Four Strategies to Keep You Motivated
I’m a firm believer that the key to a successful training cycle is consistency. You can miss a single workout and still fly on race day as long as for the most part, you’ve been working hard week after week, month after month. Being consistent isn’t easy, life loves to throw in a wrench now and again, but there are things we have control of that can help us out. Sure, it’s easy to get the runs early on in the training cycle, but what about midway through when you feel like you never stop running and the smelly laundry keeps piling up and the heat makes a return and race day still seems forever away? Here’s some tips that can help you get over that hump in the middle of your training cycle and give you that recharge toward the finish line:
Mix it up
Try a new route (or run the same one in reverse), visit a new run club, run with someone different, run on different terrains, create a new podcast/Spotify playlist. Anything that will freshen your usual run up and make it seem different. When I’m stuck in a rut, I’ll head out to the trails to mix it up and I find that re-energizes me for the next few weeks.
Write up your goal in a place where you can see it most days. Include a typed message on your morning alarm that inspires you or reminds you why you are doing this – “You are going to rock this run today”, “Just take the first step”, “I will conquer New York if I run today”. Additionally looking back at some old race photos where you felt strong or did well can bring back some powerful memories that can motivate you during this time and help you realize how much you have developed as a runner in that time.
We all love that feeling when we slip on that fresh new pair and the compliments we get. I try to hold one pair of shoes back when I get into that struggle period of my training cycle, and use them as something to look forward to whipping out midway through my training cycle. Nothing like a little extra spring in your step when your body feels the opposite.
Leave the watch behind and go for a run based on feel. Don’t worry about time, pace or heart rate, just make this time for you and the world around you. Reconnect with why you loved to run and signed up to do this in the first place. Want to make sure your run is recorded for data purposes? Cover your watch screen up with black tape so you can’t see it. Additionally you might want to take a week away from Strava or other social media apps just to give your mind a rest from all the running talk. A break is healthy now and again.