How can one motivate themselves to run?
There are times when even I lose my desire to run (that may shock the people who know me). Let’s face it, with a full-time job, two kids, and other side projects that I am involved in, time for exercise is limited.
Running is important enough for me, however, that I make time to get in a few miles every other day, but when the dead of winter hits, or I get depressed or worried, or if I have any other human-related issues that I cannot clear from my mind from running, or an injury, my natural inclination is to stop running and find something else to do.
For the last few weeks, I have had a very blasé attitude about running. My plantar fasciitis has been acting up and my famous left hamstring (hence the name of this blog, tighthams) is still a problem child. Sometimes, I just want to chop off my left leg it feels so useless. Between dealing with my injuries and lack of motivation to sign up for race this spring, I’ve turned my attention to other activities to tide me over until I heal or I get jazzed about a race or both.
When not running, do something.
I have taken solace in the one thing that has been turning me on lately aside from my weekly tennis match and that has been using Wii Fit. I am happy to report that my BMI is low and that I have become so much better at the strength, yoga, and balance exercises I don’t worry about losing too much fitness.
In case you did not know, it just takes only two months or so to lose what you’ve gained, exercise-wise. So in times where I am not jazzed about running I reduce my mileage significantly but I do not just stop running completely – even if it means I run once and only for a couple of miles, doing this is better than doing nothing (and all of us can run a couple of miles).
While running the low mileage, I add workouts on the elliptical or biking machines, Wii Fit, and other stretching and strength exercises to keep a certain level of fitness so that I don’t go backwards. I don’t feel it’s worth the pain building the typical running base of three miles after spending so much time getting to a point where a six mile jaunt is a piece of cake.
My advise? Keep your base mileage to three miles. If you get to the point where running three miles is difficult, you’ve let yourself slip too much.
If you are injured….accept it
I have accepted that I am injured, but not so much so that I cannot run at all. I am very cognizant of my injuries – they hurt! As a result, I have decided that this year, I don’t need to run a 1/2 marathon to feel complete. If all I do are a couple of shorter races then so be it.
I’d rather race shorter races than not participate at all.
Signing up for a race does help with motivation
There is nothing better than committing to a race to motivate you. In fact, what’s even better is when someone signs you up for a race. Today, my coworker signed me up for the Nation’s Triathlon. My team, Team Editorial Experts, Inc., will be the team to watch! I am doing the running leg as you may have guessed.
Today, for the first time in a couple of months I packed my gym bag and rushed to the gym after work. While I was a good Samaritan and got off the running machine in 30 minutes so someone else could get their workout in, I ran, invigorated; my injuries in check as I clocked 3.3 easy miles. I stretched, lifted some weights, and went home, happy as a clam, knowing that two other people are relying on me now. I need to keep up my end of the bargain.
While this race is 6 months away, I will train for my 10K with excitement.
Weight Loss, and other motivators
For those using running as a weight loss mechanism I say don’t do it. Sure it is great to run but running makes you hungry so unless you have the food and diet thing under control, run for fitness, not specifically for weight loss. If you do that, you will lose motivation – first of all, you should lose some weight but really you might actually gain weight in muscle mass as you get in better shape.
If you are trying to remain fit during pregnancy – you know where I stand on that – just do it! That’s if you are fit and have been a runner. Pregnancy is no time to pick up running as a sport because there are too many factors – injury due to tripping mostly, that can be hazardous to you and your baby(ies).