painful to think about but I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW that it is good for me. It's awesome. it relieves my depression. It helps me feel more confident. It offers me a new perspective on life.

My life has been like this. I avoided all forms of physical activity and settled instead for intellectual pursuits. It's made me unbalanced in that I am very good at one of those things and terrible and lazy in the other.


How does one cultivate an addiction to running. This is the real question here.
posted by RapcityinBlue at 9:54 AM on October 1, 2013


That is a different question! It could be painful for a few different reasons: 1. you need to work on your form; 2. you need to ease into it more gently (C25K is good for that) or 3. your body does not like running. #3 was my problem! I do not have the knees for running. So now I swim instead. Running never got not-painful for me unless I did such a slow jog that I was barely breaking a sweat.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:04 AM on October 1, 2013


I get the Runner's World daily quote in my email, and I also printed their list of "101 Kicks in the Butt" and cut out some of them to put on my refrigerator door. The most effective one is: "Remember that you almost always feel better after a run than before."
posted by janey47 at 10:06 AM on October 1, 2013


Painful isn't the right word. It is unpleasant in the way that taking long walks was unpleasant but no longer is.
posted by RapcityinBlue at 10:10 AM on October 1, 2013


You don't say how long you've been running, but if it's less than a month or so (or perhaps longer if you run just a couple times a week), it may just be that you haven't been at it that long. Stick with it, and it'll get easier. Also, as a really new runner, your form is probably not that good, but most people auto-correct over time. It just takes a while (ten weeks according to this.)

I find that the best thing for keeping me on track with exercise is a sense of urgency. Two things help with that: (1) Sign up for a race or event. Then you know you have to keep training in order to be ready for this thing that is happening on a definite date. (2) Schedule running into your day such that you have a relatively narrow window when you have to do it, or you'll just miss out. So, if I have a 1.5 hour break, and I plan to run for 40 minutes, and then shower and change, I know I can't waste more than 10 minutes at the start or it's just not going to work. If the rest of the day is such that this is my one chance, then I tend to stop dithering and just go. On the other hand, if I have a flex day when I could go any time, I tend to spend 45 minutes just on the "put your shoes on" step.
posted by pompelmo at 10:21 AM on October 1, 2013


This may sound reductive or even a bit circular, but you have to want to love it. You have to want to be the kind of person who gets up in the morning and puts on their shoes and walks out the door.

You run today, and then you run again tomorrow. (Note I'm being metaphorical here. Rest is important, particularly for beginners, but that's a technical discussion and I don't think that's what you're looking for.)

There's no magic to it. There is no free lunch. The real hard fact of life that is not at all inspirational is that it is always easier to stay in bed or on the couch or to eat a pizza than it is to run. It will always be that way. So you do it because you want to. You will get fitter and stronger and more confident in your ability, certainly. But not if you don't go out and run.

A lot of the tips and tricks above are great and you'll find almost all of them in every issue of Runner's World. But none of them have anything to do with the simple fact that you have to want to be a person who runs. You have to want to be a runner. And so you run. And weirdly enough but as sure as I'm sitting here, that's when it gets magical.
posted by dyobmit at 10:35 AM on October 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


It is unpleasant in the way that taking long walks was unpleasant but no longer is.

In a way, I think you've answered your own question. In part, it really just takes time. As you run more and get fitter, it becomes difficult and painful. After a few months, you'll notice that your legs aren't getting sore as often. (When I first started, I was sore after every run. Now, it's only after the long runs where I'm increasing my distance, and even then it's a less significant soreness that lasts one day instead of several.) With a little more time, your cardiovascular system will improve, too.

That said, you may never love it, and that's okay. I think it just clicks for some people, and it doesn't click for others. Or it might click at one point in your life but not another, like it did for me—i.e., when I was ready for it to, when I needed it to.

