Tag Archives: motivation


Having made it through the half marathon and become a dad, and with winter encroaching, my motivation for running training has waned. As a result, finding the time and inclination to leave my cute daughter (who could wake at anytime and want to play with her dad at the weekend) has been really tough. And of course, things have been busy, so everything has waned.

Yesterday I took a first step at tackling this distressing lack of motivation – after all I still take a massive amount of satisfaction from running and want to get back on the roads.

This vital step was, of course, shopping. Now equipped with running rain jacket/windbreak, running tights, running headlight, reflector strips and long sleeve running t-shirt, I am ready for the colder season of running.

I can’t do much about wanting to be around to play with Emily at the drop of a hat but have certainly diminished my concerns about running in the cold with those purchases!

Another thing that’s going to help is running pre-planned routes. My previous two post-Dadhood runs were on untried routes and necessitated a lot of on-the-go routefinding which is a demotivating factor for me as it messes with my training splits. I’ve a lovely 11 mile run that I sometimes do that I will just do sections of until I can motivate myself to plot another nice road running route.

With Christmas fast encroaching I really can’t let myself degenerate into moderate fatness as I did last year. The diet tracker is coming back out and I’m going to pick my next race and set my next target so I have something to work towards. Maybe the 50 minute 10k should be my next objective?? Thoughts on a comment…

GMT hugs to all of y’all….

Postscript: it is working already, of course. Did a v speedy 5k yesterday to break in the running jacket and see how the fitness had held up. Jacket great. Fitness so-so!

Keeping up diligence with my ITBS physio exercises

This isn’t easy.  It’s never been easy to maintain a fixed regimen of daily, tedious, repetitive, and in this case distinctly painful exercises. My routine involves:

  1. Morning rolls on the foam roller – 3x sets of 10 with pauses on the particular pain points for as long as I can bear. I started just on the injured side but am extended to both legs as my left side seems pretty tight too.
  2. Knee bends – 3x set of 10, one legged, slow, pointing my kneecap between my second and third toes (working against my tendency to roll in). Just the right leg at the moment.
  3. Standing on one leg for 2 minutes (more uncomfortable than it sounds)
  4. Hamstring stretches

I’m probably worst at forcing discipline with (4), as is always the issue with stretching.

However, between my newfound passion for running and determination to get on the road again, and my primary external motivating factor (wanting to be in shape and impress my beautiful, increasingly pregnant wife who is understandably scornful about my determinations on quantifying pain) – I’m managing something of a routine. As I head to the village this weekend, I take with me a foam roller and all the willpower I can muster.

Wish me luck – hopefully next week I hop, which is the last recovery stage before being allowed out on the roads again – but it might be a couple of weeks yet!

Postscript: Sorry this is turning into an injury blog at the moment. normal running service will resume soon as I can manage it!

Clambering back on the wagon

I never know whether its good or bad to be on or off the wagon. I guess you want to be on it, right? Unless it’s going to a bad place? Let’s say it’s going to a good place.

Regardless of the state of that metaphor, I’ve been in a post-Juneathon haze. Having injured myself midway through the month but not modified my eating habits, I’ve been feeling fat and unhealthy. The attempts at runs have been tentative – I’ve done four or so 5k runs in the last couple of weeks, but given that my caloric intake has been disproportionate these haven’t really figured in either the fitness/training or the weightloss efforts.

The mysterious “they” say that the hardest thing is getting out the door. That’s true – but when you’ve allowed yourself to lose the routine, each step on the way out the door gets harder. Waking up. Getting ready. Getting past the first 2k. Not turning around at 2.5k when it would be a nice “5k” round number. Keeping momentum. Even dialling in Runkeeper to act as a motivational partner. Pushing to meet the optimistic target pace. And going the full distance you intended.

This morning, I did it. A 10k, in 60 minutes flat – a pretty good time when you remember that my personal best for 10k is 59.06 and I’ve been off for some time. I was flagging from the 8k mark – a mysterious pain in my lower back which sometimes kicks in when I’m doing longer distances – but manage to exert will, apply thumbs to the afflicted spot, and dodge traffic on the final stretch to maintain the 6 minute/kilometer pace needed. And then I cycled into work. AND the knee is OK.

