Motivation on Long Runs

Motivation on Long Runs

(From Runner’s World tumblr)

Active.com had a great article on 4 Tips to Stay Motivated on Your Long Run.

Until a month ago, since I’d been doing my long runs (although my runs were 10-12miles and not the 18miles in the article), I figured I’d give my “expert” opinion on what worked for me.

  • Tip #1: Getting Started (From active.com)
    I have to whole heartedly agree with this one. For me a long is so much easier when all the logistics is taken care of. Where I’m running, what time I’m running, what I’m wearing, hydration, fuel, rest stops, … If I know all that, then all I have to do it put one foot in front of another.
  • Tip #2: Get halfway there (From active.com)
    For me, half way doesn’t quite work on really long distances, especially when I’m running loops and not point and back. So my run is always split into threes. Even my races.
  • Tip #3: Be social (From active.com)
    I just joined Get Fit Atlanta, and I must say that I do like going out in a group and running. But I also am not in a group … I’m too slow and my pace group is all gone by the time we are done with a mile. When the mileage increases, I know I will be left far far behind. But I do like knowing that I can always draw on the collective knowledge and inspiration of the group.
    Another tip to this – look for online support. In this day of intense social networking online, why not? The success of Dailymile shows that. 
  • Tip #4: Be creative (From active.com)
    Haa! This does not work for me. I’m not adventurous enough to go to different parts of town and run. The one day I ran in busy midtown, I freaked out. 
What works for The Faux Runner
  • Think of the post-run rewards
    I try to focus a lot of what I will do/eat once I get this run done. After every 13.1 race, we eat an Indian buffet lunch a.k.a stuff yourself with food until your stomach drops. After every long run, I have a chocolate milk or something else yummy that I normally would feel very guilty about.
  • Revel in the bragging rights
    I love telling the husband and my alter-ego loves telling the online world about how long I ran for; no matter if it was bad or good. In fact, I love exaggerating and a good run becomes a GREAT run and a bad one becomes a miserable one. Anything to get the husband look at my with new eyes everytime 🙂
  • Music – change your playlist or go without
    Some songs just do it for you. It need not be a fast tempo song or even one that matches your cadence. It could be any song(s) that holds meaning for you. My playlist consists of strategically placed songs that inspire me, makes me tear up inside and wash out the unpleasantness from my running soul. On Valentine’s Day, I had a lovely run to slow romantic songs – definitely not an everyday choice.
  • Log Miles, have a Weekly(or daily!) goal and a goal Race
    The satisfaction of seeing miles logged is only equivalent to the satisfaction of getting stronger and more confident about race day. I love Dailymile as a training log, I love “zapping the zero” at the beginning of the week and I love seeing the training graph telling me how marvelous I did in the 3rd week of Jan. Having a goal race will give you the motivation and plan to achieve something and to make the miles meaningful.
    The husband will completely disagree with me here. He’s a big advocate of running for the love of running. He doesn’t like doing races, he says he’s got nothing to prove to anyone if he runs a 8min-mile or 10min-mile. He loves running, running gets him release tension unlike anyother activity and I think that he secretly likes the way his calves look (so do I!).
  • Don’t talk about it. Either shut up or Just Do It.
    This one is the husband’s mantra – the “motivation” he gave me when I was whining about not being a walker/runner. The same motivation he gives me everytime I whine about a run. Leaving the un-romantic sentiments aside, it makes for good advice. Don’t overthink or overtalk running (or anyother thing). Just do it. Either you want to or you don’t want to. 
What gives you motivation when you are faced with a big number run?
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