I know this is sort of a non-answer, but I think dyobmit said it extremely well. If you get out there on a regular basis, eventually it should become a real part of your life—a habit—which might be as close as you can get to an addiction if you don't ever really grow to love it. Whether you love it or not, some runs are hard, and some are easy. Just take it one run at a time.
posted by cellar door at 11:37 AM on October 1, 2013


I remind myself of what I love about running - it's me time, I see my city differently as a runner, I feel proud of myself after running. I feel really lucky that I am healthy enough to run and that I live in a beautiful city with other runners. Being able to run is a gift and I don't think it's appropriate to waste a gift. My speed, how I look, my weight - it doesn't matter to me when I'm running. It's corny but I really do believe that when you run, even just a little, you are lapping everyone on the couch. I like to tell myself that any positive number is infinitely bigger than zero, so even if I run a lousy run or a short run, it is infinitely better than if I hadn't run at all. And it's really rare that I regret running.

Getting involved in the running community, having races on the calendar, mixing up my routes, treating myself to new workout clothes and listening to good stuff while I'm running all help. But running for me at this point, it's a part of me. I miss it if I go a week without running. It's in my head but I actually feel like my legs want to run. Our ability to run connects us to most living things. I learn about myself, from myself, when I run.

Another book I would recommend is Running for Mortals. I loved the intro.

The most important thing I learned from running is a lesson I apply to life in general - just put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it's harder than others but if you stick with it, it gets easier.
posted by kat518 at 11:44 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Er... "becomes less difficult and painful." Missed the edit window.)
posted by cellar door at 11:57 AM on October 1, 2013


I'll probably never love running the way I love walking or riding my bike. Running is something I do. Walking/riding is something I GET to do.

That said, running isn't painful. Some ideas:

- You really, really, really need to warm up with a walk. That warm up may need to be a mile. I HATE to warm up, but when I skip it my run is misery.

- If it's muscle soreness, then back off your speed and distance. Today running for you may be two city blocks at a 4mph pace. If that's what you can do without dread, then do that and no more. Next week, you go a little further or a little faster.

- If it's joint soreness, then you need a medical evaluation and probably some work on form.
posted by 26.2 at 1:48 PM on October 1, 2013


In the world of tricks, when I really don't feel like running I lie to myself and say "self, you only have to do 1 mile". (Fill in equivalent tiny amount of running for you, x minutes, etc) I KNOW I'm lying to myself while I say it, and yet, it gets me out the door. One mile done, I always keep going. Always. I'm dumb enough to believe my own lies. Your mileage (giggle) may vary.
Also, I have my rotating run playlist. The rule is that when songs are on the playlist, running is the ONLY time I get to listen to them
posted by atomicstone at 2:30 PM on October 1, 2013


I had a struggle this morning with going to the gym.

I got up and had my coffee and told myself I was going to the gym. I got my clothes on and then proceeded to tell myself I didn't have enough time. Then I got to the living room and told myself I wouldn't have enough time to shower once I got back. Then I got to the kitchen and told myself I wouldn't have enough time cook breakfast. I got all the way to the door while still telling myself I wouldn't have enough time to pack my lunch when I got back. And then I had an epiphany, I will be a better, healther person when I get back from the gym. And that's what got me out of my door this morning and to the gym.

Somehow telling myself that I would be a better person worked and it may work for you.
posted by bobber at 3:57 PM on October 1, 2013


I wouldn't expect it to work for everyone, but if you managed to get a good running streak started, you might find it compelling to keep going?

There's even a website dedicated to tracking running streaks.
posted by sarah_pdx at 4:31 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


RapcityinBlue, you are not "terrible and lazy" at this one running thing. i think moving from something low-energy to something high-energy is inherently challenging, even if you love the high-energy something. i love running. i am actually really good at running. it is still hard to get myself out the door.

here are my tricks:

3 MINUTES
--it's the transition that's the hardest. no joke, give yourself 3 minutes (that's IT!) to get out of your head and into your body. start moving. go around the block. then make a decision if you want to add on a bit.
--but also, a run for 15 minutes counts. if you have to leave the house in 30 minutes and you have time to run for 15, shower/dress for 15, RUN.

