What is the running dip?
When you first start running a mile a day it feels good. You have made a conscious decision to do regular exercise and a mile a day seems a worthy and manageable plan. After the first mile on day one you feel like it’s the best thing in the world. Not too far, it doesn’t take up too much time and you have burnt off a few calories. Your metabolism has been supercharged. The next few days are also fine but as you approach a week you may be heading into a dip. Your motivation may be not as sharp as it was, your legs could be a little tired and you may be thinking of a few excuses each day not to run. All of these thoughts and feelings are a sign you may be entering a dip and in danger of quitting. It’s important to get yourself out of this dip quickly. The dip happens to us all from time to time and these ten suggestions will hopefully help you accelerate out of the out of it.
1. Remember you don’t have to run all the way. Try walking for a minute every two minutes. If your legs are tired then walk quickly all the way for a mile. Adjust your walk breaks depending on how you feel. There is no shame in walking. Remember you are running every day and most days you won’t be walking at all.
2. Think about the miserable alternatives of not doing this: Lower metabolism, weight gain, feeling a little guilty, hot sweaty claustrophobic expensive gyms, chunks of your day spent on exercise wasting your evening when you could be socialising. The list could go on and on.
3. A break of a regular healthy habit that you have spent time building up. With a healthy habit of running a mile a day you can afford to have a few unhealthy habits in the day. Mine is a pint of real ale.
4. Add variety to your runs. Run for something pleasurable such as a frothy coffee or a glass of cold white fizzy wine. Run somewhere completely different such as a city you have never been to before- run from one famous land mark to another. Take to the countryside and find a huge hill to train on. Sometimes a bit more effort can also get you out of the dip! How about some faster segments?
5. Have a mindful run. Leave your phone or watch at home. Choose a route you know and go slow. Tune into all sensations: the wind, your footsteps on the ground, the sound of traffic, birds and other people passing you. If you feel like walking then walk. Just do what your body is telling you to do.
6. Use your run to do a mini task such as post a letter, go to the bank, visit a friend. When you reach for your car keys think. Can I run for part of it?
7. Ask friends and family if they want to join you. Running with other people and coaching other people the techniques you have learnt is a superb way to keep motivated and avoid the dip.
8. Use music to motivate you. Run to the rhythm of the beat. Change your pace with the beat. Sometimes I have used my playlist to time me. I run for the entirety of the first track then walk for the next track etc . Choose a playlist of about 15 minutes in total and choose tracks about three minutes long.
9. Run for 0.2 miles and then run back again. Repeat until you have completed your mile. Each time try to increase your speed by 10 percent. Start with the first 0.2 nice and slow. You should feel exhausted when you have finished.
10. Read running magazines such as runners world and follow runners blogs. WordPress makes this very easy.
These are just ten motivators. There are probably many more. Just remember running a mile a day is a good thing and ultimately can transform your life. After a month you will feel great and you will have run more than a marathon without realising it.
Enjoy your running. Any questions you may have then please ask. Please comment freely.
If you would like to guest post on your experiences of running a mile a day then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org