A couple of days ago, I was chatting with my sister about motivation for running. My sister is lucky enough to be young and beautiful with a fabulous figure, so she really doesn’t need to run for any aesthetic reasons and she was saying how she struggles to motivate herself to stick to going out running. To be honest I can’t say I blame her. If I didn’t have a reason to run then I’d never go, especially on evenings like yesterday when it was sub zero outside and I had to work until gone midnight to make up the time. So what does make me drag myself out running?
Well firstly, I’m sadly not as lucky as my gorgeous sister and I’m carrying a few extra pounds (well, a few extra stone actually). There really is no better way of losing weight than running, it burns so many calories and tones up the muscles bringing on an athletic figure rather than the slightly squidgey round the edges podge that I’m sporting at the moment.
Unfortunately though, I’ve never been very bothered about my appearance. Looking nice certainly isn’t enough to motivate me to get out for a run when I’d rather be sat at home with a nice glass of red wine. What really motivates me is my competitive nature. In order to persuade myself to go out running regularly, I need to enter an event, preferably one that is outside of my comfort zone.
My current goal is a half marathon in June. That’s fairly tame I know, and I had hoped to be doing a much bigger event 12 months after having my baby but unfortunately fitting in the training has been even tougher than I imagined. I usually enter a triathlon or an open water swim as well as a half marathon but I’ve had to drop the cycling and focus on running. I still keep up with the swimming to keep some sort of upper body strength but a half marathon is more of a challenge for me than a marathon swim so my energy is going to be focussed on that.
Just entering an event is a great motivator. If this isn’t enough for you then you could try adding in an extra element. For example, if you have a charity that is really close to your heart then you could sign up to run for them. That way it wouldn’t just be you that you were letting down but your sponsors and your charity if you were to fail. That sort of responsibility is enough to get most people training.
Alternatively, you could use my tactic and turn the event into your own personal race against someone that you really, really want to beat. For me it’s my husband. Its men against women; it’s England against Wales and in our house, that’s everything. This weekend’s rugby match will be bad enough, I hope England understand what I will go through living with a Welshman if England lose. So on that basis, my husband is also doing the half marathon and I MUST beat him. We have done four triathlons, he’s beaten me on the two shorter distance ones and I’ve beaten him on the two longer ones. We’ve done three half marathons and I’m currently 2-1 up. If he beats me this time then we’re even on both triathlons and half marathons. That would be awful. Just thinking about this is making me want to get out running right now.
My work here is done. I’m off for a run!