Last night I had to do a tempo run. "Argh a tempo run?!" I thought as our coach sketched out our route for the night. Other thoughts like I am slow, I am not ready, It's icy raced through my head.
Why do I feel slow? Because I took a break from running. A 2 month hiatus that involved traveling, HIIT and yoga.
Is this ok? Yes. But my mind tells me no. My mind tells me to speed up. My mind gets overly frustrated by the Garmin and thinks "who's pace is this??" Even more challenging, is the fact that my heart rate is higher lately on routine runs. A normal effect of needing to build up my fitness level perhaps, but the heart rate graphs after a run don't lie.
Running back on the 1km cool down I talked to my friend Katy about this. We shared the same frustrations. Our paces, the aches and pains etc.
I thought about this last night and I have these suggestions for battling the negative runners thoughts:
- You may be rebuilding your base. This is not a time for speed it is a time for conscious running and focusing on form. Speed will come later. Trust me. It always does.
- Try running without your garmin or watch. I plan to use this on Sunday by joining a slower pace group for my LSD and just trusting the pace leader. Side note: We have a joke at run club "if it wasn't tracked it didn't happen". We usually say it when a Garmin dies or we forget them at home.
- Give yourself a break. Every run will not be your best run. Every run will not be faster than the last.
- Run with purpose. This our coach EJ's mantra. Maybe your purpose is to focus on breathing. Maybe it is form. Maybe it is to help a good friend pace themselves. The purpose is not always harder, better, faster, stronger.
Are you coming back from a running break? Do you need to give yourself a break??