Run away from your problems
So, despite the title, this blog isn't actually about running away from your problems, it’s actually about how I use running to help me clear my mind and de-stress from the everyday shit we all have to deal with.
About two months ago, I decided that I would take part in a 10km charity run in Dublin, called “Run In The Dark”. I was really motivated (at first) to do it because I had done this run before, two years ago and felt great during my training and after I finished the race.
I decided to make a training schedule for the 8 weeks and build up to the race gradually but life got in the way and royally messed up my plan. Between work, college and planning a Halloween party (that takes a lot of effort FYI), I completely forgot about the run. My Dad (who was the person who asked me to do the charity run with him) was flying along and I just didn't have the motivation to get up and train.
So, four and a half weeks into my 8 week training plan, having not trained pretty much at all, I decided to get my shit together. I couldn’t let my Dad down and let him go run by himself so I decided to pick myself up and not use late evenings in work or not having the energy to train as an excuse. Life can be so exhausting at times but I honestly believe that setting a goal and achieving it, no matter how small it is, can give you such a boost and build your confidence.
I set myself a last minute running plan (which is below, along with my tips for running if anyone is interested). I tried to run three times a week, whenever I could, even during my hour lunch break. Although running seems like an exhausting task, I promise you that this or any form of exercise will give you much more energy than it takes out of you.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins - these are chemicals that your brain naturally produce, which make you feel happy and energised and they work wonders for your mental health!
My advice for anyone who feels like things may be getting on top of them, or are feeling a lack of motivation is to set a goal and try commit to it. Even if you start late or slip up, don't give up. You will be amazed by what you can achieve if you set your mind to it.
My second bit of advice is exercise! Don’t worry, this is not a fitfam / courgetti-spaghetti type of blog, I just think any form of exercise can be amazing for your physical and mental health and can really give you a much needed boost / escape.
Thanks for reading & I hope you have a wonderfully productive week!
Use a running app. - I use ‘RunKeeper’ and have done for years. It’s free, easy to use and it tracks/ records all of your runs and speaks to you in your earphones every few minutes to let you know your current pace.
Make a running playlist - I use Spotify to do this. Try to keep one or two of your favourite songs for the last few km so they come on when you really need that last little boost of energy. Spotify actually has some ready made running playlists there too if you’re in a hurry to get started!
Sign yourself up for a run - whether it be a 5km or 10km run coming up in a few months that you can work towards.
Train with a friend - I prefer training on my own and just competing with myself/ improving my pace a little bit every week but having my dad as my running partner on Sundays really pushed me to keep running when I felt tired. Also, my dad had to drag me out of bed to go once or twice so if you have someone who is willing to do that when you’re feeling lazy and unmotivated, then definitely make a few plans to run with them!