I love to get questions from people that watch the show, people that I know about running, about things that they don't know, they're struggling with, because I've been through pretty much all of it. And I can probably help you with that.
So, a little while back, last week, although when this comes out it’ll be a few weeks ago, during my weekly email, I talked about the podcast, the Smart Athlete Podcast, I asked people that are on my email list. I said, “Hey, are there any questions that you have for me that you would like answered?” If you have any questions, leave them down in the comments below.
But my coach actually sent me a question, something I think he's struggling with. I'm glad he deferred to me on the running section; cycling, swimming, triathlon in general, always gonna refer to him. But, so what he asked me is, it should be on the screen now. If you are a master's aged athlete who hasn't run for nearly a year, you really miss it, but getting back in seems like an overwhelming and daunting task.
What do you do? So, today's episode we're going to talk about, if you've been out of running for a while and you want to get back in again, what are the best steps to take to actually accomplish that?
So, at the end of this episode, stay tuned through the whole thing, I'm actually going to link to an interview I did with my coach for the very first episode of the Smart Athlete Podcast when I was just learning how to interview people and have conversations.
But Coach Ryan Ross has lots to share with you about, we talked about motivation, we talked about training, we talked about kind of his history, and the accomplishments that he's had with his Paralympic gold medal athlete.
So, he has plenty of ideas to share as well along with this video, so stay tuned to the end, I will link to that. Really the thing that underlies it coach's question is not necessarily an issue of what do I do. He knows how to plan a training plan. I trust him, I pay him to set up my training plan. So, I know that he knows how to set up a training plan. If you don't subscribe to the channel, bottom right-hand corner there, there are other videos on how to do that.
But what I want to talk about here is kind of the underlying issue that's going on. He says it seems daunting. That's not a matter of oh, I don't know how to set up a training schedule. Like I said, he obviously does. It's a matter of anxiety. There's something that's forcing you to procrastinate, forcing you to step back, and not do the thing that you believe you want to do.
So, really, what this is, is more of a mental question, what is the trepidation? How do I get over this anxiety or this fear that's preventing me from moving forward? Because at the end of the day, when we're procrastinating on something it’s a matter of anxiety. It's not a matter of I don't want to do this. It's a fear about something that is going on with that particular situation.
I experienced this a lot as a kid going to karate class. I really loved karate. I loved being there, I love doing it. But kind of the days leading up to it, I would get this anxiety, and I feel like I didn't want to go. I didn't really or the tools or the time to deal with it and to kind of dive in and figure out what my problem was. But in retrospect, and after time, I've kind of figured out that it wasn't that I didn't want to be there. Because once I went there out of habit, I enjoyed being there.
I wanted to be there. I was happy to be there for the whole two hours. But it was because I had reached this point in my progression. I was a red belt, which is traditional karate system is right before brown and the black belt, and I kind of stalled out.
I was helping teach classes more than I was kind of learning new stuff that would help progress me forward. And I think this kind of anxiety built where it was like I don't want to go because I'm not making progress, and I've learned things about myself where progress is happiness. So, this is a little bit of a self-diagnosis that I had to make and realize that to get over this anxiety, I need to be making progress and I wasn't in a place to be able to do that.
So, you might be asking, what does my story about karate have to do with my coach's question? Well, the thing is, we have to identify what the fear is, what the anxiety is, that's holding him back or holding you back in this particular case, if you're here with me to say, okay, how do we deal with this? Now, I know my coach pretty well but I don't know in this case, what is going on. The things I might ask him are, did you get hurt? What stopped you from running in the first place?
What's made you kind of lay off this last year? If he got hurt, maybe it's a matter of being afraid that he's gonna get hurt again. Or maybe he stopped because he needed to take care of his family and family time is important. Or and I'm dealing with this as myself as I get a little bit older, maybe he's concerned that he just won't be as good as he used to be.
Whatever the issue is, you have to identify it first, before you can confront it, and then figure out how to deal with it. This is probably the hardest part. And my suggestion is, don't push it. Just sit with it. Find a nice quiet room, like here in the sunroom for me. This is a nice quiet place, the occasional car traffic but otherwise, a nice quiet place for me to just hang out and sit with my thoughts.
You kinda have to think about it, but don't think too hard, kinda like when you forgot something, and you're trying to remember you can't force it. So, sit with it, let it bubble to the surface, and then realize if you're like me, your brains gonna probably give you a couple BS answers that aren't really the root of the problem before you get to what you don't want to confront.
Once you figure out that thing that's allowing you to procrastinate, that's giving you that all that anxiety, then you have to decide what your action plan is to counteract it. So, in the case of an injury, say an injury is what stopped you from running and then it just fell off. Well, you need to make a plan to deal with that. So, what's your prehab plan? You know, what kind of exercises or massage or kind of therapy type thing, you're going to do before that injury recurs and gives you a problem. It may still bother you for a little while mentally.
I know I always have trepidation getting back into running if I've been injured and had to take time off; that is a natural exhibit of just any sport, running, cycling, whatever. I talked about this in I think episode five or six. I think five is Cecilia Davis Hayes on the Smart Athlete Podcast when I talked to her about cycling, and she shattered her pelvis basically in a crash and had this trepidation coming back into cycling. So, that's absolutely normal.
If it's a matter of family time or not thinking that you're going to be good enough, you kinda have to decide what your priorities are. If it's family, then know that I'm not going to have as much time to dedicate to running and that's okay. Being okay with that, and knowing, hey, I'm not going to live up to the expectations of younger me.
And that I have new expectations and new needs that I have to fulfill for both myself and my family; that's perfectly fine. You're always in an evolving state, trying to move towards a new and hopefully better version of yourself. So, you can't always carry along those expectations that you had previously.
Ultimately, though, what it comes down to, once you've identified that and made an action plan, you have to figure out what about running makes you joyful? What brings you joy about running? How does it make you happy? That's really what we're doing when we're out running, right?
Because we can't always be faster than we were. We get older and there will be a point when you start getting slower. So, you have to find something more in your running than simply a new fastest time if you're going to continue it through the entirety of your life.
Whatever it is, that brings you joy, embrace that even if you have limited time, or you're just not able to run as much as you're used to. That's okay. If you really love pushing hard, which I love to do that. Then maybe you should do that. If you haven't run Ohio, maybe a miles ?? 08:42> you need to go, warm up, walk, jog, stretch for maybe five minutes, to maybe a half-mile hard or broken up half mile hard, and then cool down. Because that's what you love to do, do that thing.
That thing that you love embrace it. If you prefer long runs in nature and enjoying all the scenic views around you, do that. Running is about, at least to me, self-discovery, self-reflection is a way to keep yourself in shape. But it's many more things than just exercise.
So, those are the ways I would approach this dealing with anxiety and getting you back into running is more of a mental problem than it is a physical problem for at least, I know my coach, and then probably most of you that are dealing with this procrastination. So, if you want to see that interview with my coach, that very first episode of the Smart Athlete Podcast, that'll be coming up on the screen here shortly. And as always, I will see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.