Over the Summer, I started using the app Couch to 5K once again. My overall goal was to improve my cardio capacity and reduce body fat. After developing a reasonable layer of muscle thanks to my bodybuilding training, it seemed to be the way to go next – and I was right. If bodybuilding increases your muscle capacity, running helps you getting rid of the fat that has been accumulated under your skin and which makes it difficult to see your evolution as a bodybuilder.
Running has done much more than that for me though. Every time I come back home tired from work, I know that it takes an extra effort to change my clothes and get out of the door for at least half an hour. The biggest reward hasn’t been to see my body getting leaner and in shape, but the sensation that I’m beating myself over and over again, against all odds and principles of laziness. In fact, knowing that I’m doing something most people are too careless to do for themselves on a consistent basis is enough to keep me going week after week.
I have to tell you, however, that I’m not following the original running plan of the app which is to run at least three times a week. I realised that running two times a week is more acceptable and achievable for me, because my body needs to refill its tank of energy and as a highly sensitive person my energy and immune system fluctuate more than usual. So instead of putting myself on the red light, I embrace flexibility and I know how many days I can usually run per week without overloading my body and my mind.
Another benefit from running on a more consistent basis now is that I can manage the impact of negative emotions and thoughts better by making sure I move my body enough. I’m sure I already touched on this subject here before, but our body can store negative energy and that’s probably one of the biggest reasons why we end up developing chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and pain. I can’t say running solves my problems, but it surely has helped me to unload and manage my energy level in a more efficient way.
I believe the hardest part about running or starting out that habit is that period of time in which we must overcome the psychological barrier of feeling that we are physically limited and of that progress happens overnight. In other words, we need to approach running as a series of steps that involve not only the body but also the mind, and we must be aware of the fact that both influence each other. Psychological limitations are usually translated into physical limitations and vice-versa, so it takes a lot of patience and effort to witness results. Breaking through such limitations is what enhances our wellbeing – and, in my opinion, the joy of running.