>Running 101>I take up running...every year
Hi, I am not a very "sporty" person. In fact, I am just the opposite. But I have always had this fascination with running. The simplicity, the romanticism, the fight against yourself... And I have tried it, and if feels wonderful. It's good for the mind, the body and prevents me from getting fat. It's great. So what's the problem? For reasons that I do not exactly know, after a all those fights to get out of bed in the morning, all those runs in cold days (but really enjoying them) I just quit. One day I do not go for a run, and hen another...and then simply I am not running anymore. Normally the running period lasts between 4 to 6 months. Then, after another six months, I take it up again. And that each year since 2003. Now the "break" has been longer. I do not run since september 2011. And I do want to stick to it this time. I would really like to hear your advice. Thank's for your time and help.
Follower of Forrest
Are there any patterns? I know I struggle to get out the door as soon as July rolls around and again in December
Maybe set a long term goal? Year-long mileage goal? Goal race 6 months out?
For me, periods of low-motivation happen and I have to force runs for a few weeks. Keep it interesting...change up your route...do a trail run...run your regular route backwards...go for an "epic" long run. It sounds like a motivation issue for you...so that is in your control.
6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi
A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man
Maybe you like the idea of it more than the reality of it. I've definitely had to realize that with hobbies and habits I've tried to adopt over the years.
That said, the thing that really helped me develop a running habit was to set very short term goals - I'm talking weekly daily goals - and then rewarding myself often. It was expensive but for a while, I could brag that I earned every piece of running clothes, gear, book, etc. I owned. Now, I don't need the motivation so I just buy stuff.
The other thing I think I did was to race a lot. Having something to train for kept me motivated to get out the door. Back in the day, my goal was to do a race a month.
Another suggestion would be to join one of the training groups here on RA. There are beginner forums, threads based on time goals, etc. Being accountable to other people is also a good motivator.
Good luck making it stick this time!
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb
It's not all sunshine and rainbows. There's no magic involved and it doesn't get any 'easier'. You just have to do it ... if you want to. Yes, changing your routes etc etc etc can help for a while but once you've run all of the possible routes innumerable times it comes down to just getting yourself out there. May as well start now.
I know for me the goal setting and tracking make the difference. If I wasn't setting goals and if I didn't have all the neat gadgets telling me my pace, HR, current streak, weekly mileage, monthly mileage, etc., I wouldn't put in near as many miles.
One that keeps me honest is 100 miles every month. Pretty easy to hit most of the time, but when vacations and other distractions get in the way, it keeps me on track when otherwise I think it would be easy to blow off running for a while. Like you said, once you go a week without running, it gets easier to keep not running than it is to get back to the habit.
My 2 cents.
Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)
Current PR's: Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27
Boston Strong in 2014!
I did the same for many years. And then I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and at risk for osteoporosis. I knew that I needed to exercise on a regular basis and turned back to running because I had always enjoyed it.
What worked for me was to pick a race to train for and set up a training plan. I chose longer distance races (half marathons, marathons) because I enjoy the challenge and because you really have to train consistently over several months for those, but you could get the same benefits of using a training plan for a shorter race. Having a training plan gave my runs a focus and meant that I wasn't thinking every morning, "Should I run today? How far? How fast? Maybe today isn't the right day; maybe tomorrow might be better. What difference does it make anyway if I don't run today?"
For more than 5 years now I have been training for something. I have found that after each challenge, I start planning the next one, not because I feel like I "should" be running, but because I want to do it again in another city, under different conditions, at a faster pace, at a longer distance, at a shorter distance, using a better race strategy, etc.
2000 miles; 5k < 24:30; HM < 1:56; Century Bike Ride
NYC Half Marathon 3/16; Boston Marathon 4/21
Needs more cowbell!
Register for a $$ race and create a training plan -- stick to it. It's a lot easier to stay motivated if one has some sort of weekly plan to follow...at least this has been my experience. Right now I am recovering from my only major goal race of the year...I need to put together some sort of plan to stay on-task. I don't want to lose all of my fitness and fall into the starting-over trap. I've had to do this a couple of times due to acute injuries and it sucks. I'd like to be able to toe-the-line at any random race that piques my interest.
