28 August 2012

Running 101: Getting (and STAYING) motivated!

Do you have the "bug" yet? Has the Olympic spirit motivated you to run a little extra these last few weeks? Is running on the brain?

Running is not always in the front of my brain (especially with a baby on the way!) but it seems like the perfect time to help myself get motivated; the end of a long hot summer breaking way to a crisp, cool fall.

With sports, athletes and awesome races from London this summer, I can't help but take a look at the results and watch replays of my favorite events (Did you see the awesome finish in the Men's 10,000 Meter race on Saturday? Go Galen!). I wish I could get out there and compete!

Although not everyone can be Olympic caliber, we can do our best to stay motivated every day. There will always be good days and bad days, struggles and triumphs. Acknowledging that truth can be a great place to start.

One way to stay motivated is through experience. Ever have that euphoric experience after a race where you are on cloud 9 even though you can't stand up right? Seek those feelings often. They have the power to push you to a new person record (PR for short) and ecstatic feeling.

 If you have had a few ok runs, switch up the course, join a group or enter a race with that experience in mind. It is ok if you don't achieve the feeling your after, the trying will be more motivation for the future.

I find motivational blogs, books and movies to help too. Some of my favorites are:

Finding the time and having the energy to run is really only half the battle. Staying positive mentally can be difficult at times. Sometimes ourselves get in the way of making running a habit. Here are a few questions I ask myself if I am feeling tired or sluggish with running.

  • Why am I going to run today? (I like to have a purpose for all my runs)
  • What do I need to have a good run? (clothes? shoes? water? food? time?)
  • What is my short term goals for running? What are my long term goals?
  • Why is running important to me? 
Other reminders for myself include thinking about the benefits of a good sweat, the necessity to run more miles to meet my goals, the great feelings I get after a run and how running allows to me lead a better life (less sick days, more energy, etc.)

Some times even a few quotes on sticky notes helps keep me motivated!

When in doubt, or really run down, let your body & mind rest. Take a break if this all seems overwhelming. It is hard to stick with something that seems like such a chore mentally and physically. Allow yourself to unwind or take a time out. Running will be there when you are ready.

What motivates you? Why do you run? How do you help keep on track? 

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