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Old 10-28-2012, 06:49 AM   #1
Terapin
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How do you rekindle motivation during long training seasons?

Hi!

I was doing great with motivation and slowly working up my mileage in anticipation of a fall half marathon and then marathon weekend in January, until an injury derailed me and I got to see how the other half lives! I was only able to do very short runs a few times a week (I did complete my half marathon, injury, illness and back spasm and all!) for about three weeks.

Now I am getting back into my game but my weekly mileage suffered and I need to start bringing it back up (slowly). However, I am suffering from some serious motivation melt - I want to be motivated, I want to get back into that mindspace - but I am finding it hard to drum up the motivation to get out into the yucky weather and start pounding the miles out again. Short runs are ok! I am also a bit slower than I was before - dropped my speed about 30 seconds per mile. Knee is at about 95% of normal. I am *not* a slacker and my friends are shocked that I am feeling demotivated!

Can I get some advice for the group about how you motivate yourself to get back into the game and stay there for a few more months? I feel like I have lost my momentum. I am out of my element as I usually have buckets of motivation!

(It has been a long training season: I started seriously training in February as I had so far to go. Managed to keep totally committed, missed only 1-2 runs all season despite a very challenging work schedule that often sees me up and working for 24-36 hours straight unpredictably, and about 40-80 hours a week total + three kids! Lost about 40 pounds in 6 months due to diligence and hard work, and was able to build on momentum. I am no stranger to just putting in the time and the effort).

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:16 AM   #2
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First off, congratulate yourself on what you have accomplished. This is not a race against anyone else, it is a personal journey and you have obviously devoted precious time and energy to it to get where you are today.

Second, don't beat yourself up about your current status. Everyone goes through a slump--even when everything is going well. And your current situation has been exacerbated by injury, so that just makes it harder.

Try not to worry about how fast you were before--it isn't productive. As they say in yoga, "deal with the body you have today". That's all you can do. (I find this a hard lesson to learn--and I have had to learn it myself several times over the past1-1/2 years due to injuries, including right now)

So what to do? Mix up your training routine. Run some of your miles on a track or in a gym, run fartleks, run hills, go to a local park and run trails---just do something different. Sometimes running the same old route gets boring and we just need to change.

Find a 5k or 10k race or two that you can run. Think of it as a "supported training run". You don't race, but you do have lots of other people there to run with.

Are there any local running groups or running stores around? Join them for a run or two.

Give yourself a break.....don't worry if you miss a run or two during the remainder of your training. It won't entirely derail you, and who needs guilt anyway!

Visualize yourself running the Disney race route as you train. Surprisingly, this can bring a smile to your face and give you a little boost.

If, in the end, you don't quite "recover your mojo" and go to Disney undertrained, adjust your expectations about your race. Don't aim for or expect PRs, just try to have fun. (Advice that I HAVE TO take to heart myself)

Sorry for the long-windedness.....know that you aren't alone. Good luck.

Maura

Last edited by jmasgat; 10-28-2012 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:29 AM   #3
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As Maura said 'You are not alone!' , I've been struggling with motivation lately too. It helps me to watch the Youtube video's of past WDW marathon's and to watch the 'Spirit of the Marathon' movie on Netlix. I also watched the coverage of the Iron Man from Hawaii yesterday and I makes me realize that I need to just keep training to get to my goal. You can do it! It's less than 100 days to go!!!
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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Hi Carolynn-

I know you live in Toronto, so your winters aren't pretty. I lived in Edmonton for 3 winters (2009-2011), so I get some of the issue that you're dealing with. After running outside for months, it's a real struggle to swap back to the treadmill because of the bitter cold and the perpetual darkness. It derailed me two of those three years. Admittedly, I didn't sign up for any races after October, so I didn't have to do long runs on the dreadmill.

I moved my IPOD docking station permanently to the (unfinished) basement and cranked the tunes as I ran 4-5 miles. I'd sing along at full volume.

I know that the local Running Room had Wednesday evening and Sunday morning running groups that went out at different paces. I've never done the run/walk thing that the Running Room swears by, so I never joined. But I know winter running groups are available up there! Maybe a "change of pace" with a group (which includes commiting yourself to someone else that you'll be there) might help.

Last season, I ran all my long runs in my neighborhood alone. This season, I've done all my 8-plus mile runs at Memorial Park here in Houston. There are hundreds of people who run there. I don't know anyone there, but as Maura says, I now do "supported training runs"! Every once in a while, I find someone running right at my pace and we run a (3 mile) loop or so around the park together and chat about running. It kills some of the boredom.

