More On Motivation

March 23rd, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I seem to be on a “motivation” kick and I’m not sure what that says about me. 

I talked last week about motivation to exercise and motivation to keep exercising.  But what about the long haul? How does one keep at it?

Sure, there are peaks and valleys in anyone’s fitness routines.  I’ve been struggling since the time change, for example, and I usually take time after a significant running event (10k or longer) to work out differently– without running a step—for a few days or weeks.

I sometimes dedicate a short run (less than an hour is short when it comes to marathon running) to a specific idea or specific problem I’m having in my life that I want to work on.  It gets me started and by the end of the route I am always thinking about something else… there is something zen-like about working out, for me, and that is something that keeps me coming back for more. 

In general, though, the following ideas from Breanne George, editor of Women’s Running, are ones I find particularly useful on days I just can’t believe I have to work out.  You can find the full article here, but what follows is my take on four of the seven ideas listed.

Set Goals

If I’m feeling like I’m happy to sit around in the background and while away my days on the couch, I contemplate signing up for a run.  Or, I look at the runs coming up in the next month or so and figure out whether or not I want to do any of them.  If that still doesn’t do it for me, I try something I’ve never done before, just to see if I can do it.  (It’s the kind of thing that gets me searching out the Army physical fitness tests.)  Even if I have to put in some work to accomplish the goal, I’m not laying around eating bon-bons so it’s all good.

Keep Track

This is one I really wish I had started a long time ago.  I thought it was so cool last year when I pulled up the report to see how many miles I logged in 2010.  (Then, of course, I made a new goal to beat that number in 2011.)  I absolutely know I have gotten faster as I devote more attention to my running and I absolutely know I have gotten stronger by lifting heavier weights, but I wish I had a really good “before” snapshot of what my training used to be.  I would love to be able to quietly pat myself on the back for all the work I’ve put in, and all of my achievements.

 Share Goals

I realized a couple of years ago that I actually benefit from sharing my workouts and my running goals with my bootcampers. (I can’t explain why, but I used to think for sure they didn’t care what I was doing for my own fitness.  I was wrong!)  If I tell them I’ve got a marathon coming up, they will check in with me and it just feels nice to have that kind of support.  More support = better living.

Spice Things Up

I do this one all the time.  I can’t stand to run the same route!  I think it’s fun to purposefully run on a street I’ve never been on before, or run a regular route in reverse.  (Although, this weekend it did backfire a bit because I got lost a little and ended up running an extra mile.)  It changes what I do and what I see just enough to keep my mind in the game.

A lot of staying in the game and working out is mentalThat’s what makes it so fun!

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