How To Maintain Your Running Motivation this Summer

This post is in partnership with Soleve Sunburn Relief

NB: I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago, and posting couldn’t have come at a better time considering my own motivation has been waning. HOWEVER, after re-reading and editing this to post today, I literally can’t wait to slip on my trainers tomorrow and start writing out the plan for my next race… Only a couple of people know which race it is and i’m keeping it quiet until I finalise plans but keep an eye on my instagram in the next few weeks!

Summer running motivation

One of the questions I get a lot is how I stay motivated to train. Whether that has been specifically during the heat wave we’ve had here in the UK, whilst I’m on holiday or making marathon training an ongoing part of my life, here are a few of the things that help me jump/crawl out of bed when that 5.45am alarm goes instead of hitting snooze…

Think of it as altitude training… in the same way that it takes your body a little while to adjust to altitude, you will notice the effect of heat and humidity on your pace. Don’t stress, you haven’t lost all of your fitness and speed! Run on effort whilst your body gets used to it (if your watch has a Heart Rate monitor this can give you a good indication too). Focus on shorter efforts and intervals rather than longer efforts, and make sure you take those recovery sections and easy runs seriously! Your body needs the rest.

Summer running motivation

And ATTITUDE training. You might not hit all of your paces, but never giving up and just doing the best you can will stand you in good stead for future workouts and races. We can’t control race day weather or other situations, so sometimes we need to adjust our attitude and go with the flow.

Get racing. Having people around you that are all in it with you eases the feeling of suffering slightly (just looking around during the British 10K made me feel better!) and it’s far easier to push yourself in a race environment. Not to mention the added bonus of regular water stops!

how to stay motivated during summer running

Make yourself as comfortable as possible. For me this means wearing sweat wicking gear that doesn’t chafe, a supportive bra and bouncy trainers. I got a little bit burned by Tom’s parent’s pool the other day (yep so lucky to have access to that during the heatwave!), and so used Soleve, which contains ibuprofen and isopropyl myristate that helps relieve painful and uncomfortable sunburn. I was a bit red on my chest where my sports bra sits and knew that it would be uncomfortable to run if it rubbed, but luckily the Soleve really helped not only relieve some pain but also moisturised the area and prevented chafing thanks to the soothing and rehydrating emollient isopropyl myristate which helps lock in moisture, reduce skin tightness and minimise any further irritation.

Keep your goal in mind. I am able to get up most mornings without grumbling too much because I know when I get that BQ (whether it’s in September or in 2019), it is going to be worth every single training run. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was ‘No one can do it for you’. No one can run those miles for you or complete your workouts. And at the end of the day, the only person who will be disappointed by your performance on race day is YOU. If you can cross that finish line knowing that you’ve given your all in training and racing, then you cannot feel defeated. Even when I ran a 4.00.36 in Paris, I know that on that day I couldn’t have done more, I didn’t give up even in the final stretch when I knew I hadn’t run the sub 4 that I wanted. I finished with my head held high (albeit with tears streaming down my face). I was obviously frustrated that I was so close to the time I wanted, but that only spurred me on to work harder for my next marathon, where I ran a 10 minute PB.

how to maintain motivation to run this summer
Layer up that sunscreen (and insect repellant) to protect yourself from nature. There’s nothing worse than coming back from a long run to discover that you’ve burnt your back, face, chest etc.I make sure I use at least a factor 30 when out running, and where possible cover up with a hat. Ideally, I try to avoid running outside in the midday sun! I’ve been lucky in the past that my Sport Suncream has done the job although I ended up with tan lines from the Boston and NYC marathons for months afterwards. Obviously if you do unfortunately get burnt despite taking the right precautions, you can use Soleve afterwards to sooth any unwanted sunburn and  help feel better afterwards…

Sign up for an Autumn race – Whether that’s an autumn marathon or you have a longer term goal of a Spring marathon (or half), having an intermediate goal of an autumn half or 10K can help keep your motivation up. When you aren’t training for anything, it can be hard to get up for that mid-week workout, but knowing that it all adds up really helps.

Make adjustments. If you’re on holiday or traveling, then swapping a long or hard workout to another day so that you’re not trying to get up at 4am to fit it all in, or thinking that you’ll be happy to run long the day after a wedding (yep, I’m talking about myself). Similarly, if it’s 35C out and you were planning a lunchtime run, perhaps switch to your easy run instead or hit the treadmill for the speed session instead. Your training plan shouldn’t be rigid, it should flow and adapt to fit with your lifestyle (and your body!).
Summer running motivation
Be inspired by those around you. I try to use Instagram as a motivational tool to help keep me on track, remind me of my goals and inspired when my own enthusiasm is waning. In particular, I want to give a shout out to a couple of people I love following for workout motivation alongside some of the recommendations I was given on my insta;
What motivates you to lace up your trainers, even on days you would rather not?

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