Personally? I think it's the winter doldrums setting in, coupled by post-first-race depression (you ran your first half marathon a few weeks ago, right?). Like childbirth, after the climax of the first big race coming and going, you say to yourself, "now what?!?". I suspect you're in a bit of that funk, eh? It'll get better as the next goal race gets closer. You can still bask in the great finish you had a few weeks ago. There's no shame in that!

And know that there are people here who have experienced the same things you are now. In that sense, you aren't special. But you are a runner. And that is special! Embrace it.

Renee
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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This won't help as much with your fall half, but google Disney marathon weekend race reports. I LOVE reading these and seeing pictures from the course (or courses I guess, since I think you're training for Goofy?). It reminds me what's I'm training for and gives me something to visualize during longer runs. Along those same lines I've downloaded a couple of loops of park music to my iPhone (Magic Kingdom entrance area music, Innoventions plaza, etc.) and listen to those during the runs...definitely puts me in the right state of mind, and somehow I enjoy the loops more than "regular" songs that make me think of the run in 3-4 minute increments (if that makes sense).

And I'll echo others, this is NOT unusual. Training cycles are long, but I think if you focus on what you're training for (and think of the fall half as just another step closer to Goofy) that will hopefully help.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmasgat View Post

Try not to worry about how fast you were before--it isn't productive. As they say in yoga, "deal with the body you have today". That's all you can do. (I find this a hard lesson to learn--and I have had to learn it myself several times over the past1-1/2 years due to injuries, including right now)

So what to do? Mix up your training routine. Run some of your miles on a track or in a gym, run fartleks, run hills, go to a local park and run trails---just do something different. Sometimes running the same old route gets boring and we just need to change.

Find a 5k or 10k race or two that you can run. Think of it as a "supported training run". You don't race, but you do have lots of other people there to run with.

Are there any local running groups or running stores around? Join them for a run or two.

Give yourself a break.....don't worry if you miss a run or two during the remainder of your training. It won't entirely derail you, and who needs guilt anyway!

Visualize yourself running the Disney race route as you train. Surprisingly, this can bring a smile to your face and give you a little boost.

If, in the end, you don't quite "recover your mojo" and go to Disney undertrained, adjust your expectations about your race. Don't aim for or expect PRs, just try to have fun. (Advice that I HAVE TO take to heart myself)

Sorry for the long-windedness.....know that you aren't alone. Good luck.

Maura
Thanks Maura. I like what you said about being at peace with the body you have, now. That resonates for me.

I do belong to a running club - I am currently asst-coaching a Learn to Run through the Running Room but those miles are very short and I shore up the back, so they aren't adding to the miles I have to do. We are almost done though - so I will pick up again with a more distance-appropriate part of the club in a few weeks.

I guess it is really the long runs that I am worried about being able to complete with good energy.

Maybe I need to just count them down, and realize that they will end soon!

Unfortunately, the running events calendar is getting really thin around here - due to the weather. It is getting very hard to find runs that will work with my call schedule. I am considering a half marathon next weekend. Not for racing, but for discipline and training, and to help me learn how to approach my January one more optimally. Now it depends on the weather!

Thanks again for your reply and support!
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DISaholic's View Post
As Maura said 'You are not alone!' , I've been struggling with motivation lately too. It helps me to watch the Youtube video's of past WDW marathon's and to watch the 'Spirit of the Marathon' movie on Netlix. I also watched the coverage of the Iron Man from Hawaii yesterday and I makes me realize that I need to just keep training to get to my goal. You can do it! It's less than 100 days to go!!!
Thank you! I do find watching videos inspiring. It is good to realize that everyone training is working hard and often out of their comfort zone. I guess I will be really happy when training is over and I can run for fun! Until the next training phase, that is...
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALIFLADY View Post
Hi Carolynn-

I know you live in Toronto, so your winters aren't pretty. I lived in Edmonton for 3 winters (2009-2011), so I get some of the issue that you're dealing with. After running outside for months, it's a real struggle to swap back to the treadmill because of the bitter cold and the perpetual darkness. It derailed me two of those three years. Admittedly, I didn't sign up for any races after October, so I didn't have to do long runs on the dreadmill.

I moved my IPOD docking station permanently to the (unfinished) basement and cranked the tunes as I ran 4-5 miles. I'd sing along at full volume.

I know that the local Running Room had Wednesday evening and Sunday morning running groups that went out at different paces. I've never done the run/walk thing that the Running Room swears by, so I never joined. But I know winter running groups are available up there! Maybe a "change of pace" with a group (which includes commiting yourself to someone else that you'll be there) might help.

