Mindful Monday: Stopping

It was a long run day. On the cards was a 16km long run including intervals.

The wind was howling, it was cold, and I really didn’t want to. A common theme in winter, but today I wasn’t feeling the love.

Combined with a stressful work week, getting over a cold, and just general life, my mental energy was at an all-time low.

Lacing up the shoes, and popping in my earbuds, I decided that I would start with my 10km track and re-assess.

After the first interval, my running pace was all over the place. By the third interval, I finally fell into some consistency, but I still wasn’t feeling it.

At my 5.5km turnaround point, I knew, that this long run was going to be only 10km and not the full 16.4km on the plan.

Even though I have been running for over a decade, and I have loved the challenge of pushing myself by going further and faster, the last few years (thanks COVID), running has started to feel more like a chore.

Completing RED100, I knew that running every day wasn’t my thing.

Running has taught me so many things, that I’m grateful for, but one thing I have realised is that I don’t need to run to be fit. I get the same benefits from other forms of exercise. I love going to the gym and lifting heavy things, and my weekly Yoga with Adriene is also a highlight of my week.

Knowing your boundaries is important for progress. Having learned some valuable lessons from past experiences, I knew that stopping my 16km run at 10km didn’t make me a failure.

It’s okay to take a break from running, even if you’re worried about losing your fitness. Sometimes, taking a break can actually help you get back into it. And it’s important to find forms of exercise that you enjoy so that you’re more likely to stick with them. Your fitness will thank you for it.

Here are some additional tips for taking a break from running and staying fit:

  • Cross-train with other forms of exercise, such as swimming, biking, or yoga.
  • Focus on strength training to maintain your muscle mass.
  • Eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep.
  • Listen to your body and take rest days when you need them.

Taking a break from running can be a good thing. It can help you recover from injuries, prevent burnout, and find new ways to enjoy exercise.

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