How to Survive a Hard Run

Hello Beautifully Nutty readers!! My name is Katie and I blog at Running4Cupcakes. My blog follows my life and my quest for balance and healthy living. I blog about everything, but my favorite topics are running, teaching BODYPUMP and aerobics, being a new Mom, daily life, my latte addiction, crafts, new recipes, baking, and lots of pictures of Luke (my 17 month old) and Abby (my 8 year old collie mix). I am so happy to be guest posting for Melanie while she is out having an awesome vacation. I can’t wait to see pictures and read all about it!!

So, recently I had a super hot, hard 4 mile run. I don’t know if it was just one of those hard runs, if it is because it had been over a week since I pushed Luke in the jogging stroller, the heat, the humidity, my breakfast, or what?!?

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Do you ever have hard runs?

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Duh, right?

If you do any running, you know that hard runs are the name of the game, but how do you survive and push through?

Here are a few tips and tricks that I use to get me through a particularly hard run whether it is 2 miles or 20 miles. ..

*Disclaimer – if you are trying to get faster or improve your running times, sometimes, all you can do is push through those hard runs. . . but these tips might help make the run better.

1. Walk. Sometimes a quick walk break from 10-30 seconds can bring your heart rate down and give you a little breather. Perfect time to grab a picture too!!

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2. Slow down. If you are having a hard run, forget about your pace, forget about any time goals. Slow down, concentrate on your breathing and re-set your expectations. A hard run can sometimes be made easier if you just re-adjust your goals. . .

3. Run faster. Wait, what? Didn’t you just tell me to run slower? Yes, yes I did. But, if you are my husband and you are having a hard run, he will run faster so it is over faster. . . now, that doesn’t work for me, but it is an option.  😉

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4. Take a water break. Same principle as a quick walk break. Slow your pace down and grab a drink of water, stop to walk and take a drink or swing by that water fountain or 7-11 and take a quick break for a drink. This slows your heart rate down and provides some hydration.

5. Pick a new goal. So, when I am having a hard run, sometimes, I will push through and complete my goal number of miles, but there are sometimes when that just isn’t going to happen. And that’s ok. . . Not every run is going to be perfect, great, with fast splits and speedy pace. Sometimes, adjusting your mileage, hilly course, or amount of breaks that you take, can make the difference between todays run and tomorrows run.

6. Change up your music. I just heard a great tip on Hungry Running Girl about having a playlist only for running. So, you only get to listen to specific songs while you are out on a run. You don’t get burnt out on music, so, when a song comes on you can totally rock out or dance down the street, because you love it!

7. Call a friend. Or pick up a friend to run with! I usually run with my phone so if I get bored on a run or I want something to distract me, I phone a friend. I always explain that I am out for a run, so please excuse the heavy breathing. . . but normally friends are more than happy to chat away while you are cranking out the miles. Also, being on the phone makes you slow your pace so that you can talk while running too!

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8. Motivation, baby. I have a few key motivation phrases that I think about when I am pushing through a hard run. 1. What doesn’t kill you makes your stronger (thank you Kelly Clarkson!). 2. You never regret a workout 3. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. 4. Finish hard, finish strong.

9. You never regret a run. <—See #8 motivation quotes. I obviously use this one a lot. 🙂

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10. Reward yourself. I always always always think about what I am going to do when I get home. Anything from take a long hot (or cold, depending on season) shower, food I am going to eat, what I am doing later that day, etc. FYI cupcakes are always good rewards for running –> get it, running 4 cupcakes? 😉

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And no matter how far your ran or what you pace was, you survived a hard run, and that’s something to be proud of! So, please don’t beat yourself up over it, it’s one more training run under your belt, or good workout for the day. And you are better and stronger because of it.

What do you do a get through a tough run or workout??

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. These are some great tips! When I have a hard workout, I just tell myself to push through it because it’ll be so worth it in the end. I always feel so much better after I’m done. I also slow down a bit. I don’t stop, but I’ll just decrease my speed to give myself a breather.
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  2. Haha – Running 4 Cupcakes 😉 I get it, I get it! I love the idea of setting new goals. I typically tell myself to run to somewhere I can see and by then my side cramp or lack of motivation is gone (or less) and I keep going.
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  3. Danielle

    Love these tips. I’m normally with your husband, run faster to get done faster. I always worry that if I take a walk break, I won’t start running again.

  4. My favorite motivation phrase for tip number 8 is “Every step makes you a better person”. I used to have a personal trainer who would say that when I was on the stairmill, and I loved it!
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  5. Love your tips!!! I do most of these things during a hard run. I’m a big supporter of walking. I also repeat to myself you’re awesome, you rock to try to distract my brain from wanting to stop. Music is always a savior!! I’m usually singing along to my songs.
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