When you start a new routine, it’s hard to stick to it. I know, because I’ve started, and stopped, new workout routines for years. But the feeling I get when I actually accomplish something – a 5k, a mile, heck, even an errand I didn’t want to run – well, that feeling never goes away.
Lisa Delaney captures it well in this month’s issue of Runner’s World. Her piece, about what it felt like to go from fat, to fit, thanks to running – and, to change her life along the way, is pretty darned inspiring. And I’d gather we all feel what she talks about, quite frequently, on our daily, weekly, or monthly runs.
So how do you become that person who shows up, several times a week, and follows that country mantra of “get ‘er done!” I’m not sure I know. I DO know that certain things make it easier: the motivation of an upcoming race; the expectations of a group of friends; and the knowledge of what it felt like to finish something you never thought you’d start.
So if you’re looking for some of that motivation today, these are my suggestions:
1) Find a local race, and sign up for it. Today. Find a trail run, a road race, a triathlon, or something that you will actually have to consistently train for to complete. Trust me, if it scares you, you will run! (I’m currently signed up for the Chicago Olympic distance Triathlon this summer – just under a mile swim, a 26 mile bike, and a 10k – and trust me, it’s getting me in the water weekly, and my strength training is getting done…and I’m still running…)
2) Go find a running group. Or a walking group. A group expects you to show up, every week, to train. Not sure where to start? Go to your local running store, and ask them if they have groups. Here in Chicago, Fleet Feet, New Balance, and Nike all offer training groups for new or slower runners, women runners, new moms, etc. There’s a group for you -and if there’s not, go to www.meetup.com or www.craigslist.org and create your own!
3) Keep a log. When I first started running, I kept a log of every run. I bought it at the bookstore, and it was simple – tracking my time, distance, the weather, what I wore, etc. But I got more use – and inspiration – out of the summaries I wrote after each workout. And on days when you’re not sure why you’re doing this, it’s a great reminder of how far you’ve come, and how great you feel after a run, which may get you out the door in the first place.
So give these a shot if you’re looking for a little more mo in your mo jo. Motivation comes in many forms, and don’t be afraid to find the one that works for you – but pick at least one, and get moving!
See you on the path!