Monday, June 21, 2010

Marathon Madness Monday: Week 3

Greetings and Happy Monday! 2 weeks of training down, 16 to go!

Today I am going to talk about motivation.

I think there is this misconception that for us "runners", every run is rainbows and sunshine and butterflies.

Let me tell you - that is really not the case. Yes, I am in shape and can run 10+ miles at a time, but I still have crappy runs. I still have days where I really, really, really do not want to go for my run. Some days, running is a mental battle. Maybe there are runners out there who never have to dig deep to find motivation, but I'm not one of them!

Everyone has to find their own solution for dealing with those bad runs or days when they don't feel like running, but here is what has worked for me:

  • Sign up for a race. Nothing puts the fear of God in you like knowing you need to run 3.1 6.2, 13.1, or 26.2 miles on race day. On those days when I dn't feel like running, I remind myself that I need to do these training runs so I will be ready on race day1
  • Find an accountability partner. I exchange black berry messages every day with Amber, telling her what I will be doing that morning or night, or that weekend. I'm also doing these Marathon posts, so even though you all probably don't care if I skip a training run - I do since I am tracking how much I run each week and training-to-date.
  • Write it down. Before I leave work each day, I write down the number of miles I am going to run after work. I hate the thought of having to cross out that number and write down something smaller - and that keeps me from cutting my runs short if I am not feeling it (I of course listen to my body and will cut my runs short if something feels off).
  • Get good at talking yourself into exercising. When I don't feel like running, I tell myself, "Self, you will never regret going on this run... but you WILL regret if you don't." I feel guilty when I skip work outs for no good reason, so when I start thinking about skipping a run, I remind myself of the guilt/regret I will feel

I hope this helps! Bottom line - we all have bad days. We all have bad runs. But I definitely have more good runs than bad runs, which is what keeps me coming back for me each week!

What do you do on the days when you just don't feel like exercising?


Training Tally:

Miles ran last week: 25

Training-to-date mileage: 49


Emily Jane said...

Great tips, especially now I decided I'm going to try and be a runner too! Although I need to find a better accountability than D, bless his heart - "can't we go for ice cream instead?" is never going to do me any favours!! :)

J said...

You are doing great Lisa! When I don't feel like going out in the morning for a run, sometimes I listen to my body and just sleep in but more than likely I just roll out of bed and go. Even if it is 2 or 3 miles, I still feel good for the rest of the day!

Charbelle said...

You are so right about not feeling guilty for going for the run but skipping it I will feel guilty.
I can honestly say it's rare that I'm actually excited to drag my butt of the couch. Part of this is just due to the circumstances right now. Even in these circumstances signing up for those races is what keeps me motivated. I may start off hating life but by the time I'm done I'm thankful that I was able to do it!
Great post! You Rock!! :)

Kelly said...

I think motivation is a problem for most people at some time or another. I definitely have debates with myself about working out often- usually I end up working out but sometimes I think about how much time I waste debating about it. I usually tell myself if you work out today you won't have to on X day (whatever my planned rest day is next). Though I don't know that I should be giving much advice right now as my schedule has been crazy I've been squeezing in really quick workouts whenever possible and thats about it. Oh well :)

Mandy said...

You are awesome. End of story.

Becky said...

I agree with signing up for a race and the accountability partner. I definitely would not still be running if I didn't have both!

Nora said...

I make sure to put on my workout clothes as soon as I get home so I can't easily distracted by requests to go out to dinner, go to the bookstore or something that's probably more fun than heading out for a run/the gym. I also avoid sitting down on the couch or bed so that I don't fall prey to the stack of books or movies that are calling my name! Works pretty well for me. If I do wind up skipping a workout for some reason, I punish myself the next day at the gym. Works pretty well.

Congrats on your miles last week. I know you (and Amber) will totally rock this marathon.

Leigh said...

Awesome tips Lisa! There are definitely times or nights where I just want to skip exercising...but you have it feel guilty that you skipped the workout.

Kyla Roma said...

Thank you for the tips! I love hearing about this side of running- the mental battle is one that I'm still waging and it's good to hear how you tackle it :)

Rachel @ MWF Seeking BFF said...

Those are all great motivators. I love the writing down part... never thought of that!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I don't know what I would do without our daily BBMs! I definitely wouldn't be as motivated as I am. In fact, yesterday during my HOT 9-miler I kept thinking, "I have to finish so I can msg Lisa and tell her I did it. AND tell her how freaking hot it is!" Hehe

Abby said...

Great tips, Lisa! I definitely agree. No matter hoe fit or how much you love running - we alll have our days!

When I have those days, I do the same thing! I will try to play mind games or do rewards. Like, "If I do this workout, I can have an iced coffee!".

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Great post, Lisa. I had a mini revelation years ago ... running doesn't have to always be at the same pace. So, if I'm not feeling it, it's OK to slow down to walk. Or, it's ok to turn a 3-mile run into an interval run if that's what gets me through it. I think the flexibility in training really helped me get through some of those tougher training runs ... that is, when I was still running. =)