Take on the Challenge and Push Yourself

In today’s video I talk about why you should always keep trying to improve and keep pushing yourself.

While easier runs do have their place as part of a balanced training plan, in the video you’ll learn about the extra physical and mental benefits that you get from pushing yourself.

So take on the challenge, push yourself, and get more out of your running.

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11 Responses to Take on the Challenge and Push Yourself

  1. Chris Mercier says:

    Hi James, Love all your great information….you keep me going mentally AND physically and I get a lot from your encouragement. I live in a VERY hot, humid state of Florida and running even early in the mornings as I do is hard for me in the intense heat. Because of that, I’m finding that I’m doing shorter, easier runs than I know I can do. I run every other day and on the off-days, I do more “toning” exercises with the exercise ball, etc. By just doing the shorter, easier runs due to the heat, will I plateau in my weight loss, and can you suggest anything else I can do even though my runs are shorter/easier due to the heat? Also…will I be able to run longer and harder if I eat more beforehand? I usually have some coffee and Greek yogurt with fruit mixed into it. Should I have more in my stomach to be able to run longer?

    • James says:

      I’m glad that you’re enjoying my information Chris and finding it encouraging.

      Your weight loss is likely to plateau if you’re only doing shorter and easier runs. As your body gets smaller it burns fewer calories to maintain itself. Therefore, you need to keep improving your running ability to enable you to burn more calories and keep the weight loss going. This is best done by completing harder runs.

      With the hot weather maybe you could look at doing a few harder runs indoors on the treadmill with air conditioning. Or before the run you could pour water over your head and shirt which will keep you cooler for a large part of the run.

      If you’re eating close to your run then you don’t really want too much food. However, it would help if you could have a meal a few hours before the run and then your body has time to take in the energy and digest the food.

  2. Rob says:

    Hi James, great advice and encouragment as ever. I’m 60 and have put on a few pounds more than I should so it takes me longer to recover from runs these days than when I was younger and very fit. Thing is I still have the same mental drive as before and really pushed myself like I used to until recently when unfortunately I pulled a hamstring in my right leg. This is very painful but most of all really frustrating because now I have to stop running and rest or excercise gently for some weeks just when I was beginning to make progress with weight loss & fitness! I’m doing some swimming with gentle leg movement and taking gentle walks. How long do you think before I can start running again & have you got any advice as to the best way forward? Thanks

    • James says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your hamstring injury Rob. I know what you mean about it being frustrating, especially when you’re making progress and it stops you in your tracks.

      The time it will take to recover all depends on how bad the pulled muscle is. If it’s not too bad then maybe a week or two of gentle exercise is enough, but on the other hand it could take maybe 6 weeks to fully recover if it’s a worse injury.

      The most reliable and effective way to return from an injury is to visit a physio because they can assess the injury and provide you with advice specific to you.

  3. Nicoleta says:

    How do I know I push myself? This is my only area of confusion…. When i do my easy runs i am sweaty and I feel tired at the end. When I do my harder runs I am also sweating but I feel exhausted at the end. Is this a good indication I am doing alright at pushing myself?

    • James says:

      It certainly sounds like you’re pushing yourself on your harder runs Nicoleta.

      I would class an easy run as one where you finish running and you know that you could do a lot more if you had to. For example, you could run the whole distance again.

      I would class a very hard run as one where you finish the run feeling like you couldn’t have run any further or very little.

  4. Fiona says:

    Hi James, thanks again for the ongoing great advice. Ive just done 6 miles leaving at 7.30 this morning. I was up at 6 and found an omelette and a small coffee helped me. I set off brilliantly doing 10 min miles but after 3 miles I just ran out of steam, my legs just going and had to walk a short way and then continued to “plod” the rest. Really frustrated when I do this and concerned as I am attempting another 10k in 2 weeks time and have signed up for a half marathon in September. What would you suggest I take to refuel on the way round. I thought about trying gels but was told you are only supposed to take these after you have run for over an hour.

    Would appreciate a bit of advice please. I just feel Im going backwards at the moment:((

    • James says:

      You could have a few things like energy gels, a sports drink, or jelly babies because they provide quick release energy. However, you don’t really need them unless you’re doing something like a marathon because your body stores enough energy to get you through the run.

      The most likely problem you had was misjudging your pace by starting out too fast. The aim on your longer runs should be to run at an even pace all the way. That will get you the quickest and most high quality run overall.

  5. Ronnie Sage says:

    Thanks for all the great info it really is helpfull, keep it comming

  6. Evelyn Ferris says:

    Thanks James for your vido,I’m a new runner i’ve been running for 1 mo,then took a break for my moms health.I,m back on the tredmill again i’ve been running for 30 to 45 mins at a time sometimes i break it up with 3- 15 min runs then 5 mins walks between and some times 30 mins str. not sure if thats right but maybe u can tell me.I also run in the a.m on a empty belly but i feels right?

  7. Stephen says:

    Hi James, after reading a few of the comments I thought I would ask you about my own problem.

    I am training to be in the army at the moment, it was a rash decision so I’ve only been running for 2-3 weeks now. But I’m struggling to maintain myself at a steady pace and everytime I run I am absolutely exhausted. I have been doing 1 mile-1.5mile runs and everytime I have to stop at least once during the run and on other days I have stopped up to 5 times.

    I get to the point where I just get the feeling I cannot breathe anymore.

    I have been doing 1 mile in around 9 mins and 1.5 mile in around 14 mins.

    I want to be able to get to the point I can comfortably run 3 miles without stopping and without feeling exhausted. And also to improve my mile times to be around 7 mins per mile.

    Is there anything that you could suggest to myself?

    Best regards.