Runners get comfortable being uncomfortable. We push our bodies. We push our minds and it’s awesome.
But sometimes we can’t keep going. That can be very defeating.
There comes a time in every marathon training cycle when I get a little burnt out. My motivation wanes and it’s hard to get in all of my miles. That’s not even mentioning the LONG runs. Those are the biggest hurdle.
I have come to learn a lot about myself over all the years and through the miles. One of the things I’ve learned is that I have a maximum number of miles I can run before I start to get bored, tired, full of excuses or able to talk myself into stopping.
That magic number is different for everyone. Most of the time runners who don’t train for long distance races don’t really have to worry about it. But if you are training for a long distance race and you need to increase your mileage, you should figure out your limits. By limits I don’t mean where you have to physically stop. I’m assuming you’re following a training plan and are able to do the work. I am talking about that mental limit, when your brain starts telling you that it’s okay to cut it short, slow down or stop to grab a donut on the way home.
Once you know the point where you brain says stop (but your body can physically keep going), you can do a couple things to keep running.
A.) Run with a friend. If no one is training for a long distance race, have someone meet you toward the end of the run for the last couple miles.
B.) Run somewhere new so your mind is distracted with the different surroundings.
C.) Break down the run into parts. That could be miles in 3 mile increments with a gel at the end of each. You can also try adding different song genres to your new playlist in 30-minute increments. Or day dream about food in different meal types. It’s up to you.
What’s your mental limit for running solo? Tweet @WomensRunning!