Ealing's Reluctant Runner...  Hears Voices

Some are motivational and some really aren't

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This last week I've tried - I really have - but I'm still not feeling 'it' ...yet.

I did a couple of short runs and then on Friday took part in a great workshop with a few other runners at Lammas Park with motivational fitness instructor, Gareth Goffin.

It was really useful and he reiterated the toe-heel technique which we had been practising previously. Gareth made the session both practical and informative and our small group had fun and progressed rapidly.

I ran back home totally mindful of this new style and it felt reasonably ok - but glancing over at other runners doing their thing, oh so easily, I heard a familiar whisper in my head telling me that I wasn't a 'proper' runner and would never be.

The problem really arose when I decided to do the Park Run the next day.

I have taken part in the weekly Gunnersbury Park 5k in the dim and distant past, but not for a while, and guess forgot that it's a totally different pace to how I 'train' on my own.

So I set off with everyone else at 9am but immediately felt uncomfortable - so many people were whizzing past me: I was struggling and felt disheartened. It was a warm morning and, at about 2.5k (half way), the familiar whisper became a voice and piped up telling me I had to stop.

I know I should have ignored it and carried on, but I was beginning to feel sick and not remotely enjoying it, so I stopped.

There. I said it. I gave in. Not what you are supposed to do at all is it? But hey ho, I did.

I think I'm getting to grips with all the things I don't like; trying to run fast; listening to the sound of my laboured breathing; running when it's warm and feeling I'm being overtaken by everyone.

All negative stuff... I need to start finding some positives.

So what do I like about running....ermmm?

Well I LOVE the finish line.. but there must surely be something to enjoy about the journey to reach that glorious place.

So runners, let me ask you a few questions which may help my plight.

What do you love about running?

How do you get over the boredom?

What about the temperature, how do you cope?

And, what on earth do you do when the voices start getting louder in your head telling you to STOP - how do you get rid of them... (or is it just me that hears voices.. eek?!)

I found these 'mind tricks to make you a better runner' on a site called 'the running bug.'

Correct your mental state - start in a positive frame of mind

Are you really too tired? - Take a moment to really feel whether you are mentally or physically tired

Challenge your limits - set realistic goals but make sure they challenge you

Don't worry - even a rubbish run is better than no run

Use 'power phrases' during your runs - 'I don't stop when I'm tired - I stop when I'm done'...cheesy but works apparently

Wait for your second wind - your brain apparently keeps some energy in reserve in long races

Expect the unexpected - train in adverse conditions and it will be much nicer when it's sunny and warm


I welcome any useful hints and tips and will happily share them with anyone else who is still nowhere near the 'zone'.

Please do send me any words of wisdom, I need lots of help ...as ever.


Annemarie Flanagan


05/August 2015