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Health & Fitness 6 simple tricks to keep going when running just feels too hard

12:25  09 august  2020
12:25  09 august  2020 Source:   harpersbazaar.co.uk

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Running hard isn’t exactly an enjoyable experience. When your lungs are burning, your quads are on fire, and your body is screaming at you to stop If you’re still feeling really crappy once you get there, you can stop. “But more often than not, you will be able to just keep going ,” says Verrengia, and

We talked to professional runners and running coaches to learn some simple tricks to make running easier. Sometimes running feels hard because you've fallen into a routine and it's become boring. "Find a different way or go on new roads that are more visually stimulating," Bottini suggests.

a person crossing the street in front of a crosswalk: Coaches share instant strategies to help you bring the joy back to your miles. © Philippa Langley - Getty Images Coaches share instant strategies to help you bring the joy back to your miles.

We have a million reasons to love running—and lately, another million for why running feels so damn hard right now. Whether it's the swing between hotter-than-hell heat, balancing working from home with keeping up your regular run schedule, or getting back into the normal swing of things with your office and commute returning – there are myriad reasons for why you might be struggling.

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Let go of the negative thoughts and feelings that make you miserable and think you want to quit. When you are worrying about things not going smoothly and you are considering quitting, maybe you should take a walk, go for a trip, get a good sleep Your income will never run too far from that figure.

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However, as we're sure you know, when you’re a runner, lacing up your running shoes and getting out there tends to pull you through tough times, even when the run itself feels tough.

So, to help turn your mindset around and refocus on finding strength and power in the run, we spoke with coaches to get their best strategies for getting back on track and enjoying the rhythm of the (easy!) run again.

Issue #1: You’re stressed

The instant fix: Phone a friend

For many, running relieves stress, but that’s often an after-effect. If you’re feeling a little too anxious to even start, Annick Lamar, USATF-certified run coach with New York Road Runners, suggests calling a supportive friend. Put your headphones in and chat as you go, just as you would with a regular run buddy. And don’t worry about your mileage or pace. 'Just focus on getting out the door every day—keeping that structure helps to manage stress,' Lamar says.

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Also, finding a calm, quiet route that connects you to nature could lead to a less stressed mindset, Lamar says. She urges urban runners to get out of the city centre, and find a park that’s more relaxed. 'Spending time in a place that’s special can help you get in a run without feeling like you have to cram it in, while also dealing with stress.'

If that doesn’t seem to work or you’re just feeling too tense to get moving, take a rest day. Don’t feel guilty if that’s the best choice for you. Holly Roser, certified personal trainer and owner of Holly Roser Fitness in San Francisco, says it’s a good idea to check your heart rate (many wearables will tell you what it is in an instant) if you’re feeling extra tense. If your resting heart rate reads over 100, head out for a walk instead. The fresh air might help you wind down and make you feel more ready to run after that stroll.

Issue #2: It’s SO hot

The instant fix: Carry water and dress for success

Hydration is vital for those very hot and humid days, so bring water with you to sip on as you go, no matter how far, says Lamar. A hand-held bottle or hydration pack make it easy to run with liquids. And if you’re going for distance, consider bringing something with electrolytes, too.

Sweat-wicking clothes will also keep you more comfortable—and that includes socks, a piece of gear runners tend to forget about, Lamar says. Skip any cotton pairs and go for technical fabrics.

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Of course, running early in the day or later in the evening, when temperatures cool off, is also a good idea, Lamar adds. Reducing intensity, distance, and speed for those days where it’s really hot might make your run more enjoyable, too.

'Know that you’ll still get in a good run, but your body is working hard to regulate temperature, so you may not be able to perform as well as you would in cooler temps,' she adds. 'You’ll still gain the benefits, even if it doesn’t match your previous performance.'

Issue #3: You’re bored with the same old running route

The instant fix: Run it in reverse

The quickest and easiest way to switch up your typical run routine is to just run in the opposite direction, says Tom Holland, exercise physiologist and author of The Marathon Method. A simple switch like that might offer new views and new inclines that add a little more excitement to your regular route and some new challenges, too.

You can also try breaking it up. For example, in the morning, go for an out-and-back, stopping to turn around at the halfway mark of your usual route. In the evening, do the other half. 'Then, you also get a dual hit of feel-good hormones,' Holland says.

Issue #4: The news has you down

The instant fix: Consider your run your escape

If you’re looking forward to listening to a podcast, audio book, or pump-you-up playlist more than actually putting one foot in front of the other, that’s okay! Sometimes that can keep you motivated and connected to running, Lamar says. Let those miles be your time to get away from the negative news, tune into more uplifting entertainment, and move your body.

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This also means you probably want to let go of metrics like pace and distance and just enjoy the miles, Holland says. He suggests ditching your watch to really make that happen. 'It can be hard to do, but it’s so freeing,' he says.

An important PSA: If you’re feeling super down and running just isn’t going to help, take a break, Lamar says. Do what you need for your mental health, know that you can still contribute to your performance when you’re not running, and that running will be there whenever you’re ready to pick it back up.

Issue #5: You have no motivation to get out the door

The instant fix: Sign up for a virtual race or buy some new gear

Yes, races are cancelled—but only the in-person events. You can still follow a training schedule and get to the virtual finish line. Go for a distance that’s challenging, yet doable and follow a plan just as you would for a regular race, Lamar says. Joining a virtual running group that connects you with other runners and sort of re-creates the in-person experience will help you stick to that training schedule, too, she adds.

Roser also suggests joining social media groups that revolve around running or signing up for challenges on apps like Strava to gain some accountability buddies. If you’ve been thinking about hiring a run coach, right now is a great time to do it, as they can help you reach speed goals with tailored plans and hold you to your training sessions, Roser says. Another way to look at it if you keep up with training sans races: You’ll be more ready than ever when they do start opening back up, Holland says.

Finally, sometimes all you need to get running again is a new pair of shoes, shorts, a fitness tracker, or a cool hydration vest. That’s how Holland turns up his excitement to hit the pavement when he’s feeling his motivation wane. It can be something as small as a new pair of sweat-wicking socks or as big as an entirely new outfit or shoes—whatever gets you excited to get out on the road, make the purchase.

Issue #6: Running just doesn’t feel as important

The instant fix: Connect to the sport in a new way

'I work with lifelong runners and for the first time, they’re completely detached from running and don’t know how to handle it, and it’s so tied to the state of the world,' Lamar says.

If that sounds familiar to you, try switching up your activity, but do something that still connects you to running. That might mean a yoga class for runners, dance cardio that gets your heart pumping in a similar way, or a strength-training program focused on making you stronger for going the distance or gaining speed. It’ll feel refreshing and break up the monotony. 'It gives you a new way to get involved in the sport,' Lamar says.

Best running shoes 2020: the best running trainers reviewed and ranked .
The best running shoes from Nike, Adidas, ASICS and more for both gents and ladiesThe best running shoes come in all shapes, with differing designs and technologies to suit the needs of all types of runner. Driven by Nike's running shoe innovations, they are also currently in something of a tech arms race.

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