Thursday, May 15, 2014

Staying motivated

Staying motivated isn’t easy. I have struggled more than a few times with putting on my running shoes and heading out the door.

How do I stay motivated is one the most common questions ask of me. I don’t know. Maybe people think I have discovered some secret formula for staying motivated.

I will say that being a self motivated person helps. Throughout my life, I have always found this internal drive to succeed. May be it was the work ethic that my parents instilled in me from a very young age or maybe it is just in my DNA. For whatever the reason, place a goal in front of me and then watch me chase after it.

But even the most self motivated people still struggle. Life, work, family we are all surrounded by people pulling at us. Making time to run can be really tough.

Sometimes the only option is to get up at 3:30 in the morning. Start the day before even the Army thinks about getting out of bed. Getting it down before the world has a chance to snatch up your attention.

 From time to time people press me on the question of motivation. My best advice is simple and straight because I believe in the KISS (Keep it simple stupid) approach to life.

If life is getting a bit too stressful, don’t make running yet another stressor to it. Forget about doing workouts. Forget about doing long runs. Forget about trying to prepare for some upcoming race.

Head out the door and do the 1, 2, 4, or 6 miles that time permits. Make the miles easy. Motivation always seems to be easier to find for a run if I am not planning a hard run or a long run. Expecting an easy run is a good way to get the brain to go along with it.

Then, just let life play its way out. As time permits return to training hard again. This may take a week or two or three. It could be several months. Taking a mental break from hard training is well document to be a good thing. Not mention our bodies need a well deserved period of downtime. Yes, some fitness maybe lost, but nowhere near as much where running was stopped altogether.

So don’t sweat the low motivation. In time it will return.

 

Sharing one thought at a time

The Cool Down Runner

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