Thursday, January 12, 2012

Excuses Excuses

"I don't want to get out of bed."

"All my friends are going to happy hour."

"I'm too tired to run an extra mile."

"It's cold outside!"

Any of these sound familiar? I'm pretty sure I've used all of these as reasons for skipping a run at some point or another. Although everyone needs a break once in awhile, most of the time when I've used these excuses, I was really just being lazy.

I'll convince myself the run is going to be awful. I'll be slow. My legs will feel heavy. I'll get really sweaty. But interestingly enough, it's often these runs that end up feeling the best.

You won't regret running
Lately, whenever I find myself thinking up excuses, I remind myself that while I'll regret skipping a run, I've never regretted going out for a run. Think about it. Have you ever worked out and then after thought, I wish I hadn't done that? The exception of course, being if you are injured and push yourself too soon, too hard.

It's only 30 minutes
If that fails, sometimes it works to fall back on the old standby of telling yourself, I only have to workout for 30 minutes. If it feels awful, I can stop. I've never once stopped because once I get going, it feels great and that's enough motivation to finish the workout.

Avoid a lose-gain situation
Sometimes it's hard to stay motivated, but the alternative is losing fitness and . . . gaining weight. My friend Jamie and I had a chat the gym this week about how it's sometimes difficult to pass up happy hour to workout. Although I certainly recommend going to happy hour once in awhile, it usually ends with drinking too much, which in turn leads to eating too much.

It's also a bit of a slippery slope. Skip too many workouts and it's that much harder to get back into the routine.

So next time I start thinking up excuses for skipping my run or workout, I'll remind myself of these things - and then lace up my shoes and hit the road. It may not seem like it now, but afterward I know I'll feel great.

Now it's time for you to tell me: What excuses do you make for skipping workouts? How do you work past these excuses?

Also, who's following this weekend's Olympic Marathon Trials coverage? I'm excited to see which three men and women will represent the USA in London!

- ST

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