Staying in love with running

Staying in love with running

I often hear
So, you love running

to which I most likely reply
well, yes and no….

Yes, I go running on a regular basis
Yes, I love being outdoors and able to see the changes in nature and the seasons as they happen
Yes, I love the feeling of having achieved something
Yes, I love being able to ‘switch off my brain’ during a run
Yes, I love how it has improved my overall fitness and wellbeing
Yes, I have completed several half marathons and am looking into running my first marathon in April this year
Yes, I have met some lovely and interesting people along the way

HOWEVER, sometimes I find it really hard work. I am not too keen on uphill running which is not very helpful if you live in a hilly area. I have never been and never will be a very fast runner. And sometimes I just loose my mojo.

It’s not that I just sit on my sofa and do nothing. Another problem is that I get easily distracted by other activities. I was always a keen hiker so will swap a run for a hike on a sunny weekend. I also discovered mountain biking earlier last year and now I rather take my bike out than my running shoes. I love the speed of going down a trail, the adrenalin rush it gives you and being able to actually enjoy it without having to do anything (well, that’s not entirely true but at least you can stop pedalling every now and again). Running is constant, you don’t stop moving your feet when it goes downhill, whereas on a bike you can have a bit of a break.

So what do I do when I lose my mojo?
Change my running routine. This is how I discovered trail running for myself. Instead of staying on the country lanes I ventured into the hills and absolutely loved it. I also started using the running trails in a nearby trail centre to give me different technical challenges or I just turn round a different corner on my home turf or run my usual route the other way round.

Get new gear. I’m terrible when it comes to running shoes and can hardly resist a good bargain of a nice pair. There’s also nothing better than taking your new gear out for the first time and see how it performs.

Sign up for a race. As a friend put it I ‘do half marathons for lols’. It’s kind of  true. I love the atmosphere at these events and the people I meet. If the race is a bit further away I make a short getaway weekend of it and treat myself to an overnight stay. The events also give me race experience and make me push myself that extra bit harder. No better feeling than having achieved a new PB.

I try not to be too hard on myself. After all it’s about enjoying a run and having fun, I am not a professional athlete in the end. So if I don’t feel like running up a hill one day it’s ok to walk, better days will come. Love the scenery? Slow down, stop and enjoy it. The feeling of being surrounded by awesome nature is the best you can get. It’s moments like these you’ve got to treasure as they don’t come back. Make the most of them, take a pic if you want and forget about times and paces. 

It’s then that I realise why I’m doing it and everything is fine again.

Ellen

The German half of Outdoor Kultur. When I'm not working as a graphic designer and illustrator to pay my bills, I can be found outside, rambling in the countryside, going for a run or enjoying my new found love for mountain biking.

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