“Self-doubt is normal. Don’t let it be a trap!”
So, You Think You Are Not A Runner?
Your internal voice is very adept at telling you why you are unable to accomplish your goals. If you are just getting started on your first attempt at incorporating running into your fitness regime, then you are more than aware of the mental pitfalls along the way, especially as it affects motivation.
Let’s face it! Running is really difficult, especially in the first two months of a running program. It does get easier. However, understanding the future does not help when your mind frequently tells you otherwise.
There are a million reason we tell ourselves why we can’t run! Today, we are going to fix that!
In our discussion, we will identify five (5) common distorted beliefs we tell ourselves about why we you are not a runner. We will then provide a robust rational rebuttal for each
Five Distorted Messages That Hold Us Back
1 – “I am too fat to run.”
You survey the runners you know and watch on youtube. You see athletes such as Sage Canaday and know that you will never match up. After all, runners DO have a genetic predisposition to the sport, right?
2 – “I have bad knees that prevent me from running.”
You have always heard others say that running is hard on knees. The first soreness you experience leads you to confirmation that you are destroying your body by pounding pavement.
3 – “Runners are fast. I am too slow.”
Your best friend runs an 8 minute mile. Your new Garmin Fenix 5 Plus regularly feeds to you a slow 12 minute mile. You commit to thinking that anything slower than 8 minutes is a failure.
4 – “I can only run half a mile – That means I am not really a runner.“
You believe that running is defined by distance. If you have to stop for a break, then you are not a runner. Real runners finish the distance without stopping.
5 – “If I don’t complete a race without walking, i’m an idiot for trying.”
Real runners enter and complete races without walking. Knowing that you are unable to run even a 5k without a walk break, leads you to judge others who enter races known for a lot of people who walk, such as Color Runs. You believe that runners who walk during a race are idiots for trying. You internalize the idiot you see in others.
Improving Motivation Through Rational Rebuttal
1 – Runners come in all shapes and sizes!
Negative body image originates from an excessive use of confirmation bias. You see very few overweight runners, proving that pounding pavement is only for the skinny.
Think again! Ultra runner Mirna Valerio of Rabun Gap Georgia, runs the distance as a plus size runner, proving that body composition is not a roadblock to passion. She proves to herself the absolute power she has, even in the face of massive fat shaming.
2 – Your knees Actually Benefit from Running.
New research indicates that running actually may improve the condition of the knee. The New York Times (2017) recently reported that activity improves the joint by changing the biochemical environment inside the knee; It is time to stop believing that running puts the knee at risk.
3 – Runners have lift off – Any form of, ‘active falling,’ is running.
Ultra runner, Scott Jurek calls running a form of active falling. The primary difference between running and walking is that when you walk, you always have one foot on the ground. Running is the act of being off the ground during your stride while catching yourself during foot strike.
What does this have to do with speed? Think of it this way: Elite runners have serious lift off resulting in speed. However, the amount of liftoff does not define running, only speed. We believe that if during your stride you are off the ground for even a micro-second, you are actually running.
4 – Any amount of distance running, is distance accomplished by a runner.
In the beginning, you will not be able to go very far. And that is okay! Running any distance makes you a runner. Improvements come over time, and much faster than you now believe. Before you know it, you will be able to complete a full 10k. It just requires physiological adaption and time.
5 – Judging others for what you cannot do yourself, gets you nowhere. Athletes of all levels walk during races.
Entering a race is all about completing the distance, not perfecting it. Walking is a normal part of a race, even for ultra runners. It is common during ultra long distances, even for elite athletes, to walk up long hills.
Moreover, it is important to remember that many marathoners use the 10-1 rule created by Jeff Galloway. This means that during long distances (e.g., 44.2k), it is wise to run ten minutes and walk for one. Believing that you have to run the entire distance is a form of all-or-nothing thinking leading to a sense of failure.