running and me – what a journey it has been. Back when I was in school, I was never really the runner. I didn’t hate it, but it was a struggle, to say the least. Every year I would attend a run that is known here in Austria as the “women’s run” and it indeed was something I loved doing at the time. As time passed by, I lost my interest in it. I would go for a run here and there when I felt like it. It all started back in May 2017 when I participated in another run, and it hit me of how unfit I truly was. My whole body was in pain after running a 5K, and I was curious to find out what would happen if I ran more than once a month.
Fast forward to January 2019, and I was super invested in going to the gym six times a week. At this point, I already had lost a bunch of weight and felt just amazing. What I didn’t know? My body was struggling a lot at the time. I don’t know it for sure, but I am pretty confident that my heavy bloating at the time was caused by overexercising. After all, the gut is our “second brain”. Anyways, one day I decided to go for a run instead of going to the gym. After not being for a few months, I managed to run a little over ten minutes. I felt defeated. For me, this wasn’t a victory because it seemed like nothing to be excited about.
I was wrong. Every single second I spend running and training my endurance should be celebrated. It doesn’t matter if it is “just” five minutes or an hour. Your body is not used to the sudden stress you put it under so the fact that you can run any amount of time is INCREDIBLE and please recognise your body and yourself for that.
How do you motivate yourself to get up and go on a run?
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that even the most prominent running athletes don’t always feel motivated to complete their runs. And you want to know why? Because it is human. We just don’t feel 100% at all times, and that’s okay. I don’t wake up every day full of energy and jump out of bed, excited to do my intervals. I look at the bigger picture at hand. I want to train my body to be able to run long-distance runs like a Marathon or who knows even an Ultramarathon one day? And that is my motivation right there. If I want to get there, I have to do all these little runs in the process, because EVERY SINGLE ONE counts for my end goal. You have to ask yourself: What is your goal? Being able to run 3K, 5K or 10K … It doesn’t matter. What matters here is that you put in the work today, to see your goals and dreams become reality tomorrow.
How do I make progress in running more than 2km?
This is something I have struggled with a lot in the past year. You start running and think to yourself how long can 2km possibly be? It sounds like a short distance. When you are a Beginner, it feels like you are running for hours, just never-ending. I have been there so many times. And you know what? All these 2K runs have made me the runner I am today. At the time, they seemed insignificant, but they remained crucial for my running journey. Those were the runs where my body adjusted slowly but surely to the new situation. And let me tell you something: This doesn’t happen overnight. There is no recipe or quick fix to becoming a better tun. It takes time and patience. Every single distance or time that I ran in the last year added up to me being able to run longer than 15 minutes.
When you are running, you not only have to concentrate on your breathing and how your body feels but also have to focus on your mind. If you tell yourself: “I can’t do this. I am too weak.” while running, and I guarantee you will immediately feel like stopping. The solution? Feed your mind with positive thoughts. Keep telling yourself that you are capable of getting through this run and you actually will. I don’t think I have ever had a session where I felt good all the way through. You get to a point where you feel like you just can’t do it anymore, but it’s the way how you lift yourself out of that slump that matters. And I believe that is the real magic of running.