How to turn a bad workout into a good one, Running advice from Jeff Galloway

 I was looking forward to my running retreat in Carmel CA after 3 weeks of non-stop travel.  Intuitively I felt that a good run would “wake up” the circuit in my brain that improves motivation.  But it wasn’t happening.  During the first 10 minutes my legs felt heavy and un-responsive--the switch wasn’t turning on.  I thought about turning around.  But then I remembered what I learned when researching for my book MENTAL TRAINING:  If you activate the human brain with a “checklist” of cognitive thoughts and questions, and make strategic adjustments, a bad run can turn into a good one. We have two brain operating systems. The ancient, subconscious (monkey) brain has thousands of stimulus-response behavior patterns embedded. We will usually start our workouts with a standard routine that is conducted by this brain control center. Our human brain is a different entity which we activate by consciously focusing on what we are doing and setting  up a strategy. If we default to the ancient reflex brain, motivation is often influenced by stress:: stress from weather, time crunch, fatigue, life, etc., will trigger anxiety and then negative hormones when the “monkey brain” is in control.  But if you have a strategy, you can activate the human brain which over-rides the “monkey” and stops the flow of negative hormones that bring your motivation down. Here are some questions and tips that can activate your conscious brain and take control over motivation.  How to be motivated when you might not feel like running? 1. Pick a short amount of running which seems really easy, followed by a longer walk break.  Once you start, you can adjust or enjoy the original strategy. 2.Run with a friend, talk, and pull one another along. 3. Have a positive or funny friend who you can text or call before, during and after a run. 4. Tell  yourself that you are only going to run for 5 minutes—once started, you will tend  to continue. 5. Make sure your blood sugar is adequate.  Within 30 minutes before a run, eat a 100 calorie snack such as an energy bar or the proven sports drink.

posted Thursday September 20th
by Jeff Galloway