Visualising Running

There’s been some bumps in the road during April, May and a bit of June. My exercise frequency went right down from where I was in the first few months of the year.

Today, I’m on my 12th consecutive day of running. Last Friday, the fifth day, I started thinking about momentum. The visualisation that came to mind was a large, thick, metal disc spinning around on an axel.

I could see this disc perfectly in my mind. Almost like an enlarged MiniDisc internal disc, but it is about 50 cm wide and 15 cm deep.

The disc is rotating a bit faster than a 45 RPM vinyl on a record player. The discs rotation, inertia and force is how I feel. The more I think about this disc and about how I feel now on day twelve is that the disc has now gained some bearings, or perhaps the bearings have just been greased. The discs heavy weight delightfully gliding along with a smidgen of a push.

For many of us, it might be a shared belief that the more frequently you do something, the easier not only it is to do the thing in practice but also the discipline of maintaining a routine. I’ve read this countless times, it’s a core theme in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.1

I’d guess the difference here is I’d never thought to visualise myself as a chunky spinning disc.

The more I think about getting back my momentum with running and exercise the more I can visualise the discs properties and behaviours.

  1. It’s heavy, slow and resistant to start it moving
  2. Once it has started moving it can just as easily stop, it hasn’t yet found its inertia
  3. After a few consistent applications of effort, it has become a flywheel, maintaining consistent torque, ready for more when it needs to apply it

Part of the trick is remembering that when you’ve been away from something for a while, the start is slow. The very act of doing it is met with an opposing force – the resistance.

I managed thirteen consecutive days. I had a fun night on the Saturday and took Sunday off. Monday, the pavement was calling me. No need to even think about it. Lace up, push that disc with each step. It’s spinning delightfully.

  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear ↩︎

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