Running In Place

Here is a question for all you runners out there who aren’t actively training for an event: what inspires you to run each day?

I have these phases in which I will push myself to run farther and farther than I’ve ever run before. The phases seem to last about three months and seem to happen every four or five years. And in all that time in between these phases I will still be running but only a few miles each day and never with any strong desire to go farther.

Sometimes these off-phases are perfectly natural: when I was living in Chicago it just didn’t make sense to do long distance training once it got cold and dark. Some runners are able to keep going in those conditions and I admire them, but I am not one of them. Or other times I would be trying to squeeze in some running around schooling or a job and would be just trying to keep in shape without needing to run until kingdom come.

But right now is not one of those times. Right now I have both the time and inclination to build up some real distance and yet I just can’t seem to make myself get serious about it. Here I am living in a warm, temperate climate year-round with a flexible everyday schedule and an idea to run some real distance and yet every morning when I get up I ask myself:

“Shall we run this morning?”

And answer myself with:

“Nah. Too much work.”

What is missing from my equation? How does one find the drive to do something that he or she would intellectually like to do but just can’t seem to find motivation to accomplish? I think perhaps a deadline would help. Or perhaps a goal and a deadline: this clearly worked in April when I made the goal to run ten miles in one day and finally forced myself to do it on the second-to-last-day of the month. But I also know that when I set a major goal like “Twenty Miles” then I once again lose traction once the goal has been reached. Twenty miles is accomplished but twenty two miles remains out of reach.

So what are some good motivation techniques for running long distances? I am more interested in distance than time (I’m not interested in racing).

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 5, 2013.

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