Does it get any easier? (Facing W9R2)

I have realised that running is as much a mental exercise as physical. Despite following the programme to the letter and even completing W9R1 this morning (covering 5.1km in the 30 mins!), I still find my biggest enemy is myself!

I had a horrible week 8 (despite posting longer distances for each successive run) fighting down the voice in my head that said "you'll never do this", "it's such a long way", "why not rest for a bit", "it's going to be sunny and hot this morning" - usually all within the first 5 mins. In fact I have learned that if I can successfully handle the first 5 mins I can do the full distance of the session I'm running.

I may be the only one with this defeatist mind, but my question to graduates is whether it gets any easier? Looking back I can remember fear at the idea of running 3 or 5 mins at a stretch, but don't think twice about that now. So is the same true for the longer distances? Will there come a time when 30 mins feels "yeah, I can do that, easy?"

11 Replies

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  • It is as much mental as physical for me at least, still. I have to focus on how I am going to feel once I have done it (which is great). However, the evidence from the most experienced people on here suggests that you get to the point post programme where you can truly just love running. Am living in hope that I will get there. Will keep going and go you!

  • I hope so! But I'm not there yet. Having just graduated my first goal is making that happen...

  • Yes! When I graduated, I was no where near 5k and when I did 5k a month later or something I realised that 3k had become an easy run... I have now run 5k many times and it is not yet easy but relatively comfortable. I have gotten faster without really working specifically on that, and last weekend I joined the Bridge to 10K forum because I am beginning to feel ready for longer distances... So - just keep at it and it will become easier.

  • It does get easier and more enjoyable with practice! Perhaps 'easy' is not the word but certainly less daunting.

    Just a thought - are you going a bit fast? It's great that you're covering the 5k but you may find it easier to slow down a bit and work on your speed once you are more comfortable with running for the 30 mins.

  • (oops, I did not notice it was a question to Graduates until after I posted. I was going to delete this then, but maybe it will help. Apologies for appearing to usurp the Graduate plateau - but please save my spot for me, should be joining you in two more runs :) )

    It very much is a mental thing for me. But at this stage - first thirty minute run completed this am - I figure that, at worst, I don't have to feel it to do it. Physically I had no doubt whatsoever I could finish that run - but for lots of reasons I had to dig really deep into my mental bag of tricks to do so.

    It was just one of those 'blah!' moods/feelings that happen to and in ALL areas of our lives sooner or later, with greater or lesser frequency. The 'not a cool running day' feeling itself, per se, is neither the cause or the result of the actual physical motion we are doing at at times like this, it is just the easiest thing to attach it to. 'I feel bad so my running is bad, my running is bad so I feel bad' mind game/avoidance technique we play so often and so subconsciously.

    I did not, in all honesty, finish my run with anything of the joy I have ALWAYS felt on EVERY other completed run. However - there is a lot on my mind and the easiest thing to blame it on is my running gremlin and scoring an 'own goal' as a result.

    I bet my next run will get me back in the swing of things - and it will have nothing to do with how far/fast/long/ success/practice or any thing to do with the physical aspect of it :)

    I bet you will also ;)

  • Yes it does but it takes time. Running is a hard thing for our bodies to get used to as it is a high impact exercise and especially since most of us here hadn't done that much exercise previously.

    I found it took me a good 3-4 months after graduation to finally have a run where everything clicked and I thought " this is easier". But, three years on I still have runs where it feels harder than others. That's the reality of running. Keep at it, run consistently and you will find it easier.

  • I graduated 11 months ago, I run 25km a week and also have run a half marathon with another booked in a couple of weeks , and guess what? The toughest distance is the cm's between my ears!

    I have days when it's breeze. The birds are singing , nothing aches and I feel like I can go on for ever. Other days it's just awful and I am plagued by all the thoughts you describe.

    Fighting to complete the planned run on the bad days can be the most rewarding (in hindsight of course).

    But isn't that the amazing thing about being human. You take all that self doubt, the uncertainty, the painful niggles and you overcome them with nothing more that strong will and determination.. You don't give in to it and just sit on the couch. And you do it for you!

    The bad days become a lot less frequent. You start becoming more focussed on the HOW rather than the IF.

    Keep going and enjoy the journey

  • Thanks to you all for your words of wisdom - very much appreciated. It certainly does always feel great after each run and it stands to reason that the body (and mind!) acclimatises over time. I think I will take a hillier route for my session tomorrow, effectively giving me an 'out' if I don't hit the 5k distance, while putting the focus back on running for 30 and only thinking about that.

  • Well - it never really gets easier - because we all keep moving the goalposts. So whenever we actually get to the goalposts, we move them a bit further away. However, in time, your use of the English language will change... you will find yourself unknowingly saying things like " I won't be long dear - I'm just going out for a quick 5K - or maybe a 10K if all goes well." Things like that! :)

  • :-)

  • Yes there will. Be positive about things. Not just running but everything. Negativity is so energy-sapping so don't go there

    Long runs are easier for me than short ones. 5k is hard work! You have so little time to settle into it before it's over. At least with 10k you can get warmed up, hit your stride, sail along quite happily and then slow down or speed up at the end. More time to pack everything in

    We have to learn to run and then learn to run longer. It doesn't just happen. We have to keep plugging away as we would if we were say learning to play the guitar. It takes practice.

    I had a run scheduled yesterday but no idea how far. Checked my plan and it was an 8k one. I just went straight out and ran it. Because I can now! A few years ago I couldn't even walk the beggar! So, stick with it and it will fall into place.

    The route from 5k to 10 is great! I loved it! Best part of my running I'd say. The feeling of elation when you get to the hallowed 10k distance is something I won't ever forget. Just getting there though was a blast and I loved it. I did get stuck a bit on 7k but just kept pushing forward, bit by bit, and got there. I have a can-do attitude though. It does help

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