I have been asked a few times now how I manage to motivate myself, especially because I do fairly long distances for my sport which takes hours of training that’s all pretty much the same. I decided I would write a little post with a few of my tips to motivate you for long runs, which also work if you bike and swim too.
1. Set some goals and make them big.
Running for long periods of time or distances can be really difficult mentally if you don’t know what you are doing them for. Don’t put it off, enter that marathon/Ironman/Ultra run, giving yourself a target to remind yourself of when your mind is telling you that you can’t be bothered to go do this 15 mile run.
2. Break the distance down.
Don’t run (or bike or swim) thinking about the next 12 miles left to go, break it down and just think about the next mile ahead, or the next 5k/10k. Once you start increasing your distance, 5k soon feels like nothing, so think of it as doing four 5ks if that helps.
3. Find some friends.
Join a running club or get your friends into it. The time passes much quicker if you are chatting to someone, promise.
4. Ditch the roads.
This is specifically for running, (for the bike, try some new routes). You would be amazed how much more interesting and enjoyable it is running on the trails and doing some cross-country. I also swear by it for making you stronger.
5. Think of it as a job.
Not a job you hate, a job that you have chosen to do but one you have to do none the less. I am always super tired now that I am training, but I think of my training plan as a job that isn’t optional, just like a proper job, and so It must get done. Once you accept this and stop giving your mind reasons why you shouldn’t, the quicker its done and the more you will be thankful for it.