I didn’t sleep well last night/I’m hungry because I didn’t fuel properly/My foot has a twinge/My water tastes funny.  Therefore, I can’t finish my workout as planned, right?  Right.

Do you have this conversation with yourself during a workout?

On Saturday, I ran 3 miles on the treadmill.  It was the first time I’ve ever run 3 miles on a treadmill.  I have not historically run on a treadmill because I hate them.   I find running in place demoralizing    I much prefer seeing my progress as I run.  I find one static pace to be difficult to adjust to.  I prefer self-adjusting within a pace according to changes in terrain.

my view from the mill

So during the entire workout, I kept thinking of reasons to stop.  I had plenty to choose from including, heat, tiredness, and general laziness.  But I didn’t let myself convince myself to stop.   I knew my pace was slow enough to allow me to finish without tons of discomfort.  I had a magazine to read to distract me and music to motivate me.  I had all the pieces to finish my workout.  I just had to stop the negativity.

When excuses popped up, I just said, “No!  You are finishing this workout as planned.”  Last week I adjusted and skipped on workouts.  I didn’t feel guilty because I am just getting back into the rhythm of training and don’t want to put too much pressure on myself so that I give up and quit.  But at the same time, if I can’t discipline myself to stick with my plan reasonably well, I will never regain that rhythm.

I really believe in no-excuses workouts: when you don’t let any excuses stop you from finishing the workout you know you can finish.  It is a good technique to practice because it comes in really handy during races.  Races tend to have many painful and uncomfortable moments when you have to tell yourself that you can continue, that you are going to finish the race, that you can run through the pain, that you have this race.

Of course, sometimes you should adjust or quit a workout or race.  If you are genuinely in danger of being injured or making yourself sick and you stop, that isn’t giving in to excuses.  That’s keeping yourself in shape to run the next workout.

The best part of a no-excuses workout?  At the end, you know you finished, no excuses.

Tomorrow’s running plan: 5 miles.  It’s a step-down week on my plan, so I only have 5 miles to do tomorrow.  And I will run them, no excuses!