Staying Motivated

Something I wrote a while ago on staying motivated on our local message board is being passed around online (just recently on the I <3 to run facebook page.) Thought I would claim it for posterity, though of course like all good thoughts, this is not just mine.

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There are no tricks. Run because you have to. Run because you love it. Run because you want to be fast. Run because you want to be skinny. Run to find some quiet time. Run to sweat. Run to eat. Run to hear your heart pound in your ears. Run because you're a runner. Run because you gotta keep the streak. Run because you don't know why the hell you're running. Run because you fought with your partner. Run because your job is shitty. Run because you got no money. Run for the sunrise. Run for a race. Run because it's impossible. Run because it's easy. Run instead of doing the laundry. Run instead of watching TV. Run because no one else understands. Run because the cool kids do it. Run because you're tired of talking. Run for numbers. Run for feel. Run to prove something. Run because it f***ing hurts. Or don't run. If you got something better to do.

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As for me, right now I am in a groove and can find many reasons to run. Hope you are running well too!


  1. gold

    and it seems so long ago since the post where I saw it originally.

    interwebs are amazing.

  2. On Tuesday, I was checking out the site for Running The Edge by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano and what did I see? Color me impressed.

    It's still there at the moment, you just have to scroll down to see it.

  3. This is a nice post.

    I also think it is important to distinguish between motivation and discipline. (Specifically, for runners who are training for a big run, as opposed to casual joggers.)

    For exmaple, we don't want to do the dishes. We don't want to clean our room or do our ironing. And sometimes, the last thing we want to do is a long run when it'd cold and raining.

    What sets a good runner apart from the average is not motivation, but discipline.

    Recognise that there are going to be times when you don't want to go for a run, but don't give yourself the choice to not do it.

    Motivation sometimes comes, sometimes it doesn't. Discipline on the other hand, is always there at your disposal.

  4. @Anon,

    Thanks for the comment. Your distinction between motivation and discipline is a nice one. Motivation comes and goes; it is certainly variable, and perhaps it is true that what distinguishes the serious runner from the less serious is that the serious runner runs when he or she is not motivated to run.

    I think discipline and self-control is one reason that we run, for sure. Running requires discipline from us, and this is one reason we love it.

    But I am not so sure that discipline is completely distinct from motivation. Discipline is maybe just a name for a longer-term or nobler sort of motivation. It's because I am motivated to run under 2:30 in the marathon, that I am disciplined in my training. But that motivation clashes with other motivations--like, say, spending time with my family or doing well in my job or surfing the internet or taking a nap. We call ourselves disciplined when we choose the correct motivation to follow--but someone else might look at all that meaningless shuffling down the road as a bit of self-indulgence (perhaps a wife who is waiting for supper!)

    Cheers, and thanks again for the comment.


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