Life and running are uncannily similar . I suppose you could say the same for any sport . How you approach it says a lot about your character and how you live your life. One of our greatest obstacles to persevering with running is motivation issues. If we can conquer these we’ll learn a lot about ourselves and greatly improve. Also, if you know how to achieve this let me know!!
Few of us are motivated 100% of the time. Even athletes struggle and need really good coaches to push them through low stages. I reckon if we’re motivated 60% of the time we are lucky. Running is like life in that sense.
My tips for running motivation are:
1. Set yourself achievable goals
2. When things get too boring or predictable change things a bit.
3. Review what you’ve achieved.
4. Accept and surrender to the “bad” patches
5. No matter what always, always keep going…don’t give up if you don’t achieve all your goals – view running as something you are going to do for the rest of your life and not a quick fix to weight/health/financial/personal problems (although I know many people who, for them, running saved their life).
I have just set myself a target of running 2013 miles in 2013. Yikes!! This will be very very tough with my work, family and other commitments but I am determined. It will mean a 545am start most mornings and it averages at 5.6miles per day every day for 365 days. This is possibly an unrealistic target but I’ll know by the end of January !!
I know I’m going to hit periods of tedium so I’ll mix this about with runs to work (17miles) , running near work, running near home, running with the running club and participating in races.
In 2012 I got in 183 runs (a run every 1.99 days). I covered 1,145 miles. That averages 3.14 miles per day over 365. Clearly I will have to really increase my output to reach 2013. However I can’t wait to get started. It’s a non marathon year for me and this challenge will keep me motivated. In 2012, after my September races, I had no target and running went downhill (excuse the pun). Joining the local running club in recent months has got me going again to a degree but I need a personal target. Me vs me. Life is like that. You’re only ever really competing with yourself.
The new target is long – 365 days. There’ll be ups and downs and I really must cash in on the miles when the going is good . Like life, I will hit really rough patches and periods when I can’t function effectively for no apparent reason. At these times you both accept and surrender and know that it will come good again . Just do the best you can .
Reviewing your achievements is an important motivational tool, as it only makes me want to do better. In 2012 I got personal bests in all three of my distances – 10k, half mara & marathon. That’s a good year by anyone’s standards – but that was all in the first 7 months of the year. I’m now ready for more PBs in 2013.
Here’s to a faster, fitter, stronger 2013…Cheers everyone!!