“I should get to work early” guilt. “I should stay and play with the kids” guilt. “I need to ring my mum” guilt. Stop it! Running makes you better at everything: work, relationships, parenting, the lot. So spend half an hour doing YOUR thing before you do anyone else’s.
We love nice kit, don’t get us wrong (and yes, we know we are forever pushing it at you – soz). In your league table of things to lust over, nice running kit is an acceptable number one, but in terms of things worth worrying about, it doesn’t even make the relegation zone. Wear whatever you want, whatever you can, whatever is on top of the washing pile at any given moment when you need to go running – and do not stress about what you look like.
‘Fast’ and ‘slow’ are relative terms and your running performance is no-one’s concern but your own. So, if you’re not training for an Olympic Games, don’t worry about it. In fact even if you ARE training for an Olympic Games then don’t worry about it so much that it ruins your love of the sport. There will be days when you’ll be absolutely flying and hit all your targets; if today is not that day, just enjoy the feeling of being alive and running.
There’s a reason hecklers are worrying, which is that, in our minds, they’re on a spectrum that starts at harmless banter and ends at following you down the street intent on doing you harm. The vast majority of hecklers are physically harmless and can only affect you emotionally if you allow them to – so take away their power with a confident smile and an unbroken stride.
For new runners especially, it’s hard to ignore your body’s distress signals when you run. But (unless you really do feel unwell), don’t worry about them. Specifically, don’t worry about what other people think about them. When you think someone is staring at your sweaty hair or crimson cheeks, or that your gasping breath is disturbing their phone call, forget it. These are all signs that your body is working hard, which is how you keep it in top condition. So crack on!