“Sometimes the best runs come on days you didn’t feel like running”
I love this quote and I find it is so true! On those days or moments when I don’t feel like running, I will push through the negative thoughts and run anyway, When I do I always come away feeling strong, empowered and super motivated.
It is damn cold in Melbourne at the moment and running in this miserable, bitterly cold weather is tough at times. I thought it was timely that I wrote about staying motivated and how to keep motivation up when what you would really love to be doing is staying in bed. I get it, it can be tough and I experienced this Sunday morning. I had to do an easy 5km run. My husband and I had a rare moment to run together. Surprisingly it was my husband who suggested we go for a run, me on the other hand I said “nah I’ll run later, I want to try go back to sleep” - it was 5am mind you! But then something ticked within me and I changed my mind, my husband however had rolled over and settled in to staying in bed. I dragged him out of bed and we had a very enjoyable run together.
In that moment, what changed for me? Where did the sudden burst of motivation come from? Firstly, I love running with others and an opportunity to run with my husband does not happen too often. Secondly, it was a chance to get my run done early which means less impact on my day with my family. And of course it is an opportunity to feel that awesome sense of achievement as I am one more run closer to my ultimate goal. These motivation drivers all stem from my values and what is important to me. Yes, achieving my massive goal is high on my list but also it’s important that I stay true to what I value throughout the whole training process. Without this then I am going against the grain of how I want to live and train for my goal.
So, what keeps me motivated week in, week out? Motivation is defined "as the ability to initiate and persist with a task". Being motivated is critical when it comes to running because you must have the drive and motivation to keep at your training in spite of weather conditions, injury, boredom or any other life event that is thrown your way.
Here are some of the ways I stay motivated -
- Set goals - this is my favourite motivator. I love setting a goal and then seeing all of my hard work come together in the achievement of this goal. The sense of accomplishment and belief that follows is such a great motivator and it will help you strive to setting more goals and possibly harder goals.
- Stay true to you - Revisiting why you love running and why you are chasing your goal is a great way to remind you why you made the decision to take this step in the first place. It takes you back to that moment, when you decided I want to run or I am going to run this event.
- Get a run buddy, join a running group - its definitely no secret that running with others is a sure way to keep you accountable. I know for me that when I say I am going to meet you at a time on a day, that I will be there without thinking twice.
- Visualise - this has been a great source of motivation for me because it has allowed me to visualise myself achieving my goals. I get a real sense of what it will feel like when I cross that finish line, as well as getting an appreciation for the hard work I need to put in to be able to achieve that goal. I have been using meditation recently to help visualise prior to me going out for my run. It is powerful stuff.
Motivation is integral to your training, as it is a key element we have control over. It is not something that is given to you, rather it comes from within and the above strategies are ways to ignite and improve motivation.
You must accept that challenges will come up and it is how you adapt to these challenges that all form part of the reward.
With week 7 closing, my road to New York Marathon is coming along great! I'm feeling really good and that is despite the miserable weather I am running in. The most important part is I am also still having fun and loving every bit of my running.
See you next week!