PLAN
--make a social commitment - yes yes yes. this. above all. it doesn't matter if your pace matches your friend's. you meet at the park (or wherever) and you're both out there running/stretching for a set period of time. i run with my mom this way - loop back to say hello mid-run; eat brunch after. it still feels like a thing.
--plan WHEN in your day you'll run. avoid planning any details except chunking out the 90 min to change/run/shower/change each day. monday at the gym, tuesday with your neighbor, thursday early in the AM before your flight. make the time, put on your clothes, you'll figure out the rest.

PLAN TO HAVE NO PLAN
--break down any tiny barriers that keep you from spontaneously going for a run. yes - just put on your clothes and feel silly if you don't run in them.
--ALSO, wear sweats/comfy clothes that COULD go either way when you're lounging on saturday AM. you'll get the run in at some point that day.
--keep running clothes in the trunk of your car so that you can decide to run if you pass by an amazing trail and have a bit of time

BONUS:
--write out your mantras and put them in a place where you can see them. you said, "it feels sooooo good!" how many times have you regretted a run? i've been running almost every day for almost 20 years (?!), and i've probably only regretted a handful of runs. i remind my rational brain of this when it protests about not enough time/getting dark/etc etc.
--go on a mission: to the beach. to a friend's house.
--tap into joy: burst into a run down the street late at night when you're drunk and scream! chase kids at birthday parties. exhilaration in small doses is lovely. little runs count.

GO GET 'EM!!

PS maybe you can give me some tips from your kickass intellectual side about not procrastinating work things (which, much like running, are incredibly difficult to start, but then very rewarding afterwards?).
posted by red_rabbit at 5:46 PM on October 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Some good advice in the thread. I'm going to key in on your follow-up, "How does one cultivate an addiction to running?" and give some specific suggestions that worked for me.

#1 Make running a social activity by joining a running club or going on group runs sponsored by your local running store(s) or getting a training partner. The social interaction and accountability will carry you through the days when you just aren't feeling it.

#2 Plan to do some running events (races) well in advance to add some structure to your training. I make a calendar of all the races I'm planning to do at the beginning of the year and register for them as soon as the races open. I've got four races left this calendar year, and that gets me out the door to train so I'll have a good experience on race day. They don't have to be competitive races; they could be fun things like color runs, turkey trots on Thanksgiving, costume runs, that kind of thing. One of my acquaintances is working her way through a marathon in each of the fifty states. So she is actually planning vacation get-aways around running a marathon.

#3 Read the book, "Born to Run." I've got a decent library of running books, this one is my favorite and the one that motivates me most to go running.

#4 I got this trick from a pro bike racer (around training rides), but it works for running to. This is my last ditch thing to get me out the door. If I'm really not feeling like running, and not for a specific reason (like sick or injured), I'll dress to run and go out to the street. If I still don't feel it when I get to the street, I'll turn around and come back inside. That is the deal with myself is that I'll at least do that much. As it turns out, almost all of the time if I get that far, I'll then actually run.

Good luck with the running, it does get easier (and more fun).
posted by kovacs at 5:50 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


How does one cultivate an addiction to running?

You, my friend, are after the endorphin kick or "runner's high". I think you've experienced this a bit, because you say you feel great after the run. But, keep running, and you can have the high while running.

I am like you - ie Not A Runner. I did the C25K, and I don't think I experienced the high until I did a 20 minute run. This was in week 5 of the program I was following. I suspect that it was a combination of having run consistently for 5 weeks, the sense of achievement, and the length of the run, but it was exhilarating! Now, not every run is going to be exhilarating, but I find the high is pretty dependable, as long as I run long enough to get comfortable (for me it takes at least 5-10 mins of non-stop running, and yes this can suck).

Anyway, this is just to say that everyone above has got it right - at the early stage you really just have to do it, even though it might feel unpleasant at first (if it's actually physically painful, please see a doc) and eventually there will be a run so magical that you will say to yourself "This! This is why I do this! What have I been missing all my life? GIVE ME MOAR!"
posted by pianissimo at 6:43 PM on October 1, 2013


I think you just need to give it more time. When you get better at it, you'll enjoy it more.

