It’s only been two weeks and I’m already feeling the drain of not having a race on the horizon! We’re also heading into chillier weather and while the fall is still beautiful, the long winter is treacherous. It can be hard to keep at it for me so this is just as much a personal pep-talk as it is hopefully helpful hints for friends. Disclaimer-I have not run a step since my marathon. The mic drops. I will. I just needed a mental break of being so tough on myself. The marathon itself was a blast, but meticulous training day after day can become a drag. It’s a commitment I am proud to say I stuck to, but I’m relishing in a little break. I also have a tiny foot pain I wanted to get looked at to make sure it’s not a stress fracture. It doesn’t feel like a soft tissue issue, and nags at seemingly benign times. Like when I’ve been sitting for hours.. weird, me thinks. Anyways, without further ado; some strategies to stay motivated and keep moving (for when I get back around to it)!
1. Sign up for another race! Nothing gets my gears fired like puttin’ the fear in me! This is sort of on the back burner of my mind right now.. just gotta find a goodie.
2. If you’re not feeling number 1. Try finding a purpose for running. Something other than losing weight. I don’t feel like running alone is the best way to necessarily lose weight anyways. It can be a natural consequence, and for some it does cause the pounds to melt off, but I’ve found I have to eat a lot more and a lot more carbs to run well and that doesn’t get you shredded. Aerobic activity is a healthy part of weight loss, but diet is super important too and strength training. Although both of these are helpful to running better, running is the main topic here. Rather, try running because it lightens your mind. Run because it brings you joy. Run because it makes you feel free and strong. Run because you want to challenge yourself. Run because you love the running community and social aspect. Run for a goal, a PB, or a new race distance experience.
3. Do things that keep running on the brain! I like to listen to a podcast about running. That’s just me. Maybe subscribe to a running magazine or an email list or subscribe to my blog! 😛
4. Find some accountability. Reach out to others, or find a coach. In the past if I set a goal to run with a friend at 7am in the winter months, I was 96% (a made up number) more likely to get out the door. Personally, I am more of a solitary runner, I want to commit to others more frequently and test this theory out more regularly on myself. It did work well on the few occasions I would plan with others. I would like to think this winter I can do it alone. But why should I have to? Just inner ramblings. Another alternative: find a coach. They can be a solid source of accountability, reminding you of your goals and keeping you on track. No guess work! Another huge source of accountability for me has been this blog. Though I’m not followed by many I still feel people watching, so to speak. It’s helped me anyways!
5. Cross train to keep things interesting. This can also help strengthen different muscles and keep you balanced. Winter is pretty bitter in this mountain west region. If you live around here and don’t like the idea of trudging every day in the icey sludge try joining a local gym and hop in the pool. Swimming is excellent for cardiovascular strength and gives your joints a nice break after a tough training cycle. Spin classes can be fun too! Try yoga to loosen up your body, work on your breathing and creat some flexibility in those tight hamstrings, glutes and calves. A personal favorite is indoor rock climbing in the winter months. No more fun way to build strength in my opinion, but I’m not a cross-fit or lifting type of girl. But maybe that’s your thing! Whatever it is, it’s important to keep moving! Not just to maintain running fitness, but overall health.
6. Invest in some new running gear. A new comfortable warm piece can be a great motivator when the temps fall. Or dropping a Benjamin+ on some new kicks can certainly get my butt out the door. It always excites me to test out new stuff. Especially if it’s specific to helping weather the elements.
So that’s it! I hope this reignited some excitement for the coming winter months! I’m looking forward to finding a new race, some yoga/meditation and climbing. Maybe trying my hand at some new yummy healthy recipes. If I find some good ones I’ll share em.
QOTD-how do you stay motivated?