Running (and/or walking) Tips- #1
#1- Get dressed in running clothes and shoes and get out the door.
In my last post that I was typing during our first snowfall in New York this season, I mentioned that I should get out of this comfortable chair in this warm room and go for a long run. It was cold, wet and dreary out there and I was very content in here reading and writing for the Inspiration site. After writing my post, I figured that I would first change into my running clothes and I would feel a bit more inspired to get out the door. Even before getting out the door I ran into Mridanga who was in this editing office working on videos to share with all of us on the trip and elsewhere.(Kudos to Mridanga for all his hard work to share our Guru's activities with everyone!) When I told him I was going for a run he commented on how cold and dreary it was out there. He was just stating a fact and was not intending to 'throw cold water' on my efforts, or in this case 'snow', which is just of course, cold water, isn't it?
But even with this comment I felt like if I could take one step at a
time, that is getting on the running clothes and the shoes and going out the door and I would be on my way to conquering my lethargy and my
reluctance to leave my comfort zone. I started with a brisk walk and
some easy stretching and then a slow jog, not expecting to go too far as the sidewalks and some streets still were slippery with some snow and ice and slush. As I worked my way slowly past Jamaica High School and into the next neighborhood, I started warming up and feeling more
comfortable. Then I thought of going to Cunningham Park, which I did.
Once I got there I thought of running a little further so as to make it a really good 'out and back' run. (The 'out and back' course is in itself another trick I will discuss in a future 'running tips' article.)
Before the snowfall I had intended to go all the way out to the Alley
Pond Park tennis courts on the 'bike path' which is quite nice
and scenic. Mridanga told me that he was out there today and it was a
bit icy and slippery. He had driven there with someone to check it out
to walk on. But I ended up out there anyway and gradually decided to do the whole run to the end of the path which was a little slippery but not dangerously so. By that time I had gone five miles, so I had to run back five miles. I ended up running eleven miles actually, as I tagged on another one at the end because I felt so good.
So what started out as a reluctance to even get out of the comfort of my warm home and chair became a very nice hour and a half run in which I even did a little speed pick-up. To overcome our reluctance to going out for a run or a brisk walk which we know is good for us but not always a comforting thought, here is some additional advice from Sri Chinmoy from his book, 'The Outer Running and the Inner Running':
Question: Sometimes for days on end I don't feel like running, even
though I know it is good for me. How can I overcome this reluctance?
Sri Chinmoy: "We have to practice self-discipline. It is by doing
something, by becoming something, not necessarily something great or
famous, that we can overcome our reluctance. It is through moving, which is progress, and achieving, which is another type of progress, that we can overcome reluctance. In order to overcome reluctance, we have to have a goal and we have to try to reach that goal. By always moving and progressing toward a goal, you not only become a better runner but you also become a better instrument of God."
So with this advice we can challenge the tricky mind which is usually the culprit when it comes to deciding to go out and get some exercise. But if we are not feeling well and maybe a bit too exhausted or tired, what should we do or not do? Sri Chinmoy again offers his illumined and experienced advice from the same book once more:
Question: 'Should we run even when we are extremely tired?'
Sri Chinmoy : "As a rule, when we are extremely tired it is not
advisable to run, for it will not help us in any way. At that time,
running will be nothing but fatigue and self-destruction, and it will
leave in our mind a bitter taste. But sometimes, even when we are not
extremely tired, we feel that we are. At that time we are not actually
physically tired. We are only mentally tired or emotionally tired, but
the mind convinces us that we are physically tired. Our human lethargy
is so clever! It acts like a rogue, a perfect rogue, and we get
tremendous joy by offering compassion to our body. We make all kinds of justifications for the body's lethargy and make ourselves feel that
the body deserves rest.
So we have to be sincere to ourselves. If we really feel extremely
tired, then we should not run. But we have to make sure that it is not
our lethargic vital or our lethargic physical consciousness that is
making us feel that we are extremely tired. This kind of tricky
cleverness we have to conquer.
With our imagination-power we can challenge the tricky mind and win. We weaken ourselves by imagining that we are weak. Again, we can strengthen ourselves by imagining that we are strong. Our imagination often compels us to think we cannot do something or cannot say something. We often use imagination in a wrong direction. So instead of letting imagination take us backwards, we should use it to take us forward toward our goal."
Enough said until Tip # 2, so stay tuned and don't forget to get out
and exercise today.
For more advice from Sri Chinmoy's book, `The Outer Running and
the Inner Running' go to this link:
For more advice and inspiration about training for a marathon or any
shorter or longer distance races, you may visit my website: