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!
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.
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!
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.
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.