The past few months, my motivation for running has slowly dwindled. Well, I guess I should say my motivation for running a race. I’ve checked a couple races out and keep meaning to sign up for one….but the drive just hasn’t been there. I keep looking back at myself and my state of mind when I was training for a marathon. Today, that distance sounds overwhelming…again. I know I can do it…it’s just a matter of digging deep enough to find that desire and endurance I once had.
I still have an ultimate goal of qualifying and completing the Boston Marathon. To me, that is a challenge I absolutely want to face one day. But, since I’m feeling my motivation slipping away….I tried to think back to when I’ve trained before. What were the things that helped me every single day during those grueling months? Maybe those things can help me get back on my feet once again. Here is a list of different things that have motivated me in the past:
- Marking my calendar. Every day of each week was marked with a distance I was to accomplish. If it was a rest day, it was marked “rest.” If intervals, then “interval training.” This helped me keep my weeks organized and gave me the ability to plan each day around training. Being able to mark off the distance I did that day was also somewhat of a confidence booster. I remember the first time 6 miles was on the calendar. It looked so overwhelming (because it was)..but I did it..marked it off..then was on to 8.
- Music. I’ve talked before about how motivating music is. It really is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to training. The right song can put you in the frame of mind that you are unstoppable; the mindset you need to run 26.2 miles (or however long you’re going!). I recently went through my music library and added a few songs that weren’t there before. There are always a couple songs that I can count on to pump me up. I’m sure most people are the same way. For me, one song is Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” (I went through a hard rock phase in high school…this song stuck). How can that not pump you up? Another song is Ludacris’ “Get Back.” This song is a little random. It pumps me up because it makes me laugh…which makes me happy…which makes me feel good…which gives me confidence. You may recognize this song from the movie “Tropic Thunder” in particular, this scene. That is why it makes me laugh (every time I hear it!).
- Movies, Magazines, Blogs. There are so many different sources of motivation out there. One for me, is the movie “Spirit of the Marathon.” It’s so inspiring and interesting to watch different people and see how the same 1 event changes and shapes their lives. It follows people training for the Chicago Marathon… from Olympians (like Paula Radcliffe), to a Kenyan runner looking to win it, to every day people shooting to complete their first race, or coping with injuries, or trying to beat their best time. The emotions I felt while watching it were so bizarre. I teared up throughout the movie multiple times. It takes you back to the different emotions you feel during the training process and race. It’s so exhausting mentally and physically, but absolutely exhilarating when you finish. I highly recommend this movie if you’re looking for motivation. “Runner’s World” magazine is also a great source. It’s a monthly magazine with training schedules, shoe recommendations, recipes, etc. Anything you might need or think of when training. Finally, there are so many blogs out there that are incredibly inspiring. I enjoy The Kitchen of a Runner, Feerless Food, and Peanut Butter Fingers to name a few. I’m discovering more and more everyday it’s awesome. These are all people that work out hard and focus on eating good, healthy foods. Their blogs always inspire me.
- Self Motivating Talk. When I’m struggling during a run, or any workout for that matter, I say motivating things to myself to keep going. It sounds cheesy….but I genuinely think it works. For example, today during the CrossFit from hell, I told myself numerous time, “you can do it…only 15 reps left….you’re almost done.” It really is true what they say, half the battle when training for a race is mental. It can be a constant fight between your good side and evil. The side of you that says, “I’m exhausted…no more…I can’t do this. I’m stopping,” and the side that says, “You will finish. You’re strong. You can do it.” That challenge is part of the reason I like running races. I enjoy proving to my “evil” side that good shall prevail. It sounds ridiculous, but the feeling after accomplishing what you set out to do is indescribable. So, start talkin’!
- Sign up for a race!! This sounds obvious….but signing up for a race gives you something to look forward to. It gives you something to be a part of and be proud of. Once you sign up, every day of training becomes a little easier when you picture yourself crossing that finish line. For me, I think I’m going to get back in the swing of things with the CowTown half marathon in Ft. Worth. I’ll concentrate on increasing my motivating and training properly for this race. Then, hopefully a full marathon…and if things go as planned….book a flight for Boston!
Hopefully, some of these tips will help you too when you’re not loving the gym or training. Let me know if you have other suggestions that help you! Thanks for listening world!
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