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How to Stay Motivated/Stick With It? (Read 1607 times)

GntSqd


    I'm sorta new sorta not new to running. When I was in 5th and 6th grade I use to run a lot with my mom, if I remember right it was about 5-8 miles each time we went out. Then I became a teenager and didn't do that stuff anymore cause it wasn't 'cool', then college came and I was waaaaaay too busy to exercise at all. I was 145 at 5'9" my freshmen year, then down to 140 my Sophomore year. By the start of my Senior year I was around 150/155. By the end of my Senior year (last year) I was 155/160lbs.

     

    At 25 realizing I could be at the start of a downward spiral in my health (I know I'm not fat or horribly unhealthy, but I'd rather stop it before it gets to that point) I've decided to take up running/exercising again. And for a while last year I was running maybe 2 to 3 times a week as well as trying home exercises.

     

    While that was going okay for me I got  sick with a bad stomach virus and it killed all my momentum I had with exercising, then I got a temporary job which has sporatic hours that change from week to week, then I had to deal with some other family problems. So before I could even get back into a routine I had other things to worry about.

     

    But this is my problem, how can I stay motivated to keep going after something throws me out of my groove? This has happened to me at least 3 or 4 times since I graduated in May 2011. I'll start regularly exercising and before I can make much of any progress something throws me for a loop and I never get back into it right away.

     

    I went for a run for the first time since April/May last night, and it was torture, it made me not want to run again. I think I maybe ran 2 miles, walking half of it and I was done. What are some tips on starting out? Normally I just run at a pace that feels comfortable for as long as I can til I can't run anymore. Is that what I should do? It feels like I'm not doing myself any good when I end up walking most of the way.  And as far as eating goes, how long before running should I eat? What should I eat? I've noticed if I eat anything heavy I have to wait HOURS for it to digest before doing any exercise. I have a very sensitive stomach thats prone to make me very uncomfortable for sometimes no reason.

     

    I also can't afford any fancy pace monitors or GPS route trackers or MP3 players, so its hard for me to keep track of how far I run or how fast I'm going. I really just have some shoes and a pair of dri-fit running shorts and I run til I'm tired. But I feel some sort of exercise plan would help me progress better.

      You might try a program like C25K or Start2Run.

       

      Then you could join the User Group Couch to 5K and one hour runners on this forum...

      Running in Belgium
      Ann

       

       

       


      Black-Toe-Nailed

         

        I also can't afford any fancy pace monitors or GPS route trackers or MP3 players, so its hard for me to keep track of how far I run or how fast I'm going. I really just have some shoes and a pair of dri-fit running shorts and I run til I'm tired. But I feel some sort of exercise plan would help me progress better.

         

        No need for this stuff.

         

        If you have a smartphone there are apps that you can use. But there is an even easier alternative in this very site:

         

        You can use the route planner to determine the length of your route. If you run in a city you can use the satellite view (oe even Google Street View) to determine the exact place. Note that Google Maps is very accurate, specially in towns. Once you have your route measured you only need to measure one more thing: The time... and for that you of course have the good old watch!

         

        If you are able to spend a few bucks (not more than US$20-25 ) you can get yourself a heart rate meter and sport swatch.

         

        If you manage to get a HRM you can monitor how much effort you do and keep it under 70% of your max (gross estimate for most people is 185 bpm).

         

        If you want to use only the watch just try to run the route at a comfortable pace. To know if you are on the right level of effort try to speak out a whole phrase. If you find it strenuous just slow down. Walking will not damage your running in any way, it's actually a good thing for beginners.

         

        Now you have the data and you can start a running blog here at Runningahead. Just keeping track of your runs will already do a lot in terms of motivation. Another good thing is to find somebody to run with or people of your own level with which you can compare results and brag (in real live or online).

         

        If you have enough self discipline a moment comes when there is a tipping point: When you begin to see that you are getting more fit and your body begins to adapt to the training. Running (and/or doing weight training) will not costs you so much effort and you will also feel much better generally. At this point you will not need any more motivation any more Wink

         

         

         

         

         

        --

        "If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years,
        then will power is no longer a problem. It's raining? That doesn't matter.
        I am tired? That's besides the point. It's simply that I just have to."

