3/14/2012 - Motivation
Greetings everyone! I hope this last week has been good to you. As promised at the end of last week's autobiographical novella, the focus of this week's Running Corner is going to be motivation. Regardless of whether you run recreationally or competitively I think we can all agree that the hardest step to take the first one out of the door. So how are you supposed to get through that weekend 10-miler if it's hard enough just getting started sometimes?
1. Group runs! Anyone who's ever tried training for a marathon on their own has no doubt found the last 18 miles of a 20-miler can be a bit lonely. Company not only helps the time/distance go by a little faster and easier; it makes it more enjoyable and can help you rekindle that passion for training or running in general. A few years ago I was living in Wilmington and burnt out of training and racing from going at it solo after graduating from college. I found two groups (the Wilmington Road Runners and a weekly run out of what I thought was this neat little store - TrySports Wilmington) to run with and all of a sudden had a training schedule for which my newfound friends would hold me accountable. Group runs give you a social outing to look forward to instead of a workout to dread and with that being the case you're more likely to not want to miss a run than you are to make an excuse as to why you're "so caught up in things and just don't have the time."
2. Try a change in scenery! Running the same neighborhood route day in, day out? Go some place new! Raleigh is filled with awesome places to run with refreshing scenic views: NC Museum of Art; Umstead State Park (single track trails through the woods or the Bike & Bridle trails that run through the park); the Capital City Greenway (several new extensions have opened up making it possible to go from way North Raleigh all the way to downtown); Lake Johnson (~3 miles around the lake itself and a chip trail right across the street); Wake Med Soccer Park (Cross Country style trail with markers at every 1000m); the American Tobacco Trail. And that's just naming a few!
3. Training programs! Training programs are a perfect blend of specified coaching and the social aspect of group runs. They're a great place to meet new friends and you get structured and personalized training to help you reach all those milestones along the way to your frist 5k, 10k, 1/2- or Full-Marathon. Fact: Raleigh has the largest Jeff Galloway training program in the country. Regardless what marathon you're training for, they'll have a pace group for you to run with (most pace groups have about 20 people or so) and a 4-6 month training calendar to guide you along the way. Looking to run your first 5k or 1/2-Marathon or want to improve on your past times? Come to our store and ask about the training programs we put on...the next one starts in early April!
4. Take the plunge...just register for the race! Nothing says "holy crap...I'm going to do this" quite like regstering for a race that's up to six months away. Knowing that you have something on the calendar that's going to make you have to prepare yourself for is the easiest way to get motivated. It may not make all of the time leading up to the event easy, but it will definitely make you stop saying "One day, I want to..." and start saying "On October 28, I *will* run the Marine Corps Marathon!" (so stoked for and proud of our TrySports ladies that are banding together to train for and run this one!!)
5. Make a friendly wager! A few years ago one of my running buddies challenged me by saying he was going to run a marathon in sub-2:50 and that he was sure that he could beat me at that distance. Whether he knows it or not, every time he goes out and bests my time it inspires me to train that much harder to get back on top. I currently hold a 77-second advantage in terms of times ran on different courses but know that eventually we'll have to meet up at the same race to see who gets to truly hold the bragging rights.
6. Last but not least...MUSIC! We all know that music soothes the savage beast but it can also awaken it! Create a playlist that gets you pumped up before or during a run, put on the headphones and go! I personally go for stuff along the heavy metal route with buzzsaw guitars, ear-splitting screams that make recognizing lyrics a pointless effort, and blastbeat drumming (you won't find any Britney Spears My Ears, Lady BlahBlah, or LMFAOMYGODTHESEGUYSAREHORRIBLE in the ipod I actually don't own) but, hey, to each their own!!
Thanks for reading and I hope that some of these tips will be able to help you out along the way. Next week we'll discuss running form and try to address some basic (and common) biomechanical issues that can often lead to a lot of energy being wasted (especially on long runs) and pesky injuries. If you have any questions or specific things you want me to touch on e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before I sign off, here's a joke from the repertoire of my friend and TrySports Ambassador Derek Bailey: What happens if you eat bullets? You grow BANGS!