When a run seems intimidating... some words of wisdom

The mind really does play tricks, especially if you haven’t been training. Here’s what my internal dialogue sounds like when my fitness has slipped.

“I’m not ready… This is going to hurt… Is there any way to just not do this?!”

But in the midst of the negative chatter I hear my old rowing coach Tim Levy’s advice about how to approach the first test of the season. 

“Just get a score on the board.” 

His point was simply to lay down a marker – once you have a score recorded you can’t hide from it. You either train well or don’t train well. You either improve on that score, or you don’t. 

Once I get a score (even a pitiful one) on the board, that helps me set targets for an initial phase of training.

If you find your mind filling up with chatter and excuses, just get out for a run and put a score on the board. Any score. You have to start somewhere. Record your time, then start chipping away at it.


If you’d like some more training tips, join me and international endurance athlete John O’Regan live on Facebook this Saturday 30th September at 10.30am GMT. Post your questions in the comments on anything from fitness, training and nutrition, to getting started, setting targets and sticking to them. 

And, you know, there’s 7 weeks until the Run in the Dark. Why not target a 5K or 10k time that you want to run this November and work towards that. 


Mark Pollock