        Emil Zatopek

          Run/Walking is perfectly OK until you can build up to a continuous run.  Don't need a GPS Or Hear Rate Monitor, in fact I'd say it is counter productive at this point for you.  Run at a pace that does not leave you gasping for air ( some discomfort is OK, just not like you are going to have a heart attack), when you feel breathless take a short walk break.

           

          Find out if there are any running groups in your area (Facebook search), and run with them once or twice a week.  Running with others make running so much easier and you'd want to keep training to keep up with the others progress.  Don't worry if others are faster than you, I used to be dead last on most of our group runs, but can now can keep up with most of the group.

           

          The other key to stay motivated is to make running/exercising a habit, get out 5-6 days a week and walk/run/bike, just 15-20 minutes a day is fine until you build up your strength and endurance.  

           

          Pick a running plan (google Hal Higdon for the race distance you are interested in). Have variety in the running you do, run 15 min one day, run/walk 30-40 min one day etc depending on how you feel.  Don't feel that you have to run exactly what any plan suggests, use it as a guide.  Once you finish that race you'll be hooked.  That C25K linked by AnneV is an easy way to build to your first 5K.

          aditya83


            Hi,

             

            I know exactly where you are and how you feel. Unlike you, I was never active growing up and when I got to college, tried to start running and get fit but failed more than once. I would typically start out with a friend and they'd be more fit than I was. I would fail to keep up with them in terms of distance and speed both and that would leave me demotivated. When I started working, I tried to start running on my own but could never run for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time. I was plagued with self doubt and thought that I am just not capable of being fit. 

             

            About November last year I came across C25K and that really changed everything for me! I took a bit longer to complete the program but at the end of it could run a 5K comfortably in about 35 minutes. This was really big for me and had never been so fit in my whole life. The program starts out gently - the first week is only 60 seconds of jogging alternated with 90 seconds of walking for 20 mintues.It gave me structure and it gave me confidence. You just simply get up every day and go out and do what the program tells you to. As simple as that. You might miss a couple of runs, but that's okay. If you feel a week has been too hard, just repeat it over again. I don't have a garmin (I don't think they even sell it here in India) and run with a simple inexpensive Casio stopwatch. As EnricM pointed out, just measure the route (I used gmaps pedometer) and you'll know how far you are running in what time.

             

            Best of Luck!

            DoppleBock


              I have none of that -

               

              Someone already posted a plan - But also consider just running by time for awhile.  What you need is 4-6 weeks of consistent 4 times a week of a run or run walk - Make sure to keep the pace really slow on the run, so you can run more than walk and try and keep the walk pace honest (Brisk)  If you have time take 2 more days and just take a nice 30 minute walk.  It would also work just to run/walk one day and a brik walk the next - Repeat the every other day.

               

              Once a week if you feel good do more than 30 minutes of run/walk or all running, but not more than 1 hour.  After a couple months of this then re-evaluate.

               

              The only way I can stick with it is to have a goal I am working toward.  I always have more than 1 goal I am working toward ... So that when I acheive the 1st I can start on the 2nd.  Before I achieve the 2nd, I have set a 3rd - and so on.

               

              The goal does not have to be race related - For me it can be weight loss ... For others it could be to run 3 miles without stopping 

               

              I also can't afford any fancy pace monitors or GPS route trackers or MP3 players, so its hard for me to keep track of how far I run or how fast I'm going. I really just have some shoes and a pair of dri-fit running shorts and I run til I'm tired. But I feel some sort of exercise plan would help me progress better.

              http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

              2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

               

                gntsqd:

                 

                first off its great that you recognize at a young age the importance of health & being active.  2nd off, its not always so easy staying motivated no matter who you are, what you do, or what level.  everyone goes through funks (going through one myself right now), even the elites or the most successful people in the world.  it happens.  right now for you the most important thing is to work on consistency. go ahead & mix things up a bit, run, bike, weight train, hike, ???, just get out & doing something 5-6 days a week.  as far as running specifically, just concentrate on running easy & not worry so much about pace, just easy,  mix it up by changing routes, hit some trails, run/walk whatever you enjoy & get out & do it.   set some easily attainable goals at first, c25k is one great idea.  pick a fun/easy 5k 2-3 mths from now.  don't put added stress on yourself right now, too early.  as you get closer you will have better idea of realistic goal.  good luck, stick with it, & have some fun!

