Thursday, September 3, 2009

tiart: motivation tips & tricks

i always read many of your posts participating in take it and run thursday (tiart) put on by runner's lounge, but have yet been able to join in and instead try to leave comments on each of your tiart insightfulness. for the past few weeks and many upcoming, tom and amy have turned the tables and opened up the job of tiart host. i eagerly accepted, excited to finally get to play along and hoping to start a routine of participating. hey, with weeks of notice, surely i could be on the ball for my own tiart right?

you've probably noticed the recent "case of the mondays" here in lindsay land. for the past few weeks, i've struggled on some individual runs as well as entire weeks of mileage. with the opportunity to solicit advice from the running experts through hosting tiart, i took my recent frustrations and opened them to the running-blog world --
whether training for a specific race or just running for the fun of it, we all experience the ups and downs of running. what do you do to get yourself motivated to run when it feels like it's the last thing you want to do?
lately in my own running journey, i have had a huge deficiency of mojo. some days are fine and the run is good, but others are completely depressing. i've tried a few different tips and tricks that have worked in the past to try and jump-start myself again. my next marathon is two months away and i'm starting to worry.

what do i do when the motivation is running low?
  • toughen up. i'm sure some days i'm just feeling lazy and need to buck up and get the job done! this is probably my first line of defense - i head out to get the miles in knowing that the run usually turns out decently.
  • pump up with some upbeat jams before the run. after a long day at work, i'm not always in a running-mood and an hour long commute doesn't help. i often use the commute time to indulge my inner hip-hop backup dancer and shoulder shake my mind into wanting to run. (there are only so many dance "moves" i can do in the car)
  • compromise. i'll tell myself i can swap the day's workout with tomorrow's or i'll allow myself to cut the mileage short. most of the time my mood picks up once i'm out there and the endorphins are flowing.
  • rest. sure i might still feel guilty about it and beat myself up a little, but occasionally i give myself the day off. i believe that lack of motivation is sometimes the body's way of telling you it needs a break. this would probably be more effective if i didn't guilt trip myself over it.
the problem for me is that these mind-tricks haven't completely pulled me out of my motivation-rut yet! i'm interested to know what you all do when you just "aren't feeling it".

what are your personal motivational tricks? have a good pump-up song to share? comment below or join in the tiart fun with a post of your own.

as part of hosting tiart, here's a small glimpse into the places and races i run!

41 comments:

  1. Fun pictures! I hear you with having an hour commute, awful. I like to listen to music before I head out to give me some motivation. I'll also try an cross train or just head out for a run with no watch and no worries about mileage. Sometimes you just have to enjoy running again and not make it feel like a chore. Good luck. I am sure you'll find your mojo and your awesomeness back very soon.

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  2. Hahaha Yesssss!!! I totally shoulder shake in the car too!!!

    So I'm thinking we should definitely try to meet up down in VB. My family and I are getting on Friday and I think our plans are to do the Expo Saturday morning before all the good stuff is gone haha and then relaxing on the beach. When will you be getting in? Any idea what your schedule will be like?

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  3. LOL! Great post today... loving the car dancing! Don't let the Monday's get you down girl, you're still getting out there and doing something which is much better than nothing!

    Great pics!

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  4. Very nice pictures, beautiful places where you run. My motivation when I am down is the music itself while I run, not before. The right cocktail of music can put wings on your legs. he definitive song for running: "I am gonna make you sweat" by C&C music factory.

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  5. I'm totally with you on the upbeat music thing...always gets me in the mood to run. Except I have a short commute, so I have to shoulder shake throughout the apartment as I'm getting ready to run.

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  6. Great topic! I'll get my post up later today.

    Love the slideshow!

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  7. Love the pics!
    It's funny that you tell yourself to toughen up. When I think of tough runners, you definitely pop into my mind!

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  8. great tips and photos. i tell myself to toughen up too! it seems to work. i say things like "put on your big girl panties!" and "are you a little baby?!?!" it's so weird how that works! good post lady!

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  9. This is where I find having a coach very useful. Just having to report back to him motivates me to get out there and do what I'm supposed to do. That and the fear of not being prepared to handle the heat and distance on race day.

    Hope you can find your mojo soon!!

