Friday, July 19, 2013

Finding "The Force" to Run

image from Google
As much as there are a LOT  of excuses one could think of (or one legitimately has!) to skip running/training or to finally begin with running, there is a much longer list of  how to motivate yourself to run, and keep yourself motivated.


I won't list down the excuses I feel, I  "legitimately" have every day, nor the excuses that my left brain has nagged me (and keeps on nagging me!).

Excuses, which sadly successfully broke me down in the past until I gave in, resulting to more than a few painful experiences in my races and running.

This would be very counter-productive!

Nope. Not going to give my left brain further satisfaction, than it already has.

Instead, I will share, focus and highlight what keeps me motivated.

Below are my top 5 of how I keep myself motivated on days I feel very low on #LoveRunning positive energy.

I chose to share 5 because it equals the distance (5K) I ran in my first race.  A distance most aspiring would-be runners aim/train for, when they begin with running.

It can be considered a "relatively short" distance but when one is simply beginning (or returning to running after a break), the effort equals running a marathon in one's mind.

Perhaps, I will be sharing more sources of motivation every Friday. For now my top 5, mentioned in no special order. A baby step.

1. Recalling a great memory of a memorable run/race.
“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”

Many runners experience even after years of running: a struggle to begin.  A feeling as if one is literally in pain (all in the mind though!) while preparing to go out for a run.

This run maybe a "simple run" after a required pause due to injury, or stress in personal life, or a vacation.  Even when prepping for a race, one has trained for, one can struggle to go to run the race.

image from Google
When one has don on one's training/race gear, and is one step out of one's home, a huge step has already been made.

As soon as you are on the move for 5-10 minutes (10 minutes max. Promise!), you will be filled with gladness that you conquered yourself, and broke through the worst barrier you are confronted with: your own voice in your head that seems to constantly say, "Not today!".

Each run you will do, will one day be an accumulation of memories (see No. 3) you can fall back on , when you struggle.

Keeping this scenario in mind should be enough to animate you to run to create (great & unforgettable!) running memories.

YES, today!
This is what I told the voice in my head last June.
You would not see it from the look on my face on this photo but I struggled to go to our village local run - Driedorpenloop 2013 for many reasons.
There were many more great memories from this run ; I'm glad that I did not stay at home.
I ran one of my fastest pace continuously on this day.

2. Rewarding self OR accepting an unexpected reward.

image from Google

This varies for every runner.

I have a long list of ideas for personal rewards for running achievements or for reaching simple running goals.

Today I will share what for me is the most obvious reward, a runner can give herself/himself: a pair of new running shoes!

After a succesful year of continuous running (August 2011 - August 2012 : my first RUNniversary!), I rewarded myself with a new pair of running shoes.

My Nike Lunar Glide, bought September 2012

A few months later (December, 2012), I got a DM (direct message) via my @PaperInEurope Twitter inbox  from @NikeRunning.  They wrote, that they have noticed my runs, and I will be receiving a reward!

As promised, just in time for Spring Running (March, 2013)! I received these beauties:

3. Recording running adventures on different social media channels.

My story on No.2 of this list (just one of many rewarding stories!) will probably show you, when you simply go about your running business, record it, share it  (on your blog, on Facebook, Twitter, instragram, etc),  you will not only have a clear picture of how you are progressing  but in the process receive a pleasant surprise!

Happy Feet in the Netherlands FB page

Surprise gifts are awesome. 

What is more awesome are the great connection with others,
whom you can meet through the various channels of social media. 

These connections are priceless.  These people who share your passion or respect you for your passion, can help you keep motivated if you allow yourself to be open to the connection.

4.  Give as much motivation, if not more as one receive.

A philosopy I learned through life experience. An age old wisdom: giving is better than receiving!

It is not only through the running community, that you can give and receive motivation but in daily life.  This topic deserves a blog in itself because of the magnitude of how it has positively influenced my personal view of life, and lives of many others.

Basically, the more you give positive support (energy) to others, without expectations the more energetic you will feel.

Below are the running pages of social running groups, where I met very good and supportive running friends for life.

Loopmaatjes FB Page
Running Junkies FB Page

5. Follow the running adventures of fellow runners & athletes you respect and admire.

Blogged : In the Presence of an Olympianleft: moi middle: Churandy Martina right: Udjen Lewis
As with No. 4 I need another post to write extensively about how I keep myself motivated by following the running adventures of athletes I admire, and fellow runners I am friends with in real life. 

Or those magnificent (running & non-running souls), whom I've met online and communicate with via their blogs.

In brief: we identify with the struggles and celebrate with the success of those who share our passion.

Knowing we are not alone, that even those who have achieved (world wide)  success in their field (what their passionate above!) struggles and overcome obstacles,  can keep us motivated towards having a positive attitude.  If they can conquer and achieve, so could we!

Whoever you are, wherever you may be, I wish you a great weekend, and leave you with the words of Yoda: May the Force (literally!) be with you (on your weekend training)!


  1. Great tips! Due to the heat and work stress, I've been less than motivated this week in my running. Sometimes I have to drag myself through every step! I love the idea of envisioning oneself in a past great race! Also, encouraging others helps! I have to remind myself to encourage others sometimes when I'm exhausted and can't breathe, but I think it's important we support each other. Great thoughts!

    1. Thanks, Amy for dropping by!

      Good luck on your 5K in 30 minutes goal. I'll be rooting for you! :)

  2. Great blog! I love the Yoda sayings. I agree with you on excuses. There's always an excuse out there. You just have to get over them!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Colleen!

      Yes, for every excuse there are at least 5 positive reasons to box through it. :)

  3. You've got some awesome tips here. Getting started is always the hardest, and following the adventures of other runners really is great for motivation.

    p.s. love your sneaks

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Shawn!

      Yes, I love my sneaks :D they carried me to many fun races/adventures. :)

  4. These are GREAT tips! I always post my runs, it makes me feel more accountable! Thanks for the good tips!

    1. Thank you for reading my top 5 of motivating sources, Darlynn!

      Getting affirmation from fellow runners is motivating. :)


If I can run, so can you: big dreams are reached with baby steps!