                GntSqd


                  The reason I did so horribly a couple days ago I think was because I didn't eat anything before I ran. Which I know meant I didn't have any energy so I felt tired very early on. I didn't eat anything because I was worried about cramps, I never know how long to wait to run after I've ate something. 30 minutes or even an hour just seems too soon to me.

                   

                  With that said normally when I do run I almost never have to stop or walk because of muscle pain. I'd say 90% of the time I slow down is because of a really bad side stitch and occasionally I'll feel tired. Is that something that I just work past as I build up endurance, or is their something I could be doing wrong?

                   

                  I remember when I was a kid I could run all day and have loads of energy and never worry about side stitches. I would only get them when I would run longer distances with my mom.


                  day after day sameness

                    Be stubborn about it. 

                     

                    No need to overthink, overplan or over complicate. Just be stubborn.

                     

                    Every day say to yourself, "...this is important to me and I'm going to go for a run today...not matter the distance, speed, time, or whatever. Any run is better than no run.".

                     

                    Just be stubborn and don't give in to the cruel inner voices of why not.

                    Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                       

                      I'll start regularly exercising and before I can make much of any progress something throws me for a loop and I never get back into it right away.

                       

                      Normally I just run at a pace that feels comfortable for as long as I can til I can't run anymore. Is that what I should do? It feels like I'm not doing myself any good when I end up walking most of the way.  And as far as eating goes, how long before running should I eat? What should I eat? I've noticed if I eat anything heavy I have to wait HOURS for it to digest before doing any exercise. I have a very sensitive stomach thats prone to make me very uncomfortable for sometimes no reason.

                       

                       

                       

                      A few false starts are completely normal.  Just start again.  I had some false starts also.  It helps to combine running with something useful.  I have an oversize waist pack for Walmart runs, library runs, and even some hardware store runs.

                       

                      That pace that feels comfortable is too fast.  Try to shorten your stride.  If it feels like you are tripping over your toes, then force yourself to lean back.  If you cannot speak in full sentences, then slow down some more.  There is no such thing as running too slow, but running too fast is not good.

                       

                      When it comes to eating and running, we are each an experiment of one.  I can eat a light meal, then immediately go out and do a long run.  You need to find what works for you.  You may need to adjust your diet.  

                       

                      Keep at it.  It gets better.  

                        A few false starts are completely normal.  Just start again.  I had some false starts also.  It helps to combine running with something useful.  I have an oversize waist pack for Walmart runs, library runs, and even some hardware store runs.

                         

                        That pace that feels comfortable is too fast.  Try to shorten your stride.  If it feels like you are tripping over your toes, then force yourself to lean back.  If you cannot speak in full sentences, then slow down some more.  There is no such thing as running too slow, but running too fast is not good.

                         

                        When it comes to eating and running, we are each an experiment of one.  I can eat a light meal, then immediately go out and do a long run.  You need to find what works for you.  You may need to adjust your diet.  

                         

                        Keep at it.  It gets better.  

                         

                        Most of that seems fine, but I'm not sold on this idea of leaning back. Good running form generally incorporates a slight forward lean of the body from the ankles, and I can't say I know of elite runners that have a noticeable backward lean of the torso/spine. 

                        They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

                          Don't force yourself to exercise, or you will soon burn out. Some people like strict schedule, some like myself don't. Run by feel. Vary your workout. Short, long, fast, slow. Keep it fun and simple.


                          Roadrunner's Apprentice

                            Be stubborn about it. 

                             

                            No need to overthink, overplan or over complicate. Just be stubborn.

