I have an idea why many people find it hard to stick with running: if you don’t run frequently enough you never get through the point where the discomfort fades.
I’m not sure if the discomfort actually goes away, or if you just get so used to it that it feels normal. In either case, a light bulb moment for me was when I discovered that running more frequently was easier than running less and trying to recover more.
“More frequently” doesn’t have to mean “more mileage”. It just means running more days per week. Same miles, but few miles per run. I always thought running back-to-back days would be too hard, but paradoxically it’s been easier than taking more days off.
This isn’t my own invention of course. You can find this approach documented in many running books and web sites.
Why bring this up now? It’s bike racing season!
Well, tonight I folded up my running clothes and put them into a drawer until sometime in September.
Last year I learned that it was too hard to continue even a minimal amount of running once the racing season started. I hit that point last week. The number of runs per week has been going down, and finally I realized that each run is now uncomfortable.
It’s not the mileage that’s the problem, it’s that I can’t run 5 days per week now. If I didn’t like bike racing so much, I would keep running and just have tired legs all the time.
I guess the “secret” to running is the same as in bike racing. To paraphrase Eddy Merckx: “run lots”.