THE MERRELL BLOG: WHAT'S NOW. WHAT'S NEXT. LET'S GET OUTSIDE.
RUNNING AND TRAINING WITH LOWRI MORGAN
Lowri tells us about her progress with running, what motivates her and how she enjoys keeping fit.
I have been running almost every day, most of the time just casual runs but I’m really enjoying being out on the trails. The warmer weather might have something to do with it but my legs have started to recover pretty quickly after training sessions and I have noticed lately that my body is not getting as tired as it was a few months ago.
With me racing the Trans Alps in the Summer and discussing running expeditions with S4C (Channel 4 Wales), I am motivated to get out and train, and generally enjoy everything about the sport again. However, there are still days when I go through rough patches.
It happened to me a few days ago. I was having such a good week. I was cruising; constantly visualising crossing the finish line and kept pushing myself onwards faster and faster towards the invisible ‘race end’. I found new strength in my legs and was really pleased with my times.
That all changed on the last session of the week. It was horrible run - I felt every step of the way, my legs were heavy and found it very hard to motivate myself forward. The only way I kept going was by reminding myself that even if I was struggling and the pace slow, I was still out doing something that I love. Slowly but surely I stopped counting the long miles and forgot about the minutes per mile. I threw my watch into my rucksack, started to appreciate the beautiful surroundings and concentrated on the reasons why I run.
I used to be very hard on myself about missing sessions or for being below par but I’ve learnt over the years that there is a fine, yet very definite, line between critiquing yourself productively and beating yourself up. Using productive criticism feels like encouragement and progress. Beating yourself up creates negativity and I certainly do not run to create those kind of feelings.
And that's where the biggest word in ultrarunning comes into play - patience. You've got to have a lot of patience. Even when you're running a 5k or an ultra marathon, all of a sudden you feel like you want to get to the end straight away. You get panicky - you're not doing what you want to do, and you panic. And you've got to just let that feeling go and have faith in yourself because you will get there eventually. Be patient.
So by being patient, I managed to finish that horrible 14 mile run last week. It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t fast but I finished with a smile on my face.
The crippling lows and euphoric highs are why I do this. You have to go a long way to feel at your lowest but you can also feel the greatest you ever have in the same race. Every low point you have - during a race or in training, you can use as a learning experience, a reference point to help you deal with it when it happens again.
With my training about to intensify in preparation for the Summer, I know there will be good days and bad days. Long distance running is a roller coaster of ups and downs and the longer you go the bigger the ups and the bigger the downs. I may feel terrible at times but the body and mind is an amazing thing and together with positive thinking and chemicals my body will produce, I know I will overcome and feel ecstatic a few miles later.