Let the Run Be What It Is. Go Watchless.
You may not have considered tracking yourself as a mental hindrance, but it may be distracting you from a great run. Tracking devices can add an unhelpful layer of comparison or self-competition to your workout.
“My watch will tell me, I guess based on the other runs that I’ve done, how that run went,” Lauren says. “It will tell me ‘Oh! you’re maintaining’ or ‘This was a productive run’ and then I’ll get ‘This run was unproductive.’”
“You know, funny story! I actually had to take my watch off.” Vonnie says.
“I had to adjust my reality when it comes to my running. Having my watch on sometimes didn’t lend to a positive run.”
Vonnie describes how looking down and seeing a disappointing pace or time threw her mental game off. So she started going on runs without any tracking devices and just “Let the run be what it is.” We’ll say that one more time for the runners in the back. Let the run be what it is. If you’re in the habit of comparing your pace or mileage to your last run (or to others), maybe it’s time to take a break from the devices.
Be Okay With Bad Days
When it comes to having a bad day, Vonnie begins by admitting it took some time to cope when she wasn’t running her best.
“I’ve learned to be good with bad days,” she says. “I don’t think I've always been okay with bad days. But what I would say to other runners that fall on bad days or have hard runs is to give yourself grace.”
As athletes, the temptation is to push ourselves to train harder or get down on ourselves during a lousy run. Know that several factors could contribute to having a bad run. It could be that you had a poor night's sleep, ate something funky, need new shoes, etc. Even in perfect conditions, there may be days when the run never reaches that euphoric high. Don’t sweat it. Stewing in this frustration only serves to demotivate and discourage us further from our goals.
“Understand that you have good days, and you have bad days,” Vonnie says.“I would say, live in both of those.” Stay tuned for upcoming episodes from RUNGRL about common topics and issues faced by everyday runners.
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