When The Going Gets Tough…

04 Mar When The Going Gets Tough…

The tough get going…


The topic spring up a lot, maybe as I research more and more into what makes runners “tick” people are asking me more and more about what is holding them back.


What makes you want to stop on your run, why does your mind drift as you run.


In one moment you can be feeling great… At the sight of a hill all the energy in your legs can be sapped from you, leaving you breathing heavy with thoughts of not completing… or… dare I say it… Walk for a bit.

As I was saying to one of the Thursday night runners, there is nothing wrong with walking if the reasons are correct, i.e. you walk to take on nutrition, to nurse an injury or you are new to running and its part of your plan (there are many more reasons why) It doesn’t make you a failure. 


It all boils down to your thought process at that exact point.


Something would have to happened to bring you to that particular conclusion. Chances are you started in relatively good spirits.

Digging deeper into your thought process, it might be that your watch is telling you you are going too slow, or you’ve started too quickly and now telling yourself that you are going to “hit the wall!”


Switching your focus from these negative thoughts to something productive is the method I prefer and the number one reason why I focus on running technique with my runners.


Some will have you believe its all about running efficiency, or reduction of injuries.

Yep these are all good factors and when I first started working with runners this is what I believed to be true.


But the more I’ve been working with runners, the more I have come to realise that its very rarely anything to do with fitness levels.

Its about teaching people just like you, how to deal with thoughts that are holding them back.


Just this morning in my running session (which I was supposed to do yesterday… Alas I decided I “couldn’t do it” – “I’m not fit enough to do that session yet”) I had a lot of thoughts about quitting.


A lot of thoughts about it being too quick.


I’m not saying it to pop myself on a high horse and shout about how well my running is going… Quite the opposite. It’s hard.


But the thing that worked best for me, was trying to distract myself from listening to that little voice in my head.


And the best strategy for it… Running technique.

It gives you something positive to think about.


At that point you might be struggling. Which is the better thought process?

A) It’s too hard, I’ll ease off/cut the session short and go home,


B) I’m struggling, what can I do right now to improve my technique and make this feel easier…


I’ll take B. Hopefully you would too 😉

What works for you when you run?


Coach Ant,



I said I’d mention the New Forest Running Weekend just one last time…

And this is it:



We’ll have sessions on running technique, strength, nutrition, stretching, designing your own training plan… Plus whatever else we can squeeze into one weekend…

Oh yeah… And trips to the pub. Probably some cake and a darn good laugh too.

All the details will be coming via email on Sunday evening around 5pm… So keep an eye on your inbox for that one.


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