Happy Valentine’s Day! Do you love to run? How to fall in love with running
Happy Valentine’s Day! Do you love to run? I do! Well, I love running most of the time. It’s easy to love it and be motivated when you are running well and the weather is ideal. I don’t love it so much if I am struggling on a cold, windy day.
Most runners want to love every minute of every run, but we all know that just doesn’t happen. Aches and pains, injuries, weather, negative self talk are just a few hurdles we runners have to overcome. Most runners have a love-hate relationship with running. How can we love it more?
Are you familiar with the Five Love Languages? This concept defines five different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. This idea was orginally meant for relationships, but we can use it to help us with our running relationship. Here are five ideas on how to fall in love with running.
Words of Affirmation- Words of affirmation are positive words and phrases used to uplift or encourage someone (by the way, that someone can be yourself!). This might sound obvious, but it’s difficult to love something if we continuously complain about it. Just like we can practice running hills, or running longer, we can practice positivity. When you notice yourself having negative thoughts during a run, I challenge you to replace those thoughts with positive ones. Try to find five things that make you smile.
I went for a run this past weekend during a light snowfall with a good friend. It was the perfect kind of snow – it covered the trees creating a perfect winter wonderland. The miles flew by because we were admiring the beautiful landscape.
Quality Time- Quality time is when you set distractions aside and give someone your undivided attention. Fostering any relationship requires time, and so does running. If you expect to love running but you run infrequently or inconsistently, it’s going to be difficult to love it. You do need to take the time and prioritize running. This does not mean you have to run every day, but you should run a few times a week.
Work, family, and other commitments can make it difficult to run consistently. Our most successful athletes at RUN717 make running a priority by following a personalized training plan. Figure out how many times a week you can run, then commit to it! Having a training plan improves your chances for success. The coaches at RUN717 can help you fall in love with running.
Receiving Gifts- Runners are known for loving shoes, gear, and outfits. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to new pair of shoes and we all know if we look good we feel good! A gift can also memorialize a moment, experience, or feeling. We’ve all seen the Boston Marathon jackets and team racing singlets. I feel special when I wear my racing singlet.
Nothing motivates me more than a new pair of shoes! These are my latest shoes – just a basic trainer, the Brooks Ghost. I love getting new running shoes.
Acts of Service- An act of service is when someone does something thoughtful for you. Although no one can go out for a run for you, we can use service acts to help us love it more. We all get something different from running – improved physical health, quality time with friends, and a way to deal with mental stress. Have you ever considered giving back to running? One way to give back is to volunteer at a race. It’s hard not to love running if you’ve ever witnessed the final miles of a marathon. Another option is to pick up trash during your run.
Doing something for someone else can lift your spirits. Take the focus off yourself and get involved in the running community.
Physical Touch- Want to show yourself love? Love your body. Running is a physical activity and runners are notorious for abusing themselves. It’s hard to love running if you are too sore to enjoy it. When RUN717 interviews new athletes, runners are excited to share their weekly mileage, their long run distance, and paces. Too often when we ask about recovery, the runners go silent. Epsom salt baths. foam rolling, self massage, professional massages, active and dynamic stretching, recovery salves are some options to aid in your recovery.
Stress + rest = growth. When you run, you put physical stress on your body. I have to admit, I am lazy. I do NOT do everything I should do, especially when it comes to recovery but I have improved especially as I have increased my weekly mileage. You do NOT have to be perfect – remember, progress not perfection. Try to incorporate some sort of recovery into your training – something is better than nothing! Read here for more about recovery.
Want to fall in love with running? The decision to love is an action so take action today. If you can increase your enjoyment, you can learn to fall in love with running. Because if you aren’t having fun, why are you doing it?