Hi everyone! Today I have a great post by Justin from Always Running Forward.
Sometimes you just don’t have the motivation for a run…let alone a long run during marathon training. Here are some great tips from Justin!
Running & Motivation
Running isn’t easy. You really have to want it to succeed. Running requires a lot of self-discipline, sacrifice and effort to make it work. And, even after you think you’ve found the perfect approach, running will turn 180 degrees and kick you in the face. Sometimes, it’s too much to handle and you just want to throw in the towel, and that’s when you need a good support system. In this sport of self-inflicted torture sometimes you need someone there to pick you up and get you back on track. This can be a family member, a coach, or even other runners who share in the same experiences (I believe the running community is a great example of how camaraderie is prevalent, even in the face of competition). After all, we runners don’t race each other, we race ourselves.
But, what if you are on Mile 18 of a marathon and there’s no support group? What if you are on a long training run, miles from home, and suddenly lost all motivation to continue? What if it’s 5 in the morning and it’s raining? There won’t always be a shoulder to lean on. That’s when we runners need to dig deep and find the motivation within ourselves to forge ahead. Sometimes, it may be a happy thought that gets you through the extra miles, and other times (from what I’ve heard are most effective) are mantras or key messages runners say to themselves to keep going. Finding motivation may be easier for some than others (I sometimes have trouble with it). But, I found some examples of what runners use to keep them going and wanted to share their inspiration through the perspiration.
Here are a few examples. See if they are similar to your methods. If not, what do you do to keep yourself motivated?
Breaking Up the Miles: Especially during longer races, breaking up the race into more manageable pieces may help to keep you motivated during the race. Do the math. If it’s a marathon, I like to break it into two half marathons with the first leg being a slow, methodical half marathon.
Run 1 Mile at a Time: Don’t think about the miles you ran, think about the mile you are running. Put yourself in the now by enjoying your current mile.
Focus On an Object in the Distance: Say to yourself, “If I can just get to that point…” Doing that will get you to focus on the race and not dwell on the mileage number. Refresh every time you get to that point. This is particularly easy for Disney races.
Find Something to Tell Yourself that You Believe In. Don’t say, “If I finish this marathon, the Cubs will win the World Series.” First of all, that’s not personal to your effort. Second, it’s just unbelievable. Instead, say to yourself “This race is mine,” or “I’ve got this.”
· “I’m ready for this.”
· “This race won’t beat me.”
· “Another mile down.”
· “Speed. I am pure speed” (My personal go-to)
At the very heart of it, motivation needs to be personal to you. You can have all the support in the world, but at the end of the day it’s you logging in the miles and not every mile is going to be sunshine and roses. Hopefully, finding a way to make it just a little bit easier through positive affirmation or race day tricks to manage distance will get you through that next run. See you on the course!
Read more from Justin on his blog!