• 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)
• 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)
My wife tells me that the one trait that she loves, (and hates,) about me is that I am one of the most motivated people she has ever known. But, like everyone else, I find myself unmotivated too. Not only do I enjoy running, I am also a martial arts instructor. Theoretically, only 10% of students reach "black" belt. I see students every day that lack the motivation to proceed. For most of the kids, they are there because their parents are forcing them to go. Personally, I find it interesting that kids would rather play a martial arts video game rather than ACTUALLY learn to do the moves in real life. For the rest of the students, I find motivational techniques really pay off once students reach intermediate ranks. At our school, that is when all the fun and games suddenly becomes hard work. I teach students to set short term goals, such as earning the next belt, succeeding with a particular goal, earning a certain place at the next tournament, etc. Mid range goals, such as earning a 1st degree black belt, and long term goals, such as higher degrees / certifications / accomplishments.
But back to where I started... Like many of the runners on here, I find that the best way to stay motivated is to always be preparing for something else. I try to race at least once per month, that way, I always have another race to prepare for. I am also a very visual person, so my RA log page is filled with graphs, goals, and widgets. Most of the data is unimportant, but I glance it all of it daily, after logging my daily workout. If I see anything going the wrong way, it helps to motivate me. For example, I just finished a four day holiday weekend. My weight is going up, rather than down. Today, that is influencing my food choices.
Another thing I do is place motivational sayings / pictures in my computer's screen saver. Whenever it goes inactive, it begins spouting these things back at me. At times, one of them will strike home when I need it most. Also, running with friends also helps. I always seem to do better when I am chasing someone else, and when I know someone is behind me...
There is countless other motivational techniques, and I am sure you will come across some really good answers. Good luck!!! The trick is to figure out what works, and do it.
I'm motivated by:
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.
that happens to all of us. i try to mix things up most of the time anyway but even then have to come up with something totally new. different course, different pace, different tempo/interval wo's. throw in some run/walk stuff. try to get back into more trails -usually does
the trick. set moderate goals (and keep them) or register for new races not run before. find a partner to run with. right now is normally a danger period for motivation. just came off a 5k pr & no scheduled races until mid Sept. so I'm about to sign up for a 10k mid august. this is a race that I did last yr for 1st time & was alot of fun, BUT felt it was a bit of a disappointment performance wise. so now I have the extra motivation of coming off a pr & sights on not just beating last yrs time at Lake Union 10k but destroying it! fortunately have been meeting up with someone just abit faster than me on wed am for track session. main goal race this year is Bellingham HM end of Sept. Very very dissappointed in my time last yr (dealing with health issues) & as soon as I crossed the finished line I knew I had to come back this year. My main motivation this yr-looking to beat the HM 8-10 mns this time around. stuff like this keeps me motivated.
for you just start out simple/easy/ low to mid goals. start with something like 4x/wk & maybe 15 miles. keep it fun. slowly add to it, 4-5x/wk & 20-25 miles for 3-4 wks. start throwing in alittle bit of faster stuff or stretching out 1 run/wk. then look for a fun local 5k or 8k. & continue onward/upward.
Some of my motivations:
Don't need about $100 per month for blood pressure, cholesterol, and glaucoma drugs.
Not wasting gas when I run over to Walmart for one little thing.
I geezered my nephew the other day. He's an ex-Marine.
I can actually run a marathon!
Overall health. In 10 years of running, I've had only one cold. Before that, about 2 per year.
It's a great way to explore the area.
I'm sure that I'll think of a few more right after I post this.
The more motivations you can come up with, the easier it is to keep running.
Thank's a lot for sharing! Wow, i thought that my question was going directly to the web "limbo" (and forgotten). The common denominator of your advice is to find things to stay motivated. Either treats, or very specific running plans, variation or racing. Also to keep my fights weekly or monthly so no to go "vague" in my motivation. I think it sounds right. Also paying special attention to more difficult times like the beginning of the summer or winter. Thank's a million for your time. This time I will fight to the death. You will hear from me again.
Try finding a running partner, even if they are a four legged running partner.
If I find myself sitting in my easy chair at 4:30am with a serious lack of motivation my running partner is always motivated to go. He starts pacing, panting, and being a general PITA till I get up and out the door. Some mornings I just need a little push to get going.
Runners run. --mikey
The Logic of Long Distance
If you really want to run, you will.