                             

                            Every day say to yourself, "...this is important to me and I'm going to go for a run today...not matter the distance, speed, time, or whatever. Any run is better than no run.".

                             

                            Just be stubborn and don't give in to the cruel inner voices of why not.

                             

                            I like this reply because it's sort of my thinking as well.  Say to yourself that you have made the choice to be more fit, and get out there to move yourself towards that goal.

                             

                            Along these same lines above I think it's also good to adapt even after you set out on a run with a plan.  Yesterday was my 1st run after a week off.  My pace was slow, it wasn't my greatest effort, and I didn't go as far as I hoped.  However at the end, dripping with sweat, it felt great to be doing something good for myself.

                             

                            C25K and other interval plans work.  You'll see the progress in your endurance.

                             

                            Eating advice I'm sure varies with each person.  Myself, I try to wait an hour after eating, and try to eat light if I'm going to run later.

                            2014 Goals:

                            - sub-26 5K : sub-56 10K : 1st half marathon

                            - Tell my excuses to shut up and lace up...

                              Start racing. I probably wouldn't be running regularly if I didn't have a race to look forward to. I just ran one on Saturday where I came in dead last for my division (okay, only nine people in my division) but it was a personal record for me so I took some pride in it.

                               

                              You don't really need equipment other than good sneakers. Some people find that toys (HRMs or race watches) motivate them, but they aren't even remotely necessary. 

                               

                              I get that you had a stomach virus, family issues, and a new job. I don't want to sound mean, but I have to sound harsh... Those are all just excuses. If it's important to you, you will find a way to make time for it. I know a lot of extremely busy people, they all find a way to make time for what they love to do. Running may only be a commitment of 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. That's not a big time commitment.

                               

                              If you don't enjoy running at all, then why do it? Find something you love to do. When I realized I HAD to lose weight, I tried running and hated it at the time. I took up muay thai and instantly loved it. I've been doing it for about five years now and it's been a "gateway drug" into other activities that I enjoy, but I probably wouldn't have developed a really active lifestyle if I didn't find that one thing that really clicked with me. Running obviously doesn't "click" with you, if it did, then you wouldn't lose your momentum so easily. So I really encourage you to branch out, try something you might never have thought of trying, look up classes at your local gym, and see if you can find something that suits you better and makes you feel thrilled to do it, not just an activity you have to drag yourself to. If you don't really enjoy doing it, you're never going to stop struggling with motivation. 

                              DoppleBock


                                I know very few runners that want to run every day - Some runs you look forward too and some you just get up and run ... because that is what you do.  Usually those days you didn't feel like going - You end up happy you did and feel good about it.  Sometimes you get done and the run brought no joy.  If runs like these are the majority for more than a couple of weeks - you likely are doing something wrong.

                                 

                                I run a lot - I plan on running every day.  It does not always work out.  Sometimes life gets in the way - Sometimes I just need a day off.  But most days I run - Some of it becomes habitual - But many days its a cognitive choice - I want to be a runner, so I run.

                                 

                                My view has always been long term - Even today my time horizon for improvement is 12-15 months.  I try not to sacrifice too much for short term racing versus trying to continue to improve.

                                 

                                This is the view point of someone that is trying to be competetive (Mostly with myself and previous race times)

                                 

                                I know other people that never race, but still run 4-5 times a week 5-6 miles most days, sometimes as much as 12.  They do not time runs - THey just run for the joy of it.

                                 

                                I know other people that run 4-5 times a week 30-40 minutes.  One guy in particular runs as hard as he can for 30-40 minutes.  He hated to run.  He is only doing it because he feels it is the most efficient way for him to get aerobic exercise.  He does it for fitness / exercise.

                                 

                                I know other people that will run for 3-4 months to help cut weight and then when they get to where they want - they quit.

                                 

                                What do you want to get out of it?

                                 

                                Is your goal to become a runner = to me this means you want to run somewhat consistently each week for years to come?

                                 

                                I can say there are many great ways to achieve fitness / weightloss / aerobic conditioning that do not include running.

                                http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                                2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                                 

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