Rekindling the fire

Posted on February 14, 2013


running valentineThere are times when you can’t get enough of each other, you and the trails … when your grass is green as green can be, the sky the bluest blue, there’s bounce in your every step and you feel like you’re running on air. But then there are also times when you lose that spark, your mojo goes missing and the thrill dissipates.

So how do you rekindle that flame?

Today, being Valentines Day, there is love all around so surely, the perfect day to start putting the spice back into your running.

It’s all down to A,B,C,D & E …

Think of your relationship with running as that with your lover. A is for attraction, B is for building and C for continuation. D and E are the ones we want to avoid: deterioration and ending. We need to remember that both take work, that sometimes you need to stand back and take stock … to remind yourself that despite your missing mojo, the positives outweigh the negatives.

Here’s what you need to keep your love alive:

Communication

Problems rarely arise without warning. Learn to listen to every whisper from your body and you may just prevent a full-scale blowup. Early indications to pay attention to include:

  • Pain that goes beyond the normal aches. Don’t overdo the Vitamin I and run through it. Ease up instead and take some time off.
  • Feeling exhausted. Healthy relationships leave you energised. Unhealthy relationships leave you drained.
  • Finding excuses. Excuses are just that.  Consider instead the reasons behind the excuses and tackle them head on.

Respect

Running is wonderful, but if you don’t respect its power, it will bite back at you so be careful not to overreach and to only increase your mileage, intensity or frequency gradually.

Spontaneity

Nothing beats some spontaneity at times, or being impulsive … something I’m personally famous for! Just don’t let your relationship get too predictable … hit some different trails, vary your training or running partners, run at different times even.

Romance

If your running is getting too bland, spice it up.  Enter a new race, take a running vacay, hey …. fantasise even, about a hot running scenario. Think about meeting Mr Grey in some mysterious woods and letting him ……………… (you complete that sentence!!)

Quality Time

Don’t just log up junk miles or it will continually feel like a slog. Be mindful with your running … breathe the air, marvel at your surrounds, watch birds flying, kids playing, dogs walking, sun shining …

Flexibility

Not the touch-your-toes variety but rather the give-and-take that’s necessary for any relationship to survive. If your expectations are rigid, sooner or later something will break. Life just gets in the way of training sometimes and that’s a-ok. Running should bend to accommodate our lives, not vice versa.

Appreciation

Remind yourself what first made you fall for running.  Think back to the euphoria you first felt on reaching landmarks … the sense of achievement and reward that left you drowning in a flood of self-pride. Appreciate that if running did that for you then, it can certainly do same again.

Spread the Love

Remember when Lennon and McCartney said, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Every relationship is a two-way street and the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out so think about how you can ‘give something back.’ Help people you know with training and motivation, volunteer at a race, support community running forums … these and others will help to rejuvenate your own love for the sport.

The honeymoon period never lasts forever …

It’s inevitable that the initial thrill will fade but beneath the infatuation is a far more rewarding and sustainable relationship so when you think all is lost, just give these tips a try.

My personal lack of lust over recent months has been rectified this very week as I’ve hit the tree-lined snow tracks in Niseko, Japan long before a creature awakes then returned to a roaring fire and a soak in the onsen. Magic. Pure magic!

Happy Valentines Day!

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