I was a terrible, terrible runner. Like, I did the first three weeks of C25K multiple times and kept having to repeat them because I couldn't progress. I didn't used to be able to run 2 minutes without stopping and thinking I would die.

Now I can run 10k without stopping, and run three to four times a week.

It took nearly a year to get to this point, and the progress has been kind of exponential, in that I spent most of that year unable to run more than 5k, and then suddenly progressed to 10k in the last month. (And my 5k speeds are improving too.)

The thing is, if you can't do 3 or 4k without stopping yet, there is no such thing as an "easy run" for you yet. And it's easy runs that, for me, are addictive. I run on trails, and I love looking at the nature around me (I especially love running at sunset and watching the sky change). I love listening to music and audiobooks. I love meditating while I run. But I can't pay attention to any of that on a hard run, and at first there are only hard runs.

Secondly, I only recently discovered the endorphins and "runner's high" that I had heard talk about. It turns out for me, that kicks in at about 6k into a run. So while 5k was my longest run, I never got a runner's high at all. Now that I have experienced it, that's a bigger incentive to run, and to run further. (Also, even now when I can do 10k no trouble, the first 3.5k are pretty horrible. I almost universally want to stop and go home at 3.5k, but I know if I just push through for another 500m or so, I'll feel better again. And if I run the first 1-2k too fast (which means anything above 75% of my pace for the rest of the run), the whole run will suck.

While you are working up to being able to do easy runs and longer runs, and getting to a point where you feel a runner's high, you need to use some tricks to get yourself to put in the mileage. I second the idea of trying for "streaks". Maybe not running every day, but see how long you can keep a streak of running every second day, for example. (Rest is good too!) Or keep a track of a particular mileage that you aim for every week, and see how many weeks in a row you can meet that goal. Allow yourself to make up the mileage with walking if you have to, but do it in your running gear, and you might find that you break into a run occasionally, since you are already out there.

Seconding Zombies Run for fun and inspiration. Zombies Run 5k is a great alternative to C25K. And personally I find a "there and back" route better than a loop on a day when I'm not very inspired, because I tell myself I only have to run there, and then I can walk home, but once I'm there, I'm already half way, and it seems easier to just keep going.

Finally, if you like metrics, load yourself up with measuring tools. I use both Zombies Run and Runkeeper when running. I set Runkeeper to say aloud to me every 500m and every 2 minutes what my time, distance, average speed and current speed are. Zombies Run gives me a bit of story after every song. So whenever I am tempted to stop running, I can say "just run until X" where X is either the next Runkeeper update, or the next Zombies story snippet, or the next song, or the next round km, or the next round number of minutes. You can keep tricking yourself like that for a very long time :)
posted by lollusc at 8:14 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


It’s not about running it’s about being.

First be light. You breathe, you move your feet. Simply cushion your fall towards the ground. Your legs catch the energy and propel you back up and forward. You are moving. It doesn’t matter if you’re slow, focus on the experience. Crisp fresh air. Your legs carry you, you travel independently, with your own strength, in space, breathe, you are. Maybe in the city, freed of the necessity of having to get somewhere, you watch houses and pedestrians pass by while you are. Simply being, focused breaths. Speed is no concern as it will come by itself, with time and being, you, your legs will want to run fast. Your legs engage in what they were made for, eagerly, but springy and softly. You just take in the underappreciated medium that fills the spaces between what our attention usually is turned toward to. Your feet get warm. You look about, maybe forest around, trees flying by, marveling how strange it is to be. Breath and you’ll be fine. Be.
posted by Vidamond at 9:17 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you are still following this...this might be of interest.

"Ideally I would like to be a bird but running is a close second." Bernd Heinrich (source in link)

(:
posted by Vidamond at 11:11 AM on November 2, 2013


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