I was asked recently how to get motivated with running marathons. After my injury, I’ve had a very difficult time motivating myself. Let’s face it — no matter what the sport — sitting on the couch is easier.
It’s too early, too dark, too cold, too hot, too windy, there’s too much to do, work, cleaning, cooking, I’m too tired, I think I’m getting a cold, I think I just had a cold….. I was the most consistent over the last decade during the three years I ran alone. Interesting since I completely dislike running alone. Part of it is a safety issue, part of the accountability of running with people and just companionship even if we aren’t all running together. Every time life interrupts my schedule, it seems I take a step back in my training. Training is the one thing that’s disposable — the one thing I don’t HAVE to do.
I suppose the biggest motivators are the actual events. Being surrounded by fellow runners or triathletes is crazy motivating. Regardless of my speed or how well the race went, the success is in being there. Always present are the fasties, the couch to 5Kers, and everyone in between. You can’t judge someone’s speed based on how they look — this is a sport that levels the playing field and I love that. As I’ve attended races for over a decade, I’ve gotten to know the people that show up to run. Seeing friendly faces, hugs, and high fives in this positively charged atmosphere is something I look forward to.
Unfortunately, if I’m not training enough, I can’t race and the event is the goal. It’s the motivation. If Dane signed me up for a 50K (a-sort-of-if-I-really-admitted-it-bucket-list-race) and supported the volume of training, I would do the work to get myself there. Sometimes the motivation lies in giving yourself what you want even as an end goal. Then, the journey has purpose, drive, and meaning. Right now I’m up to 6.5 miles which is great considering I”m running smart post-injury. Still, I won’t allow myself to sign up for a 10K until my training is at that level. Getting myself there — the journey — is what gets me to the event and the event is the motivation.
Still, the schedule can be so prohibitive it’s as if nature itself is making it nearly impossible to get out the door. Then there is the weather, work, health, kids…….. Some days it seems like giving up is the ONLY option. Then I look at the calendar and all the races I really want to justify running. I ache to wake up early to go through my pre-race rituals and get to the event. To feel the energy and see the people — all with different goals — and it helps get me back out the door.
Originally published at https://www.momof18.com.
Jenn is Mom of 18, Transformational Coach for Christian women, host of At A Crossroads with The Naked Podcaster, Author, Runner, Minimalist, & Healthy Lifestyle Advocate
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