Most of the time, I look forward to going for a run. But then, there are days like this morning when the motivation to run simply escapes me, when I just don’t want to get out of bed and my body and my mind feels drained. Even the most motivated of us can feel unmotivated at times. So, how do we find the motivation and how do we keep it alive?
Any of you found it with an Eureka moment? Like Archimedes, who, one day stepping into his bath to relax he figured out how to calculate the volume of irregular objects. He got so excited that he jumped out of his bathtub and ran naked through the streets of Athens, yelling, “Eureka! Eureka!” (“I’ve found it! I’ve found it!”)
Amby Burfoot, executive editor of Runner’s World magazine and author of “The Principles of Running”, say that “when it comes to staying motivated, running is a mind game.” So, let’s play a little and see what we come up with!
When someone ask me where do I get the motivation to run in this weather the first thing I say is that I don’t think about I just get ready and go. I force myself to step out the door without questioning anything about the run. Once I’m outside, I’m golden. Because I run at 5:30 in the morning, I lay out all my running gear in the living room the night before. This way I know exactly where everything is, and I don’t have to stumble around in the dark and wake up my husband. Now with Luna though, things changed a little, my poor husband wakes up early too! I create a habit and that make everything much easier.
One of the major component on staying motivated is setting goals. Not one goal but several goals: short-terms and long- terms goals. A long-term goal may be to finish your first marathon, or to improve the time from your previous marathon. Shorter term goals may include to run few 20 mile training runs and increase your weekly mileage. Setting realistic and challenging goals for myself is really helpful, having something to work towards help me stay focused. I love to race and for me it is really motivating knowing I have a race coming up. In order to achieve my goal, I must develop a training program for that specific goal and get out there and train! When I achieve a goal it motivates me to set a new one. When it comes to goal setting remember to set SMART goals, that stands for:
S = specific
M = measurable
A = action-oriented
R = realistic
T = time-based
Use a training log. Keeping track of each run gives me a place to record details about what I did and how I felt, which will serve me as an excellent reference tool for my future workouts.
Tell family and friends about some of your goals and ask for their support. Announce them that you are going to achieve a certain goal by a certain date. Doing so is a commitment to your goal. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I was training for my first Marathon last summer my husband and best friend Dustin helped me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done these goals without him that supported me and talked me through the jitters.
Reward yourself. When you do succeed, make sure to do something nice for yourself. Buy yourself a new running shirt, have a cookie, dark chocolate, ice cream, a glass of wine, a massage. Anything that gives you something to look forward to and take your mind of the hard work.
Fun, fun, fun! It’s all about having fun. Don’t take the run too seriously, have fun, and make it exciting, not boring. I’ve been thinking about bringing my little camera and make a “runnography”(that’s the term me and Dustin came up with) session, one of this day I’ll do it! Doing different runs make it fun too. If I would do every time the same steady distance, I would get really bored. I like to get creative with my workout and throw here and there some interval training or fartlek workout , run hill repeats, do tempo work. The thing I have more fun with though is finding new routes. I enjoy so much to just go out there with now destination in mind and let my instincts guide the way, I got lost so many times and it was such a fun adventure to find the way back home that I forgot I was running.
My 10 miler this morning was one of those run. It was a cold and windy morning, the roads were in pretty bad conditions with snow and ice but I got creative and decided to go with the flow building my route while running. And even though when I got home I couldn’t feel my face it was another successful fun run.
“Motivation is constant, never ending, fluctuating and it is an almost universal characteristic of particularly every organism.” (According to Maslow)