Fitness Fridays: Working Through Excuses

One of the most important lessons I learned while running is how to read.

Your body was built to preserve itself. It does everything it can do to protect your energy reserves, so once in awhile you’ll find that your brain comes up with white lies to get you out of running. By learning to read your body during your run, you’ll save yourself the heartache of stopping a moderate workout early. Other times, you’ll learn to back off when you’re pushing yourself too hard. Excuses come with the territory but you just have to learn to read when your brain is in fact playing tricks on you.

Here, I’ll outline some issues that have come up with me and what I did to work through them.

Problem: After a long day at work, I’m mentally beat. That translates into me feeling physically tired. All I want to do is go home and rest.

Solution: I tell myself that I’ll keep it short. I devote 10 or 20 minutes to a short run. Most of the time I have enough energy to do twice or three times that, so I keep going. Only once or twice did I stick to that minimum time.

Problem: I had an early lunch and now it’s 7pm and I’m starving! If I eat now I’ll cramp up on my run.

Solution: Have a light snack or one bite of a protein bar. If I can get liquid calories from a protein shake or a gel, even better. Then I can run with no GI distress.

Problem: I forgot my iPod. I don’t think I can get through my run.

Solution: Instead of drowning out the sound of your efforts, learn to focus the energy inward. Listen to your breathing. Pay attention to your form and posture. Get to know your route. Soak in the world around you. Make eye contact with drivers while crossing the street.

Problem: My friends keep bailing on my runs. It’s demotivating.

Solution: Keep going without them. By being consistent they’ll know that you’ll be there when they are ready to get back into a routine.

Problem: My RunKeeper/GPS won’t go no matter how many times I restart your phone or refresh the program. My life is officially over.

Solution: Run with a watch on a familiar route so that you can duplicate it in your log…or, neat concept — run for fun and don’t time it. Go enjoy yourself!

Problem: I want to go running but the person I want to go with hates running.

Solution: Tell them to hop on a bike and come along for the ride.

What are some excuses you come up with? Let’s see if we can work through them together!