Last season, I ran all my long runs in my neighborhood alone. This season, I've done all my 8-plus mile runs at Memorial Park here in Houston. There are hundreds of people who run there. I don't know anyone there, but as Maura says, I now do "supported training runs"! Every once in a while, I find someone running right at my pace and we run a (3 mile) loop or so around the park together and chat about running. It kills some of the boredom.

Personally? I think it's the winter doldrums setting in, coupled by post-first-race depression (you ran your first half marathon a few weeks ago, right?). Like childbirth, after the climax of the first big race coming and going, you say to yourself, "now what?!?". I suspect you're in a bit of that funk, eh? It'll get better as the next goal race gets closer. You can still bask in the great finish you had a few weeks ago. There's no shame in that!

And know that there are people here who have experienced the same things you are now. In that sense, you aren't special. But you are a runner. And that is special! Embrace it.

Renee
I don't have access to a treadmill so I continue my runs outside. I don't really mind once I get underway. Hopefully the worst weather will be in January and February when I am done my training! I tried to do 5 miles on the treadmill once at the Grand Californian and it was miserable. I swear it was calibrated wrong - it seemed so longgggggggg.

I think it is post-race funk coupled with pre-race anxiety! Doing Goofy is a real stretch for me - reaching high and far. I'm going to go out slow and steady, but I am really worried about completing the marathon component. I am totally respecting the distance and WOW!

I wish I had someone local to run some longer distances with - but I am slower than many in my running group and most people's goal race was the HM I ran two weeks ago and so they are not actively logging the miles. Will check it out again though - there is a new HM class starting in 2 weeks - won't be enough mileage on the longer runs but the shorter runs should be good and I'll like the companionship again.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel484 View Post
This won't help as much with your fall half, but google Disney marathon weekend race reports. I LOVE reading these and seeing pictures from the course (or courses I guess, since I think you're training for Goofy?). It reminds me what's I'm training for and gives me something to visualize during longer runs. Along those same lines I've downloaded a couple of loops of park music to my iPhone (Magic Kingdom entrance area music, Innoventions plaza, etc.) and listen to those during the runs...definitely puts me in the right state of mind, and somehow I enjoy the loops more than "regular" songs that make me think of the run in 3-4 minute increments (if that makes sense).

And I'll echo others, this is NOT unusual. Training cycles are long, but I think if you focus on what you're training for (and think of the fall half as just another step closer to Goofy) that will hopefully help.
Thank you - I do find those videos very inspiring. The purpose of my fall half was in preparation for Goofy - it wasn't my goal race. It was meant to be a supported training run to help me prepare and to get the kilometers in I needed to anyway. It was for confidence and that really did help.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:14 AM   #10
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Agree with others...it can be really tough. But, honestly, I try to schedule a race for some of my long runs to help keep the motivation up. Training runs are so much different and sometimes it is just nice to have accountability for finishing those distances and the reward that comes with actually completing a race. Plus, you get to explore some new areas, and meet others that are in the same boat.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:26 AM   #11
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Agree with others...it can be really tough. But, honestly, I try to schedule a race for some of my long runs to help keep the motivation up. Training runs are so much different and sometimes it is just nice to have accountability for finishing those distances and the reward that comes with actually completing a race. Plus, you get to explore some new areas, and meet others that are in the same boat.
This... I schedule races and try to do 1 a month. Plus I keep a calendar of all my races so I don't slack off. :P
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:25 PM   #12
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Motivation is Relative

I think people are giving you really good advice for having some closer races to help. I will let you know what works for me. I load my iPod or iPhone up with podcasts and audiobooks and hit the streets. I find that I can go longer and feel it less when I am lost in a good story or listening to NPR.

Doing this is helping me with training for two marathons, two half marathons, a half ironman and ironman all within the next year. So needless to say I have some LONG training sessions and getting out the door when weather is not perfect(cooler than 70 and not sunny, though can also be rainy and 30) is hard. Try something new.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:34 PM   #13
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Well, contrary to many people on Disboards, I took the advice of the group!

Signed up for a half marathon last weekend because I needed to do a long run anyhow in the 13 mile ball park. So glad I did as it was cold and miserable and it would have been hard to get out on my own. I did really well!

I also decided to re-signup for the half marathon training group. It is less mileage than I need to do but I can go out with the group for a few runs a week to get some group mojo.

Also downloaded some new music. I usually get a few songs every month to keep it fresh, but it was time to get some new stuff.

I also found a friend to run with for some of the short runs.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:40 AM   #14
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Glad you're getting your mojo back. And congrats on the race!

Maura
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:46 PM   #15
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I look at my waistline......................
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