Challenging Yourself In Every Run
By Bethany Widdicombe
About the Author:
Bethany Widdicombe is a runner at heart, a researcher by nature, and a writer by passion. Having traveled across the world, she continues to be an advocate for awareness and knowledge that empowers people to a better life. You can now find her running out on the trail, or nestled away writing her next article for Running Stats (http://www.runningstats.com/).
When you have been running awhile, it can be hard to challenge yourself on individual runs. You may have certain goals you expect to meet when training for a race, but it may start to get boring. If running has become too much of a routine, then it is time to challenge yourself. In every run, you can challenge yourself to be better, run stronger, and accomplish your goals.
Let Your Body Be Your Guide
Your body is stronger than you may think, which means it is important to trust your body to be your guide. Body sensing is an essential part of running, and can even help you push your limits. Those who leave their running watch at home, actually improve their personal records, because their body knows what to do. You can challenge yourself simply by listening to what your body is telling you.
When you are used to controlling your miles, it can be challenging to just listen to your body. Leave your device at home and try paying attention to your movements. Clear your head to focus on your body. Pay attention to your body compensating for potential injuries, and to how your stride is affecting your alignment. Adjust accordingly and keep your speed level where your body feels best. From an easy long stride to fast paced sprinting, your body can guide you into new challenges, you just have to listen.
Letting go of the need to control your mileage, your workout, or even routine, can create new challenges all on its own. By listening to how your body moves, you can keep yourself from common running injuries like runner’s knee and shin splints. Bring the focus back to your body for optimal running health and to challenge yourself as you run. Each day will bring new ailments, challenges, and accomplishments. You just have to be willing to listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
Pick a New Routine
Having the same running routine throughout the week can be mentally draining after awhile. Your body will settle into a regular rhythm as it gets used to your usual routes. Challenge yourself by creating a variety of different ways to approach your daily run.
Trying out a different routine can be exhilarating and frustrating at the same time. For those who thrive on routine, it is hard to pick up a new routine and be okay. It may set you off balance for a bit, but your body will soon find stability. To change up your routine, try safe running routes that are different from your usual. Be sure to tell someone where you plan to go, just in case of an emergency.
A new routine is more than just changing up your route; it is in how you start and finish a run. Nutrition plays an important role in running health, which means if your usual routine involves consuming heavy foods after a run, then challenge yourself to give your body what it needs. Your body needs to stay well hydrated and nourished as a runner. Food that provides hydration and nourishment can seem challenging at first, but in the long run will guide you to be a healthier runner.
Test Out Different Training Styles
From professional to amateur runners, every person develops their own style of training. By following a trainer or a training program, it can feel regimented at times. If you have a trainer, ask them about different styles of approaching your runs. There is no perfect way to approach your training, which means you can test out different styles to challenge your usual running routine.
Fartlek workouts are a way to change up your running program into doing intervals and teaching your fast and slow twitch muscles to strengthen. Tempo runs, hill workouts, and longer runs are variations of training that can teach your body to respond to challenging elements.
A part of pushing yourself to test out different training styles is the psychological battle. Your body and mind may resist the change, but your body is capable of more than you may think. When you change your perception about achievement, then you can push the limits. The greatest runners in the world have defied all odds and achieved the impossible.
Knowing and testing your limits is simply a part of being a runner. Change up your usual routine and let your body guide you. Go out and achieve the impossible by challenging yourself in every single run.
Run stronger, faster, and farther by challenging yourself every single day.
Image credit: http://www.garmin.cz/aktualne/aktuality/vite-jak-vybrat-bezecke-hodinky.html