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  10. i like the pictures! i use a lot of the same tricks as you but i just posted my thoughts on my blog if you wanna check it out. i'm sure you'll find that motivation again soon. just keep at it!

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  11. I was thinking about writing for today's TiART, but I think you covered it all! Great suggestions - thanks for sharing.

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  12. Great topic. Sounds funny but I make sure to pack a GREAT running outfit for those weeks where I feel out of it. I am notr sure what it is but the right gear makes me motivated..

    Music and running partners help!! So does preparing for a race.

    GReat slideshow!

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  13. I always feel guilty when I miss a run. I run with a group so that helps to motivate me on the days when I'm just not feeling.

    Good luck getting over the hump.....down hills are always the best! haha

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  14. Love the pics, Lindsay.
    With the risk of being hated by the running community, I have to say that I rarely am unmotivated to get my runs done. This is largely because I only run 4 times a week, and each run has a different purpose (track, tempo, recovery and long). Here are a couple of tips that might work:
    1. mixing it up -keep the key workouts and replace a couple of recovery runs with bikerides/swims.
    2. find a running partner
    3. download some running podcast - I recommend RunLive2 with Chris Russell and Runners Round Table.
    I also think that for you some of the lack of motivation is a function of how much you have going on - not sure if you could change that, but let me tell ya, I don't know how you do it! Best of luck! Ana-Maria

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  15. Beautiful pictures! *sigh* Please share some of that country road with me!!

    Motivation.....let's see...I just tell myself "Just do it." The hardest part is getting out the door. Sometimes I'll put on my iPod if I really need to, or pick a fun route or run somewhere new. I get especially unmotivated when it comes to lifting, so basically if I can just get myself IN THE DOOR, I'm fine and forget about not wanting to be there. Or I think, "Just lift for 20 minutes and you can be done."

    In the winter I do the whole "if you run today, you don't have to run tomorrow" deal. That works a lot!!

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  16. Beautiful pics! Looks like you had a great list of tips. If I'm in a funk, I'll go purchase something new and fun to wear while I run. Nothing gets me out the door like a bright new tank top or shorty shorts.

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  17. I totally agree that taking a rest day is completely necessary and what your body needs. The mojo shall return!

    Yeah, I'm a professional car dancer too. ;)

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  18. Knowing that so many other people are out there running already helps to motivate me. Usually getting up early and getting out helps because then I don't have time to procrastinate. Answering to blog readers sometimes pops into my head too, in fact I was planning on posting about that.

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  19. Great tips, I know you always think you have lost your mojo, but I still think you are super-awesome! :)

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  20. Your awesome Lindsay.

    Wanna know what I see? I see you very happy in all your running photos. Take that and run with it!!!

    And dance too!!!! YOU ROCK!

    So TiART? What do you have to do for this?

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  21. it's a good thing that i can't move my legs in the car while driving (because then i'd crash, of course) but i'd also look like a total white girl at the same time.

    music. the thought of seeing a beautiful view. the knowledge that i will be in a better mood that day if i can get up and get going. that is what has motivated me lately. it's been hard, though, i agree with you.

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  22. Thanks so much for hosting this TIART- it actually interested me a lot to see people's responses. Running is definitely a passion of mine, but some days the spark just isn't there. Pumping up the music is my personal fave to get motivation (hip-hop is the best!) Also, I often tell myself to run at least a certain amount of miles (not very many), and often I end up going more after getting into the zone. Good luck to you- you will continue to be kick-ass in my book, whether or not you have great runs this week or not :)

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  23. Great Post!! I can relate to all of it. One of my best motivations tricks is the use of my imagination. If Ryan Hall is waiting outside to try and keep up with me then I better get out there.

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  24. LOL at the shoulder shaking!

    Great question and great tips!

    MCM Mama

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  25. Great post!
    I can totally relate. :) A great old-school pump up song usually does it for me. :)
    LOVE your pictures! Such beautiful surroundings should also be great motivation!

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  26. I love running on forest type trails that you have in your pictures. I definitely have funks too with working out. One of the biggest things I'll say to myself is "Don't think, just do." I try to turn off my brain until I can get myself out the door. The thing is, I don't even run with music. I did last year, but I just haven't gotten around to putting music together. I guess I talk just think during my runs.

