Earlier this week my good friend Franzi and I talked about those inevitable destructive thought that pops up during our runs. We both have them, and I assume that most people do. They normally come towards the end of my run. When I’m stating to feel slow and tired I think I might as well just stop now, or walk for a few seconds.
When it comes to the short runs I’m not to bothered if I walk for a few seconds, (Though I normally don’t) some days I’m just off my game. But with the long runs it’s a bit different. Personally I feel, that if I stopped and walked for a min or so in my run, I didn’t actually run the full distance. Not that it is not a great achievement in itself, but I have 2 reasons for me thinking like this.The first and most important: I’m training for my first 1/2 marathon. I need to know that I can run the distance I set myself to do. If I have walks in all my runs, how will I know that I can do the 1/2 marathon distance on the race day? Secondly, it’s a major motivating factor for me. Thinking of the first point It’s a way for me to push myself and don’t stop until I’m done.
I always want my runs to be amazing. Most of the time they are really good, but there will be those runs when we all struggle a bit more. It could be part of the run, or the entire run, sometimes you’re just off your game, and that’s ok. I decided to write down a few bits that keeps me going and helps me to push through. The first tip is for me more important than any other self motivation.
1. BEFORE my run I decide the distance of today’s run. Only if I break a leg or my trousers split will I stop. By having this pre run statement, my mind and body prepares and gets ready for the challenge ahead. I mention a little bit about this in my post about keeping your NY resolutions. The point is simple: If you tell yourself you will try, you might as well give up now. You program your mind to try, not do. When I tell myself I will run 11k tomorrow, I program my mind to do just that, and by doing so I will go that extra length to make it happen. Nothing will stop me.
2. Be prepared- you know hard runs will come. I sometimes feel like stopping 2-3k before planned, and walk for a bit. Maybe the run got a bit boring, I’m tired, my knee is niggling a bit, got fed up with the music, it could be anything. If you are prepared for the hard runs, and know that the discouragement will happen, it will be easier to deal with. Find out what motivates you to keep going, keep this in mind when you become discouraged. When you are aware that discouragement can come, it will not completely throw you off your game.
3. Think about why you are doing this, and the good feeling you will have when completed. This is a good one. When I’m out running I often imagine how amazing it will be on race day when we run over the finish line. This always make me smile and push harder. Think about what your ultimate goal is, short-term or long-term. Use this as a motivation factor.
4. Have you managed to fight the discouragement before? Think about what you did last time. What motivated you not to give up? Was it changing it up a bit, like doing some jog/run intervals? Did you take another route than first planned? Did you think of something that motivated you? Or did you tell yourself: run…just…to…the…next…rock, the next stick, and then the next and next until you were finished? Whatever it was, do it again and keep in mind that you know it works. This will reinforce it and make it easier.
So what motivates you? If you have any tips and tricks you’ve tried out, put them in the comment box.