Do you experience the feeling what they call “Runner’s Blues”? This is the feeling when you lose your motivation to run and at the same time lack the needed focus and concentration in your ability to continue with your training program towards a certain goal. Sometimes, after finishing a marathon or an ultramarathon race, there is a feeling after the race that you seem to lack the motivation to start training for another race. No matter how you force yourself to train for a specific race after a “big race”, there seems to be some laziness, lack of drive and motivation, and sometimes not being able to continue your programmed running workout for the day.
I am sure most of the runners out there whom I considered as “purists & hardcore” have experienced this “runner’s blues”. I also observe that my elite members of Team Bald Runner are also experiencing the “runner’s blues” and I have to deal with this situation and challenge them to train some more and be the best that they can be.
After browsing on the Internet, reading some journals about running and based from my running experiences, I hope the following suggestions will solve your respective “runner’s blues”:
1. Take the initiative to be one of the Volunteers in a Race. There is a lot of Race Directors and Organizers around and you could contact them through e-mail or phone and be a part of their Volunteer Group. You can act as their Marshal or Aid Station Personnel. In the BDM 102, you could apply as a Support Crew of one of the competing runners.
2. Look around for a new route. Get out of Metro Manila and look for a mountain. I am sure there are trails towards the peak of the said mountain. Make sure to ask for a “guide” from the Barangay Captain. In the mountain, you can run through a forest or vegetation or in a creek or river. Take some time to walk and enjoy the scenery.
3. Join a Running Club or Run with Somebody. Ask your friend or relative to run with you. If somebody wants a “date” with you, invite him in a 5K or 10K run. Or join one of the running clubs in Metro Manila as they have activities every time they have their running workouts.
4. Leave your Car at Home. Try to run from your house to your office and back without your car. You’ll be surprised that there is no traffic on the sidewalk!
5. Leave your Watch at Home. Try to run without any pressure and just enjoy the scenery of your route.
6. Run an Errand. It’s the same with leaving your car when you buy something at the grocery or buy a “food to go” at the fastfood at the corner of the street or buy bread at the bakery (Pugon De Manila).
7. End your running workout with “drills”. You can do some lunges, high-knee jogging, skipping, bounding, jumping and strides after your run.
8. Do some “fartleks” along the route. Sudden “bursts” of speed along the road will make your run more challenging and interesting.
9. Run in the Dark. When I had my “Manila-Baguio” Adventure Run last February, I enjoyed running in the dark listening to my footsteps and the sound of trucks, buses, and vehicles approaching and passing me on those nights I’ve been running on the road. I’ve learned to distinguished the sound of a transport bus, a cargo truck, and a fast car!!!
10. Run In The Rain. Running in the rain is something that every runner should experience whether you are on the road, at the Oval Track, or on the mountain trails. Running with a wet shoes or thick mud on the soles is a funny experience, too!
11. Treat a Race as a Fun Run or Weekend Workout. Sometimes, you need to slow down with your pace and find time to greet and engage in a conversation with the other runners during the race or after the race.
12. Bring your digital camera with you during your run. When you are tired, bring out your camera and choose anything you want to record or shoot. There are things that are seen and viewed once in a lifetime and seizing such momemt through your digital camera will bring memories/story to your running workout.
13. Look for the “Taho Guy”. Don’t you know that “taho” (bean curd) bought from the streets is a pure source of protein for your aching muscles? The sweetener and the “sago” are also good source of carbohydrates.
14. Take advantage to Rest & Recover. If you are still feeling the “runner’s blues”, it is a sign that you need more time to rest and recover. Write something about your running experiences or read some books about the personal experiences of runners. Eat your complete diet and sleep at least 8 hours a day.
15. Get into Cross-Training Activities. You can go to the Gym, ride on your bike, swim, attend some yoga or Pilates sessions.
16. Go On Shopping! A new set of running apparel and shoes will motivate you to go out and feel you are a “new and reborn” runner!
Good Luck to Everybody and Have Fun In This Weekend’s Road Races!!!