Stephanie Bruce explains why the first seven minutes of a run are probably the most important ones to get through.

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A question from Kristie on Facebook: We all have them—so how do you deal on those tough days?

The answer: 7 minutes!

Tough days happen to the best of us. They are the most normal occurrence during the ebb and flow of a training cycle. How we deal with them as runners can vary across the board. Personally for me, training though pregnancy has presented more tough days than I was prepared for. The couch has called louder than my Hoka Clifton shoes on many days during the last few months. Whether it is pregnancy, long days at work, coming back from an injury, or just life overload, running can be the outlet you need if you give it chance.

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It only really takes 7 minutes. Over the years I have found that seven minutes is the time it takes to be on a dreaded run before it turns into feeling glad you did it. It’s that easy—and quick. There’s something unexplainable that happens to you within the first few minutes of a run. Call it endorphins or a physiological spike in adrenaline—whatever it is, your mind starts to drift away from the dread you felt before starting the run. In fact, you wonder why you ever stalled on lacing up and heading out the door in the first place. Yes you might still feel sluggish or drained on the entire run, but that’s a normal part of training. You can’t feel amazing every day, and putting those expectations on yourself will lead to a feeling of disappointment. So on those days where it feels really tough to get out the door, give yourself 7 minutes. And if you’re still not convinced you should be running, then head home and plop on the couch (but I have a feeling you won’t turn back.)

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