(No, seriously. Keep your chin up.)
We’ve all hit the wall. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned runner struggling to keep pace newbie feeling new levels of pain with 40 seconds left in a 90 second push.
Tough spots like this are part of the experience. They’re what being a runner is all about.
But that doesn’t mean you have to take them lying down. Battling through the most challenging part of a workout doesn’t have to be about gritting your teeth and holding on for dear life.
As we get tired, our form starts to break down. We spin our wheels, working just as hard for a fraction of the speed. Attitudes turn sour and we start working against ourselves. It’s a perfect storm of bad energy. The next thing you know, you’re running in quicksand.
Next time you hit one of those tough spots, try smiling. And I mean literally smiling: ear-to-ear, mouth open, big goofy grin. You’ll feel the endorphins kick in.
Lift your chin while you do it. Your silly smile will make you feel better, right away. Your lifted chin will help you breathe better, big time. Your posture will improve. You’ll be able to lengthen out your stride and go faster while spending less energy.
Give it a try next time you feel the wall building in front of you. Or if you’re usually a pretty positive, steady-as-you-go runner, take that smile for a test drive when your headphones tell you to get ready for the last run of the workout.
It’s amazing how much good a little smile can do. Just be warned…you might look like a bit of a maniac in your finish line photos.