Some days, going for a run can seem more like a daunting task than something you do for your mental and physical well being. Training can get tough and life is busy, but there are some little things you can do to be a happier runner, more frequently. According to Christopher Bergland, positive thinking is key.
The “runner’s high” has been attributed to both endorphins and to endocannabinoids–substances released with exercise that produce an effect similar to a marijuana high. Bergland, three-time triple ironman winner and Guinness World Record holder for the most distance covered on a treadmill in 24 hours (153.76 miles) lives and runs by the philosophy that by having a positive, determined and resilient attitude toward exercise, you can wire your brain to enter a state of euphoria, or bliss, while running or racing.
"When I race, I swing from positive thought to positive thought," Bergland says quoted by Runner’s World. "I scan the horizon for any potential thought that might bombard me. I only attach to a thought that hums of positive emotions. When that stops humming, I look for something else to latch onto. If a negative thought enters my mind, I make it very slippery. Happy thoughts are covered in Velcro, magnets, and super glue."
He puts it quite nicely, doesn’t he?
Along with positive thinking, we think it helps to try changing up the routine a bit:
Don’t schedule all of your runs–on some days, why not trying to go when you have the time? It’s understandable to have busy days where you have to keep a certain order, but give yourself a break from watching the clock on days where you really don’t need to. Sometimes, feeling free of a schedule can make all the difference.
The days you feel like a run is forced are the days you will do nothing but stare at it, shocked more time hasn’t gone by. So, leave it behind every now and then, it will definitely make a difference.
One day a week, head out for your run at a completely different time of day than you normally do. One of our favorites is during a lunch break. Something about it that breaks up the work day makes it really special. For most of us, this isn’t something we can do every day, but give it a try!
Usually hit the road? Try a trail instead. Something about being surrounded by nature instead of cars and buildingts that can make you appreciate the simpler things in life, like your run!
If you usually run with a buddy, try it alone. No offense to the buddy system, but it’s quite possible you could feel a renewed sense of appreciation for the benefits of running when you don’t have talking, or the thought of keeping up with someone else, on your mind. If you usually go alone, try asking a friend or family member if you can join them on their run, or ask them to join you, it’s sometimes surprising how a little change can lift our spirits.
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