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Average_Jbob Original
I know it's a re-occurring theme here on my blog, and I apologize if it sounds repetitive (what else could it be if it's re-occurring though, really?). . .but I'm finding that the most difficult part of my training plan ISN'T what I have planned to do. . .but rather, it's to START DOING what I have planned to do!  Once I get out the door, press PLAY on my audio selection, press START on my Garmin watch, and actually begin putting one foot in front of the other everything works itself out.  The HARD part is actually getting up the MOTIVATION to BEGIN the process in the first place!


Feel like you've read this one before?

(probably because you have)

Well, I feel like I've written this one before.

(probably because I have)

Fact of the matter is that I consider myself to be a very average runner / athlete with dreams of one day being considered un-ordinary in what I've been able to accomplish. . .and if YOU are also an average runner / athlete, then you have probably also come to the same conclusion as I have:


THE HARDEST PART OF ANY WORKOUT IS GETTING STARTED!


So here we go (again) with a few things to help MOTIVATE you to GET STARTED!:


1:  SIGN UP FOR AN EVENT!

Nothing helps motivate training like being signed up for an actual Event!  Just knowing that at a date in the not-so-distant-future you will be expected to run a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Spartan Sprint, etc. should give your motivation a good-ole kick in the back side!  Especially if you are the one who signed up AND paid good money!  Signing up with friends will also help since you know there will be witnesses!  If you are new to running and just trying to get in shape (maybe a less-rounded shape than you are currently in), then a 5k will be sufficient!  However, if you are a seasoned runner who's been doing 5 and 10k's already, then sign up for that Half Marathon you think people are insane for doing.  The point is to sign up for something that SCARES you and yet at the same time you kind of wish you were able to do.  Nothing motivates nearly as well as the FEAR OF FAILURE!  Just make sure the event isn't for that weekend. . .schedule it at least a couple of months out so you have time to properly prepare.  FEAR FAILURE but PLAN FOR SUCCESS!


2:  MAKE A PLAN!

OK, now that you have signed up for an event, I guess it's time to lay back on your couch with a bag of chips and start to bing watch documentaries on endurance athletes!

WRONG!

While it CAN BE MOTIVATING to watch other people accomplish great things, what you want here is to prepare YOURSELF to be able to accomplish what you signed up for in step 1!  Don't just assume that you're going to 'get prepared', or 'go for a run'.  Be purposeful in your planning.  It can be difficult when you are just starting out to know how to effectively train for an event.  Where do you start?  What do you do?  For the sake of this example, let's assume at you haven't been running and you are signed up for a 5k Race.  Sit down with a calendar (I use google calendar) and write your event down on the date it's happening (duh).  Now for the trick. . .PLAN BACKWARDS!  Since this is a 5k, let's plan the final training run to be 4 miles, and schedule it for 1 week before your race.  Leave the last week for rest, carb loading, and hydration.  Now work backwards from there. . .scheduling easier and easier workouts until you get to the present day.  THERE!  Now you have a road map of what you should be doing FROM your existing fitness level TO the fitness level you will need for your event!  NOW DO IT!  :)


3:  TELL A FRIEND OF YOUR PLAN!

If that friend is a runner it will help since they are less likely to look at you like you're a raving lunatic. . .LESS likely.  Nevertheless, verbalizing a plan can help solidify it in your mind.  Once it's been spoken to someone you know, it's more likely that you will follow thru with it on the off-chance that they ask you about how it's going.  If they are a runner they will be coming from a place of encouragement:

     You can do it!  Keep at it!  You're going to do great!

If they are NOT a runner. . .well. . .it's going to be from a place of entrapment:

     Too hard, wasn't it?  I knew you'd bitten off a bit much.  Watched a documentary, did you?

Either way. . .once you've told someone what you are planning on doing. . .you'll either get busy doing it and embrace the looks of disbelief that you have succeeded where others refuse to try. . .or you'll get busy trying to think of ways out of what you said you'd do that are believable so you save as much face as possible. . .I'd advise just following thru with your plan. . .it's easier, and you've already figured it out!


4:  GET SOME NEW GEAR!

If your already a seasoned runner then you already have a method of training and a plan you like to stick to.  You either already have a running group that you talk to and share plans with or you 'lone-wolf' it and talk to no one. . .you have your routine already and don't need any help with it. . .and maybe that's the problem.  You might just be stuck in a rut of doing the same thing over and over again and it's just gotten a bit stale.  Well. . .as a runner you will also know that gear wears out.  You need new shoes every 300-500 miles (depending on what type of shoe you have). . .sometimes you just need to get excited about a new pair of running shoes in order to get excited about going for another run!  Case in point, I had a pair of Nike Free RN Distance shoes a few years back that I LOVED. . .by the time I needed new shoes they didn't make those anymore and I bought the Nike Free RN Distance 2 shoe that WAS being made.  It was fine, but I just didn't love it as much as the original shoe.  Still, I used the 2's until I needed another pair and moved on to a pair of Saucony Ride 9's.  I love them!  They are great shoes!  However I recently have been in a bit of a rut in my training and having a hard time motivating MYSELF (hence this blog post). . .and I also am about to need new shoes again. . .so I decided to visit my local Nike Clearance Store where LOE AND BEHOLD I found a pair of ORIGINAL Nike Free RN Distance in my size for a fraction of the cost they used to be!  SCORE!  You KNOW I snatched those up and I COULDN'T WAIT to go for a run that night!  New gear CAN equal new motivation!


5:  REMEMBER WHERE YOU STARTED!

This one is for seasoned runners.  Remember what fitness level you were at when you first started running.  Sometimes a lack of motivation comes from a lack of understanding the progress you've already made.  If you are consistently running 3 times a week with a long run of 5+ miles, then remember back when you started and 1 mile was a HUGE deal!  Recognizing that you've made progress can sometimes be all you need to break a slump and keep moving forward.  Helping out a friend who is just starting out can also help you continue to train.  Knowing that others look to you as an example of what they might be able to do is a HUGE motivator to keep on going.  Show them what's possible just as you may have been motivated by others when you first started.


These are just a few suggestions on how to stay motivated. . .there are many more. . .feel free to share what motivates you in the comments below!  I'd love to hear it. . .maybe I can use it too?  :)  After all, I'm supposed to run 9 miles tonight and I'd be lying if I said I was 'looking forward' to it. . .BUT I know that I'm going to get home from work this afternoon and it will be SUPER HOT outside. . .I'll be tired. . .I'll want to just relax. . .I'll be sore. . .I'll be hungry. . .I'll be most anything but in the mood to run. . .until I get my running shoes laced up and step outside. . .press play on my audio selection. . .press start on my Garmin device. . .and place one foot in front of the other.  After that. . .the rest will take care of itself.


Keep running,

Average_Jbob