Today I want to talk about motivation. I want to analyse a little bit what makes people stick to a training program or any other kind of program for that matter it doesn’t have to be about sports or running in particular.
When I started running six years ago, my motivation was to lose weight and acquire the physique I had back in high school. That’s was my plan, run, lose the weight and then stop running. I saw running as a way of accomplishing something; my motivation was vanity which would be achieved through the loss of weight that was my motivation, running was just a tool.
So that’s motivation number one, vanity, looking good nothing to do with health or running. You can witness this in my running diary which also helps to keep you motivated in times of doubt or when routine or boredom kicks in.
The first six months I was me running round and round on my old high school track like a trained hamster, the only thing I care about was losing weight.
Of course after six months when I lost the kilos, and I could quickly stop running the competition bug bit me. Not so much about competing with others but more with myself, I wanted to see if I could go further and also faster, so my motivation changed from looking good to achieving better athletic records, so my motivation shifted from vanity to running now!
So for the next three years I would train and run having as only motivation me doing better running times and covering longer distances. At some point I achieved all the miles and running goals I set in my head.
You can also observe this in my diary where in the years from 2011 until 2013 I run more than 30 races I think averaging one race per month approximately; I had the race bug, and I loved it don’t get me wrong I love participating in races.
In the course of those three years my motivations changed a bit also my priorities changed too, I started building my house and running was not my number one priority anymore and it was something that I didn’t like at all, but I had to do it. Me not be able to train for a race was something that did not sit well with me, I felt like something chopped my legs off. I continue to run just to keep in shape, in the mean time I started reading about nutrition I adopted a plant-based diet and I managed to keep my weight in my normal BMI range so the motivation for me losing weight was vanished because it was replaced by healthy eating nutrition choices, my motivation for achieving better times or going longer also were satisfied so I need to confess they were times I struggled to find meaning why should I run anymore? Which I know the answer to that but sometimes emotionally it makes you have doubts.
That’s why a diary is a good tactic it will remind you the reasons you started running give you hope and makes you feel better both psychologically and emotionally. Also, it will tell you things and info you might forget.
Taking some time away from running or not training as much as you used too because you have other priorities in your life doesn’t; mean you gave up on running, and you should not feel guilty about it. Stressing yourself that you can’t train as fast or as long as you used too because you have other activities in your life. Like raising a family or in my case building a house, or changing career paths or anything else must not make you feel bad for not devoting the time that in your head running deserves.
Actually it will call you back and you will feel it. The calling of starting running again will make its mark into your psyche. You will find a way to incorporate it back into your life, you will make smarter career choices you will be more programmed with your family you will find that time to get back to running and devote the time and mileage you think it deserves.
You can wake up earlier in the morning and run, you can run nights, you can run between breaks of chores, you will find a way, there is always a way if there is a will that’s what my mother used to say to me since I can remember , she will always tell me since I was old enough to understand, there is no I can’t there is always I won’t .
So now you can say I am in search of a new aspects of motivations to incorporate running more into my life again like it used to be.
Registering for a race doesn’t cut it anymore for me, I need that extra kind of mind trigger in my head that will make me get up bed every day and thinking and counting the minutes until time comes for my training like I felt 6 years when I couldn’t wait to get off work go home get into my running gear and head for the track and start running like a trained hamster again!
I do know that I want to run a few races with particular distance and specific terrain again, but I want to run them better prepared so now I have that as motivation also I am very motivated to build a stronger upper body which will increase my running performance immensely, so I am very motivated about that too.
The reason I discovered my new motives is because I took a pause from running, gave me a chance to see it from a new angle and a new perspective. Made me reevaluate my running goals. That’s why I think it’s beneficial to take a few steps back sometimes.
It helps you jump ahead considerable “distance” in the future with your training plans, nutrition, goals you want to achieve, what makes you sad or happy, what you consider a waste of time or constructive time, all those things that swim in the back of our heads that make us wonder why we want certain things and why we like some and dislike other.
I hope I helped, just wanted to get out some thoughts that they were bugging me lately I hope I didn’t make you feel more puzzled than before or if you are feeling more puzzled than before then you are in luck solving puzzles like running makes you smarter.
Have a healthy and happy day
My warmest Regards
2017 Cyprus Ultra sees the introduction of a new race distance of 100 km.
If you are looking to step up your training and set yourself a big goal for 2017, this could be the race for you.
3500 meters of total elevation gain, coupled with the extreme hills and extreme high temperatures of Cyprus, makes for a huge ultra running challenge. Even if you've done longer distances (100 miles +), Cyprus Ultra 100 km will still challenge even the most accomplished trail ultramaratoner.
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