what keeps me running


When I first started the Couch to 5K, I thought I must be doing something wrong. I hated it, absolutely abhorred it, felt rageful towards the automated voice telling me when to run and when to walk (smug cow). I couldn’t believe anyone would actually enjoy this activity and started to suspect that my running-mad friends were either lying or insane.

I kept going with the programme because it meant 30 minutes away from my five-month-old twins and two-year-old, so any enjoyment (or lack thereof) seemed beside the point. I think it was about Week 4 when I began to look forward to going out, and I was glad that friends had convinced me to “trust the programme” (runners can be quite similar to cult members – complete with motivational catchphrases).

Still, one of the things that’s surprised me about running is that there are loads of times where I’m not enjoying myself; where I want to turn back and walk home, or worse, ring my husband and beg him to pick me up. During one of these low points on today’s run, I distracted myself by coming up with a list of things that keep me going – so here it is.

Moving the goalposts
I trick myself. Yes, it’s silly and not really possible of course, but I tell myself I will stop at the end of that road, or that I’ll just complete this kilometre. Then I keep going, and do an evil laugh at my own naivety.

I always listen to the same playlist when I’m out and I favour songs with a fast beat and repetitive refrain. Sometimes a new track coming on is enough to keep me going – ‘Renegades’ by Rage Against the Machine is my current favourite.

I’m currently using the Zen Labs 10K Trainer app, which I really like. It’s non-intrusive but the countdown can really help with motivation. I use the five-minute announcement on my Runkeeper app, which helps me keep going just a bit longer. My Garmin Forerunner watch is great for pushing me a bit further and trying to beat myself.

Taking a breath
Sometimes I need to slow down so that I can keep going. Sometimes I need to walk, to catch my breath or have a drink (staying hydrated when running is REALLY important). That’s ok – it’s distance that matters to me; speed is secondary. I know that I need to build up my stamina, and if slowing down means I won’t just give up, then I’m happy with that.

Planning world domination
Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m out running. It’s really the only time I get to think and I relish it. I think about my goals, plan blog posts, brainstorm activities for the kids…anything to take my mind off how much I’m struggling to keep going.

When all else fails
Sometimes I get to the point where I have a headache, feel like I’m going to be sick, and start getting flashbacks to high school cross country (shudder). I feel myself starting to panic and mean-Ellie says “you can’t do this, what are you thinking? You’re rubbish at sports, you’re fat and unfit.”

When this happens, not even the best distraction works. To defeat mean-Ellie and her hurtful words, all I can do is just keep putting one foot in front of the other. After a while, she goes back into her cave. And do you know what? Works in everyday life, too!


About Ellie Thouret

I'm an obsessive knitter based in the UK's North West. Passionate about good food, crafts, home decor and my family.
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One Response to what keeps me running

  1. zokkor says:

    Great tips! Keep going x

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