Even the most energetic and run-loving athletes have days where they feel unmotivated. “Sports psychologists say low-motivation days are no accident, and say negative thoughts can stymie motivation and jeopardize performance, for pros and weekend warriors alike.”
I know when I am feeling unmotivated I have a hard time getting up and working out. I remind myself why I do it: to feel good physically and mentally. I remind myself that I am only hurting myself if I don’t get my daily exercise.
Runnersworld has an excellent article with advice from sports psychologists on how to stay motivated.
First, psychologists recommend identifying your negative thoughts. If you plant negative thoughts in your head before you even begin your workout, than you will suffer the negative consequences. These negative thought patterns may be affecting your performance.
Second, rather than think negatively substitute those thoughts with positive thoughts. Acknowledge those negative thoughts, but then turn them into positive ones. If you are feeling sluggish, just remind yourself how much more of a feat it will be if you complete your run.
Third, once you have determined which positive thoughts encourage you the most utilize them. Then pair it with music that motivates you. I choose music that has a good beat and then when I am feeling tired I tell myself: “you can do this! Feel the music!”
Fourth, create goals. Make long term goals. Those of you signed up for Lead Strong already have a long term goal: to complete the Lead Strong Half Marathon. That’s great! You are ahead of the game! It’s also for a good cause. So do you research on Maggie’s Light and find out what you are running for. You may find more inspiration out of that.
Fifth, it’s okay to feel disappointed. This will serve as more motivation in the future. You just have to make sure you move on. Don’t take things too seriously, realize your faults and figure out a positive way to improve.
Sixth, channel past success. If you have a moment from your past in which you ran your fastest mile or 5k re-live that feeling of victory! This attitude will help you run faster and keep your thoughts positive.
Hopefully these tips will help keep you more positive and upbeat during your training and during the race.