They say the first ten minutes of a run always sucks. And quite often, that’s true. Something about lactic thresholds and anaerobic respiration that I wasn’t quite paying attention to during Running 101.
My favourite running partner Ben is currently preparing for his physical training course with the Navy, which is “getting slowly flayed over a period of two weeks”. He’s great company for runs since he really has to train, lest he be discovered collapsed in a heap and covered in horse shit somewhere in the vicinity of Dartmoor.
On our new favourite route, the first ten minutes are horrific. We have to run very slightly uphill through generic concrete council houses and depressing office blocks. And then we hit London’s South Bank, which is essentially a plethora of wonderful-smelling restaurants and happy people drinking fantastic wine, eating fantastic food, and most importantly not torturing themselves through the act of running. So until we’ve crossed Waterloo Bridge, the struggle is real.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I often find myself muttering I hate this I hate this I hate this I hate this to a bemused Ben. Or sometimes it’s vice versa. Here are some of our best responses so far to each other’s I hate running. Because predictably and thankfully, we always get through those horrific first moments, and the runner’s high is only a few miles away.
“I hate running!”
“But just think of the peanut butter”
“But at least we won’t die of heart disease”
“But think how sexy we’ll look!”
“But these people all wish they were us”. (Said whilst wheezing and red-faced).
“But you’d probably kill someone if you didn’t have running”
“The first ten minutes is always gonna suck. Keep going”
“But think of the abs”
“But The Navy!”
“Yeah, it is fucking miserable isn’t it? Now c’mon keep going”
I have to say the last one is my favourite by far. It’s liberating to admit that running sometimes sucks, and that it’s not about being some gazelle-like creature who breezes through the meadows to the Amadeus soundtrack. And like I said, it always gets better.
So how do you motivate yourself on a bad run? Or a bad start? What would you add to this list?