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  27. i have had a huge deficiency of mojo. some days are fine and the run is good, but others are completely depressing

    I'm 1000% there with you, girl!

    I'm also hoping that the mojo will come back with the cooler weather (please oh please!).

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  28. thanks for stopping by my blog AND for posing the Tiart topic! Such a good one and there are so many little tricks we each use to motivate ourselves, why not share them?!

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  29. Great topic, and thanks for sharing the pictures. I've been thinking myself, that I should share the place where I run, so I'm glad you shared your world with us. We "run" with each other all the time, and it's nice to see your corner of the running world.

    And, hey, think of all the mojo you're gonna have in the bank on race day! :)

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  30. I think as long as I get myself out the door for *something* I am ok... I do bargain with myself - cut this run short, but you HAVE to get up in the morning for the longer one, or things like that and I usually do it. But I always just tell myself that I never regret GOING for a run, and that really helps.

    Also the dogs help me some mornings when I really dont want to run but they get so happy, so I just take them and then its all good. I take them one at a time too, so I know I have to take the other one when I get back home or else I would feel awful :)

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  31. i love your slideshow! this was really a great topic for the lounge.

    i totally agree with your thoughts, too. sometimes we just need rest or to toughen up. it's so hard to know for sure which one we need tho!

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  32. Oh man, I wish there was a trick. This last time the only thing that worked was switching to triathlons and taking my mind off of running for a while. But I was really low, and it wasn't just motivation running low, some hard to handle things happened. So, I don't know, perhaps spicing your running life somehow with something else - that's just as demanding fitness wise, but is different and makes you want to come back to running with more "want".

    Also, I see a lot of blogger just kinda running through the low moments. Not really focusing on how bad they feel, but just pulling through. Now, THAT's hard, though.

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  33. Sometimes when I don't want to run, or just not that long, I will think about people on DailyMile and Twitter. Since I post my runs on a daily basis, I will feel guilty for not posting or putting up not-so-stellar performances (even though I'm sure most people will even notice..). I also see others having great runs and it'll make me feel like a chump. All of that is just motivation for me to get out and do it, no matter how much I DON"T want to..

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  34. I haven't felt like skipping a run lately, but when it happens, I get out there anyway. I'm always glad I did! Well, I usually am!

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  35. I love the pictures! I've had a rough week this week. Little motivation and very tired legs. I do realize that I did just race...but that was a few weeks ago so I should be over it by now, right? I figured I probably just needed my rest though, and I think my legs are coming around now. Fingers crossed anyway!

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  36. I love your collage of pictures!!! You look like you have a lot of peaceful places to run! It's funny...you look like you have a ton of land and trees...I have a ton on ocean and beach here! Sometimes I definitely need a little tough love when it comes to getting motivated! A swift kick in the pants really! Sometimes making a new playlist for me on my ipod motivates me. I look forward to hearing new music and while I'm making it I picture myself kicking butt running!

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  38. Love your pics!!! And good question too!

    Sorry for the double post- I accidentally went through my reader!

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  39. That commute would definitely be a motivation-zapper for me. I like the idea of rocking out to some good music to get pumped up for a run. I've found that reading running blogs and seeing how other people are doing is very encouraging for me when I don't feel like running

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  40. wow-it is SO appropriate that I stumble (am introduced to) upon your blog today - as I've been lacking in mojo and haven't ran for 4 days - longest no-run span since beginning on June 2nd.

    Thankfully a co-worker gave me her Garmin to try out so I absolutely MUST run tonight since I've had it for a few days now. As for tomorrow's motivation...who knows.

    And if I only could run as fast as you do....a happy camper I would be!! Wow!!

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  41. Great slideshow, and wonderful tips. I've used all of those myself, and have recently found success in using key words and phrases to psych myself up. Feels cheesy at first, but it really does help to replace whatever negative thought you might be having (I'm so tired, I'm so slow this week, etc) with something at least a shade more positive (Pushing myself through feeling tired is good training for the end of my next marathon; or, I might feel slow, but I'm getting faster and stronger every step.). Works for me -- looking forward to hearing what else you find that works for you!

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