You are a jogger. You do not necessarily LIKE jogging. What is your headspace while jogging so that you keep going?
I started attempting to be a jogger
last year. There were some ups and downs related to childcare and health and life and whatever but I kept starting again, and again, and again, and FINALLY I'm in a stable situation where I can reliably work out 3 times a week, and I am jogging. (If it matters, I'm jogging on an indoor track at a very low-key facility where there are a lot of different ages and body types and no pressure to be super-athlete-guy. I like it a lot.)
I am doing a couch-to-5K and I'm on week 4, which starts to have intervals of 5 minutes of jogging. I made good progress the first three weeks and could feel my stamina growing as I tackled the ever-so-slightly-longer jogging intervals each week, but the 5-minute interval is a wall for me. (I'm also having an intolerably stressful work week, which I know isn't helping.) I know my physical training IS coming along and this is just a bump, but my mental training is shit and I'm not sure how to fix it.
At first I was really excited and I was just thinking about how excited I was. But now that I'm hitting my first really rough patch, AND the jogging intervals are extending a little bit, I find myself thinking, "Ugh, I hate this, this is awful, I don't want to do this, uggggggh" or else "How much longer? How much longer? How much longer? I'm never going to make it. Why is this taking so long? I just want to quit."
I know that people who do long-distance running often go into a zone, but I'm just a beginning plodder going for very short distances. There really isn't time to get into a "zone." But my attempts to redirect my negative self-talk aren't working. Telling myself, "Just get to the corner -- just get to the pole -- just get to the windows" helps and gets me through the end of the interval, but it also makes it seem even LONGER and makes me feel more discouraged. Saying, "I love this!" isn't true, because I don't really even like it. (Sometimes I like how I feel after I'm done, but I don't like the process.) Trying to think about, say, a novel I like works a little, but my thoughts pretty quickly drift back to hating jogging, like, "You know who else would have hated jogging? Elizabeth Bennet would have hated jogging." I think it would help if I could close my eyes and NOT think while I jog, but obviously that is going to end very badly.
So -- what should I think about? What do YOU think about? What kinds of positive self-talk do you use, or how do you get in a zone, or how do you distract yourself?
I'm not interested in running on a treadmill (I fall off them like whoa), and it's not feasible for me to run outside right now (too cold, and for the gym childcare you have to stay in the building). I do actually like the track, and I don't mind going in a circle. I get to actually move instead of being in one place on a treadmill, but I don't have to make decisions about my route and my water bottle and stuff is all right there.
Oh -- also -- I am using a music podcast that tells me when to speed up and slow down, and the beats of the music are the "speed" of the walking or jogging, so that I'm not giving in to the temptation to run too fast, and I don't have to track my own time or distance, I just run until the music tells me to stop. I know roughly how much of the track I cover in one minute, so I usually know I need to go around the track "about X times" for 5 minutes or whatever. It's not exact but I have SOME idea of how much farther I have to go.