Take it and Run Thursday: Motivation

Ahh motivation. That one thing I either have in excess or don’t have at all. Sometimes I feel like the Energizer Bunny and at another times…well I feel like like Homer Simpson. If only I could find that happy medium. That place where I have the energy to get out the door and not start out so fast that I fizzle before I hit my running goal. But I digress…
To help me keep moving forward I use goals. The best type of goal to me is to have another race scheduled. In fact, at this time I am already registered for 7 races reaching all the way into January of 2009. So maybe that is a little excessive, but it is what works for me. Knowing that next race is just weeks away, or in the case of right now days (I have a 5K on Sunday) is usually enough motivation to get me out the door.
Of course there are days when thinking of my next goal isn’t enough to get my shoes on my feet and my hat on my head. That is when I tell myself just 1 mile. If after the 1 mile I still am not in the mood for my run then I allow myself to come home and get on with my day. I think I can count on one hand how many times I have made it through that mile and actually stopped. Of course sometimes getting out is not the problem, it is getting to the end that is.

There are a couple different tricks of the trade to keep myself moving while I am out. Often trying to remember my goal for that training running can get me to the end. That goal could be to run at a tempo pace, achieve negative splits or reach a new distance goal. If I concentrate on the challenge of reaching that goal it can keep my mind from wandering to the desire to stop my run short. There are days however that can prove to be even too challenging for that. For those days I have other little tricks up my sleeve.

Some days the next mile just seems too far. I know when I get that feeling it won’t last through my whole run. I just need to get myself to the place where I stop worrying about how far I have to go. I instead concentrate on the 10 feet in front of me. Those 10 feet are all that matter. When I get past those 10 feet I then look to the next 10 feet. Eventually I forget the dread I was feeling when looking at the bigger picture and start to relax and enjoy my time with the road.

Another technique is to count your steps. Might seem a little boring, but I have used this technique when I have run out of things to process. No more work problems to sift through or bills to worry about. This is when it is just me and the road and I have nothing left to think about. This doesn’t happen often.

You have to try different techniques to find out what motivates you. In the end it doesn’t matter whether it is a carrot at the end of the stick or a chocolate ├ęclair. If you find something that keeps you heading out the door and down the road then you are ahead of the game.

Read more on motivation from other Take it and Run Participants.

2 Responses to “Take it and Run Thursday: Motivation”

  1. marathonerintraining Says:

    what ever it takes to motovate yourself. Keep it up.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Katie, great post. Having that next goal or race is a very good motivator.

    7 races! Holy moley!

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