I don’t know why my run yesterday was so difficult. It could have been the cold, maybe I was tired, maybe it was any one of a hundred things. All I know was that the whole time, my legs were complaining.
I called it a day at three miles and recorded the video below that I posted on Facebook.
We all have runs like this sometimes. When you’re just staring out probably all of your runs feel like this. I know mine did when I was just starting out nine years ago. Running never felt easy, or enjoyable, I was just trying to get through the minutes.
Eventually those minutes became miles, but I was still just trying to survive. Trying to get to the end of my run.
I think there’s two things that kept me going back then: the achievement at getting a little bit further than I had the last time I ran and the hope that, at some point, it might get easier and that I might start to like it.
It wasn’t that ridiculous a thought – I’d seen people running who seemed to enjoy it and all those pictures in magazines seemed to show people smiling as they run. I wanted to be one of those people. I didn’t consider the fact that they were models on a photoshoot running up and down for a few meters at a time.
It took a long time before I would describe any of my runs as ‘easy’ or enjoyable. I can’t say at which point that happened, and I know that if you’re a new runner reading this that’s the detail that you want – to know when it will get easier.
What I can tell you is that it DID happen somewhere along the line, when I wasn’t thinking about it. It wasn’t that I went out the door one day and everything was joyous, it was just that it gradually got less uncomfortable.
Running is still challenging. I try to run further distances and faster miles, so inevitably that’s going to lead to pushing out of my comfort zone and it sometimes feeling hard. But even in this there’s a certain amount of enjoyment. I wouldn’t do it otherwise.
But there is still, too, those runs when for no explicable reason, everything feels wrong and you just want it to be over. However long you’ve been running, running is sometimes still really hard. It just happens less often.
If you’re just getting into running, have a look at my training guides.