I’ll come right out and say it, I hate running. I don’t understand people who want to run marathons and I think the runner’s high is a myth runners tell non runners to get them to run. I love the way I feel after I run, I love feeling strong and healthy, but I hate running. Unlike swimming or biking where I can lose myself in my thoughts or music and go forever, I am acutely aware of how far I’ve gone and how much farther I have to go when I run. This hate for running isn’t dominant in my family, quite the contrary. My mom ran 8 miles every day and my sister is training for a marathon and an ironman. Less extreme but still a runner, my brother runs regularly and enjoys it. Then there is me. I am the one that wears a “Running Sucks” shirt while I run. So why if I hate it do I put myself through 2-5 mile runs several times per week? As I said, I love feeling strong and healthy and when I run, I feel just that. I also like having a variety of workouts in my routine, especially when weather and logistics limit my options. Right now I do not have easy access to a pool, so swimming laps is out. Biking is great but often I feel like my stationary bike does not give me the same intense workout I get when I’m cycling outside.
I’ve been asked before how I motivate myself to go running, especially when it gets colder. I actually enjoy running more when it is chilly. Once it get above 65-70 I feel like my body has to work a lot harder to keep me moving. My ideal running weather is in the 50s. Warm enough to not have to bundle but cool enough that I don’t feel like I am melting. So motivating myself, I won’t lie, it’s tough some days. Not only to get myself to run but to work out in general. I either have to wake up early to get a run in before work, which is usually what I do in the summer so it is not as hot, or I have to do it after a long day at work. Both of those options require physical activity to happen at a time where I would rather be curled up with a blanket. However, I know from experience that once I get moving, I will feel more awake and I always feel better after a workout than I do knowing that I skipped. That feeling is largely what gets me up and moving. There is much greater satisfaction in sinking into the couch after a workout than there is after sitting all day. For someone starting a workout routine, or even for those who have one but need a push, I recommend finding quick workouts, 3, 5, or 10 minutes, that can get you moving even when you feel tired. If you enjoy Pilates I recommend Blogilates with Cassey Ho; she has 3 and 5 minute series that are great for squeezing exercise in. If after that first burst you’re still exhausted and not feeling it, maybe your body really needs the break. On the flip side, that quick burst to get the blood flowing may just be the kickstart you needed to get into your full workout. Either way, you know that you gave it a try and made the effort for some physical activity.
What is your favorite workout? Are there any that you hate but force yourself to do? Let me know!