a photo and thoughts on motivation

Happy almost Friday! I wanted to post this on Monday with my race recap, but I didn't have my cord with me. Here I am just about to start my final leg of the race, the 7.28 lonely gravel miles in the middle of clearcut. The neon shirt I'm wearing is this year's race shirt. We weren't so excited about the color, but I figured it couldn't hurt to wear it during the race.

Today's Take it and Run Thursday Topic:
Whether training for a specific race or just running for the fun of it, we all experience the ups and downs of running. What do you do to get yourself motivated to run when it feels like it's the last thing you want to do?

Once in a while, I'll admit, running feels like the last thing my mind or my body want to do. On those days, I usually grab the ipod (because it provides just a bit more motivation) and I commit myself to 20 minutes minimum. Usually, by 20 minutes, the adrenaline is flowing and I'm enjoying myself enough that I don't want to stop. My other trick is that I'll tell myself I can walk after 15 or 20 min and then run again when I feel like it. Works wonders!

I also think running away from your house (like driving to a park) is useful because you can't just turn around after 5 min and be home. And, try going on your favorite, most peaceful path that won't make you think "gah, traffic sucks!"

Seeing as it's Thursday, a day I often feel unmotivated to run because the week is almost over and it's SPEED workout day, I find myself thinking "eh, do I really want to go to the workout?" Usually, my brain responds "no, no you don't, but you're going to make the effort to get there at least." And if you think about it, that's all it takes.

Getting there, stepping outside with the watch and the running shoes on is half the battle. So, once I'm there I usually say "ok, I'll do the warm up and strides with the group." As I'm finishing strides I decide "well, it can't hurt to just start the workout." And most of the time, before I know it, I'm already halfway done thinking "I might as well finish this thing!"

So, what's your trick? Is getting there half the battle?


I really struggled w/ motivation in grad school, which is why I put on so much weight. In June I tried to run as many days out of the month as I possibly could, which formed a pattern. So it's no longer a question of 'am I going to run today?' Now the question is 'where will I run today?'

And I have to run immediately after work. if i go home first, it is not as likely to happen.

Lastly, it helps to have something I am training for. When I am 'on the grid' I am so good about committing to running 4-6 days a week.
I TRY not to ask myself IF I'm going to run and instead just tell myself I AM going to run.

If I really, really don't feel like going. I usually make myself go anyways because I know I'll feel guilty if I don't!
Lacey Nicole said…
you do strides before your workouts?

hey i have speed today too!

let's go get 'em!!!! :)

great post, i enjoyed reading this.
lindsay said…
thanks for the tips and for participating! you listed some great ideas that i will have to try out like running away-from-home or on a favorite route with less annoyances. one of my main routes is pretty boring and maybe that's lending to my less-than-motivated feelings.

congrats on running in the relay! i really like the shirt personally, but i like randomly bright clothes :)
I agree with running "away from" home - you can't just turn around and be done! I do this a lot now, especially since running from the house means A LOT of hills. the "you can walk after ___ min" totally works too! By the time that "minute" rolls around you're like - OKay I'm good, keeep going! ;)
Tess said…
Forming a pattern, like Lisa said, is what's helped me the most. Now that I've been "a runner" for a little over a year, I'm pretty well in tune with how running vs not running makes me feel and once I start feeling really anxious or crazy, I know just have to suck it up, make a "motivational face" and hit the streets.
Kerry said…
I really think you're on to something. There are so many things that can help with motivation, but really, at some point it's a matter of getting up and doing it. If you can get past that first get up, it's all downhill from there.
Oscar Yeager said…
I haven't found anything that can force motivation to any significant degree.

For me it depends on if I'm training for a particular race, then even if I don't feel like running I will run at a reduced pace just to get the miles in, some people call these "Junk Miles."

If I'm not in official training mode, then I'll either cut the run short if it just ain't happening, ( Can't hold goal pace ) or decide not to run at all.

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