Guilt Free Running
Thanks for reading DAY 13 of the Run & Not Grow Weary blog series.
Each day we have a powerful scripture paired with a running topic! The full 30 Day series will be available as a download to all blog subscribers.
The Guilt Problem
My coaching clients have to report their workout results, even if that means they skipped a run – they have to write “skipped” or a brief explanation of what they did instead if they didn’t do the assigned workout. It’s partially an accountability aid and partially so I know they didn’t just forget to report their results. Because of this, I’ve had a lot of conversations with different clients about running and guilt feelings.
Ever felt guilty about not running? Or not hitting the miles you were supposed too for your training? It’s a weird motivation crusher. You feel like a failure and you’re letting yourself down (or your coach down) and suddenly it’s a lot harder to get your run in or hit your paces.
It’s weird if you think about it because…whether you run or not is largely devoid of any serious moral or ethical consequences. Then again, if you were raised in a religious setting of any kind, you’ve probably got a healthy guilt reflex anytime you don’t do something you know you should do, whether or not it has any eternal meaning.Ever felt guilty about not running? Read Run & Not Grow Weary Day 13. Click To Tweet
Stop Feeling Guilty
Handling the guilt reflex in a healthy way is super important. There are some things in life we should never feel guilty about, like having a dessert, taking a personal day, or skipping a training run. If feelings of guilt/regret/disappointment/failure have become common in your running life, RED FLAG! It’s probably marring your run mojo, so let me release you. STOP FEELING GUILTY. Running isn’t inherently right or wrong. It’s a positive option you have to use to your benefit. Or not.
That being said, guilt has it’s place. If we make a habit of devouring dessert, playing hooky, or avoiding exercise…a pinch of guilt is like a small ingredient in your recipe for getting back on track. Guilt is like stress; helpful in small, temporary doses but deadly with prolonged exposure. The fact that you’re able to feel guilty about doing something wrong is good! It means you’ve passed the Not A Psychopath Test! But the purpose of guilt is to be an internal wake up call to fix something broken and start acting right. Do that and the guilt should disappear. If it doesn’t, you gotta make it.
Tell a mirror, “I skipped one run, but I refuse to feel bad because I’ll get the next one!”
I tell my clients who are suffering from motivation-crushing guilt to remember that the NEXT workout is the BEST workout because it’s a NEW opportunity to start fresh and make progress. So they missed the last one…so what? So they were sick and missed a week’s worth…well, it’s a good thing they have me to adjust their training so they can jump back in to a modified plan!
Let guilt serve it’s purpose, then in the immortal words of an animated ice princess, Let. It. Go!
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