I’ve done it. I have cracked the code for not hating Sunday runs. In runner communities Sunday’s are generally dubbed long run days. And let’s be honest – calling a run “long” is not the least bit motivating or exciting to me. Last Sunday I did 7 miles and it felt awful and for a few reasons. I had unrealistic expectations, I pushed myself into a run I wasn’t properly prepared for and I was dreading it the whole time and even during the run.
I went into this Sunday with a different goal for my run. The new goal was to take the run as a time to recalibrate my body and set my mind up for a successful training week.
I did three things in particular to achieve this:
- Choose a manageable, but challenging length. For me this week, it was 4 miles. My goal was to not walk – no specific pace goal.
- WARM UP (goes for every training set). I haven’t been doing a good job at all of warming up my joints and I could really feel that pain after last weekend. Taking the time to warm up allows you to acknowledge your body, the work your about to do and call to mind your goal for the run.
- Visualize how I want to feel during the run, rather than focus on hitting a specific pace. My goal was to feel strong and feel every step and acknowledge the work I was putting in. So instead of working on my pacing, I felt my body and adjusted throughout the run accordingly. I strongly believe in the power of visualization and also thought about my goals I had for the week to come.
By doing these three things, I achieved so much in four miles that I am proud of. And most importantly, I am motivated and energized to take on the training week ahead. Bring it on!