Six weeks into a new year, with the weather being pretty dismal, days still short and grey and training getting harder, it is maybe no surprise that I sensed amongst fellow runners a pondering over the question:
“what is my motivation? “
Everyone will have their own answer to this question, but for me the motivation to run has been quite easy up till now.
It is very simple and selfish. I run because I know I know it makes me feel good.
And as I often run with friends, I don’t just feel good due to cranking up the old exercise endorphins, but because I will have laughed and shared conversations that help to put life’s troubles into perspective.
Not to mention getting outside. I was born with a high ‘cabin fever’ sensitivity and feel a bit weird if I don’t get outdoors on a daily basis.
That’s not to say I am sitting in my shiny lycra counting the minutes until I can take to the streets and run – sometimes it is tough to get out particularly at this time of year. Taking the first step can be hard, so procrastinating by checking the weather apps, faffing on Facebook, or folding my socks over getting out the door is pretty normal.
Right now my running is going through a new stage and feels a bit more grown up. Committing to a marathon is a serious undertaking and so I understand the need to train properly – fear if nothing else is a great motivator and I am slowly readjusting to this new way of exercising.
It is a new experience for me to be told what kind of running to do and when, and for how long – and while I know it is for the best it can bring out the tiny rebel in me and it is forcing me to reset my compass around motivation.
But now five weeks into my training, instead of seeing my training plan as a restriction to my inner free spirit – I am trying to embrace my creativity and view training sessions differently. As long as I achieve the desired outcome of each session, I reckon I can put my own twist on how I get there.
This twist might be weaving a run with friends into a prescribed long run – or scheduling my paced run to finish up at a cafe in town for breakfast, or it can be just using the session to find hills close to home that means I can slot a hill sesh into a lunch hour break.
Giving myself this freedom to interpret Sally’s instructions has helped me a lot with my own motivation. Instead of feeling restrained by training – I see it as a template and a challenge to do routes I might never have attempted.
And it is a testament to Sally’s ability to understand how to motivate people that she recognises I need this kind of freedom.
I have also cut myself some slack. Yes a marathon is a big deal and more so if like me you have never done it before. But while putting in the miles is essential, it is equally important to remember to have fun on the way and maybe this is the true secret sauce of success.
And to get some perspective – I am an amateur runner who has set a personal goal that many millions before me have accomplished, and as a fellow runner helpfully pointed out however things pan out come May 21st – I am guaranteed a PB !
I am taking part in Stirling Scottish Marathon on May 21st and it will be my first marathon. To get me ready for this challenge I am following a marathon training plan provide by Sally at fitnaturally.
fitnaturally offers a range of healthy eating plans that can help with weight loss and sports nutrition. They provide bespoke training and nutrition for people taking part in sport at any level. I have been following fitnaturally plans for over a year and I have become leaner and fitter, losing more than 20lbs in weight and a reduction in body fat% in a gradual and sustainable way and by eating normal and enjoyable food !
Through my marathon efforts, I am hoping to raise funds for two charities – Scottish Womens’s Aid and Smalls for All both of these charities work to help women in different ways. If you would like to donate to either of these charities, please consider making a donation, however modest by following the link to my Justgiving page ( Scottish Women’s Aid ) and Mydonate ( Smalls for All ) pages.