After finishing my run this afternoon, I felt inspired to share a couple of the tricks that I have used when I feel challenged running because I’m tired. I have a 10 1/2 month old and I do not remember what it feels like to be rested so I’ve had a lot of experience with this kind of running recently 🤣
Sleep aids in recovery and can help us feel balanced, happy, and relaxed…. so when we don’t get enough of it, it can really take a toll mentally and physically.
As a running coach, I enjoy when I can share tips from my personal running with my athletes and with fellow runners. I’ll keep it short and sweet. Thanks for reading!
Be gentle with yourself: Lower your expectations (reduce mileage, speed expectations, or expectations pertaining to how you “should” feel during this run) and spend more time easing into your run by doing more warm up. I find that when I am tired, my body also needs a bit more stretching to feel “normal.”
Play with speed: try picking up the pace during your run. While this might seem contradictory, sometimes picking up the pace can help you feel more energy. I really enjoy doing Fartlek runs in these moments because I find that it helps me to break up the run and feel energized.
Change your focus: rather than allowing yourself to focus on feeling tired, focus your mind on something inspiring… if you are on the treadmill, maybe this means opening Netflix or YouTube and if you are running outside, maybe this means listening to a podcast or music.
Remember that tired running is good training: In every race there is a moment or several moments when you feel tired and need to run through this feeling. Practicing this during your training runs can make all the difference on race day.
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For Half Marathoners:
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I just finished reading Deena Kastor’s book, Let Your Mind Run (which I highly recommend… it’s a great book). In her book, Deena spoke about how gratitude transformed her mind and running. Inspired by this reading, I wanted to share a simple gratitude practice to help you improve your mental and physical training this week. This is an excellent practice for runners but, more importantly, it is an excellent practice for people. Focusing on gratitude can improve mood, focus, and energy.
This practice is simple which is partly what makes it so beautiful. Using the list below for each day this week, identify five things that you are grateful for each day. You can form this list throughout your day or solely focus on it at the end of your day. Challenge yourself to identify things that are different from what you noted on your gratitude list the day before. Utilize the follow-up questions to record other important observations about yourself and this activity.
I am grateful for:
Was this activity challenging or easy today?
What did I notice about my thinking today?
Did this activity affect my thinking?
Did this activity affect my behaviors/ performance?
Are there any other observations that I want to note pertaining to my thinking, behaviors, or this activity today?
Celebrate your successes. By bringing your attention to your successes, you can improve confidence. Runners who are more confident take greater risks and, as a result, can experience greater accomplishments.
Practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness can promote greater mental control leading to improved focus during running training and racing. Practicing mindfulness can also help you to identify and change unhelpful thinking that is getting in the way of your running performance.
Focus on your goals. Remember what you are working towards. By focusing on the “why” to your training, you can draw upon additional motivation to fuel your workout today.
For more information on how you can improve your mental training to enhance your running, check out Run Your Mind Training Workbook below.
Run Your Mind Training Workbook
This workbook is designed to both introduce you to general concepts in sport psychology and to help you to implement psychology techniques to improve your running performance. Throughout this workbook, you will focus on enhancing your goal development, motivation, mental toughness, confidence, concentration, and energy management. This workbook contains some information about caring for the body including yoga practices to supplement your running training. This workbook also contains several sample training plans and a training journal section in which you will be able to integrate the information that you have learned throughout this workbook into your training.
It seems like the hardest part of starting or restarting running is developing consistency. Once we have, the runs flow much easier but the initial steps of forming the habit can be so tough! Here are some tips to help you successfully develop running consistency.
Choose your when. Commit to a time to run each day. Most people choose to run first thing in the morning or in the evening after work.
Don’t let tiredness be an excuse. Choose to face your run even when you feel tired. Running when you are tired can have both physical and mental training benefits.
Write down your completed runs. Take the time to log your miles. Reflecting on the work you put in and the progress you have made can help you get back out there tomorrow.
Focus on your effort rather than your results. Rather than focusing on your speed and comparing your times to others or to your previous bests, focus on the effort you put into each run.
Reward yourself. Take time to reward yourself for your hard work.
Share your goals and successes. Boost accountability by sharing your goals and successes with others.
Push yourself appropriately. It can be easy to push too hard too fast which can lead to injury or burnout. Examine where you are starting from and understand how much is enough. Don’t be afraid to walk. Taking it slow has great training benefits for runners of all levels.