There’s usually no rhyme or reason to it. It just happens. Pops out of nowhere when you are least expecting it. You head off for a workout (or in my case a run) and it’s just freaking hard. Far harder than it should be. Feet like lead. Lungs at about ten percent capacity. And that ability that you take for granted, to be able to push through and find that magical next gear show up is just gone.



Who are you competing against?

Is it you? Because it should be. There’s no quicker way to make your workout feel like shit than comparing it to someone else. You are your best and only competition. Anything else is a distraction unworthy of your time. You know what you should compete against? Not your time last week or last month. But that voice in your head that says you can’t. That voice is excellent competition.

Stop looking at your time, pace or distance.

It’s ok. I’m a PB addict as well. I understand. But when you know you are not going to get there, let’s not having a glaring reminder of how much today is not the day. Get back to what you loved about it before their were times and records. Outside? That’s pretty awesome. There are beautiful skies and trees to look at. Sure you might occasionally have to leap over a dead snake or rabbit but mostly so pretty. If you have kids you will probably just enjoy being on your own because how often does that even happen?

Break It Up.

Most things are intimidating if you look at them in total. If you break them up they suddenly seem more achievable. The other day I had a crossfit circuit that was 50 x squats, 7 dips, 7 chin ups and 10 power cleans with three rounds. Now if I’d looked at that in total I would have probably died. I mean 150 squats?! But it’s just a round. Anyone can do a round.

It is not a waste.

Don’t think because it’s incredibly hard, that it’s a waste and you might as well give up and try another day. It’s exactly the ability to keep pushing when you are mentally exhausted that is going to improve your speed, endurance and capabilities in the long run.

Measure a workout by the effort you put in.

Was it hard? Congratulations, you just did all you will ever need to do.

Just Finish.

You made a commitment to yourself. Finish it. It doesn’t have to be fast, it doesn’t have to be stellar. You don’t even have to like it. You just have to finish. By any means at your disposal. And then you take that ability to finish and you use it the next time that voice in your head shows up. You proved that voice wrong once and you will do it again.

And once you’ve done all of that, talking to other people who totally get it goes a very, very long way.


“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Learn to Run starts on the 17th April

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. Zoey Dowling

    Love this. Pity I can't have a voice recording of you saying these words. I could then play them back to me on days when it all seems to hard. Thanks for sharing xx

  2. Zoey Dowling

    Brilliant! Thanks Zoey :) I'm in struggletown at the moment so I'm going to be reading this over and over for the next little while, let go of the PB quest for now and remember that moving is the main thing.

  3. Thanks Zoey ,it's nice to feel I am not alone with this.

  4. Thanks, Zoey. I so needed to read this today. I went to bed early last night and didn't walk. Tonight was looking the same but now I've read this I'll be getting out and moving tonight.

  5. Zoey Dowling

    Me this morning. Was an 8km long run turn walking LOTS. So tired, sore and thirsty. Bad run and struggling to keep on top of my hydration lately. But I did the distance and I got it done. Only way is up. Thanks Zoey x