Feels good. Going to take tomorrow off and see if I can manage an LSR on Sunday, but am at a wedding this weekend so efforts may vary. But hey – it’s not Juneathon anymore so I won’t feel too bad about it.

Next week: we may have a guest post from Claire, a colleague who is running the British 10k on Sunday as she fulfils a New Year’s Resolution, we will hopefully see @jimbocoyle return as he comes back from vacation and settles in to his new job… and we may even get a mystery, triathlon related guest post!

Oh, and we didn’t win Juneathon, unsurprisingly, but had great fun doing it. Thanks to the organisers, was great fun and good motivation!

Running standard routes and motivation

I’m not one of those runners who finds it easy to motivate themselves on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find running a trudge or bore – I’ve gotten into it, enjoy the music, the passing scenery, the quiet time and contemplation, and the obssessive compulsive determination to get fit and improve on my earlier times… but getting out the door at 6am when I’d frankly rather be in bed with my lovely wife… well, it takes some willpower.

Once I’m out the door, though, my lack of an overdeveloped sense of adventure and relatively restricted set of choices for running routes sees me (usually) run the exact same round-trip (depending on distance). A few of the #juneathon posts I’ve been reading have people stopping for photos etc., which is really fun to see and read, but doesn’t suit my style of running.

I don’t find it monotonous, though, despite the repetition, and it helps my willpower, for a few reasons:

  1. You can more easily chart improvement on a set route
  2. You don’t have the distraction of routefinding, dealing with unexpected traffic, etc.
  3. I don’t lose willpower and turn for home when I think I’m “around” halfway for my target distance (although GPS and Runkeeper has diminished this as an issue somewhat)

Social running would achieve much the same ends, but I’m yet to join a club or find a running buddy. That may change in the future.

Today: my standard 5k route was completed in 29.06, a new personal best* – and a second in two days! The knees are holding up too, although a little sore. I should probably check in with someone about those… maybe James’ Recover Fast dude… (oh, and to round off day 9 of Juneathon there’ll be a cycle in and out of work too).

*(I should clarify for those who have been following my running updates from the pre-GPS era – don’t trust those times. They were estimates based on MapMyRun and analogue watch readings. These are based on Runkeeper GPS, so hopefully a bit more accurate…)

Running without music is slower

…for me, anyway. My pace dropped today, so my 5k route took 33 minutes (as opposed to 31.5 yesterday, 30.5 on Tuesday). So its either that without the music and motivation of Runkeeper telling me my pace, I run slower, or I’m spiralling slowly towards taking forever to complete 5k. Both are probably slightly true, although I’ve been feeling biomechanically OK this week – no aches or pains limiting me since the weekend’s tough running slog. That said, the LSRs are still to come…

Another two bike rides and day 4 of Juneathon will be complete. Enjoying it – though the early mornings (especially pollen filled ones like today) are TOUGH.

Mood running vs forced running

Running Matters posts:

I remember some advice from Joe Henderson about being flexible in your training and adapting it to how you feel on the day. He suggested you run for a mile (to make sure you had shaken all the inertia from your body) and then made a judgement. If you felt tired , then cut it short but if you felt good then why not go further or harder. In other words, within the overall framework of your programme, there should be latitude and you should try to work with rather against your body.

That makes good sense – I am constantly puzzled by how much my mood and vitality can vary from day to day.

I face this dilemma (who doesn’t?) – but at the moment, am forcing myself to run through running funks – and invariably come out feeling better.

The place where I fall down is differentiating a funk from some bio-mechanical issue – stiff muscles, sore knees, an upset stomach, a hayfever attack. In the latter case, I think you should listen to your body – but if I cut the run short because I wasn’t in the mood for it I think I’d end up stuck with an hour-max run limit (about 10k). Of course, I only do the LSRs at the weekends at the moment… so perhaps motivation comes easier.

What do you think, devoted LSR reader?