Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Motivation 101

It is not always that we are in the mood to run. We all get tired and eventually begin to feel too lazy to even dare a run around the block.

What to do?

Runner's World's Calvin Hennick has a list of what he calls "Kicks in the Butt." All 101 of them -  tips, inspiring quotes, and more to keep you motivated.

Hennick has a number of Good-To-Go Playlists for those who get a kick from pacing to music. Selections include classic rock ("Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, "Break on Through" by The Doors, and "Come Together" the Beatles), country, hip-hop, and alternative rock. He even has a playlist of "guilty pleasures," which is honestly alien to me.

His list also includes movies to watch -  the 1981 Oscar winner for Best Picture Chariots of Fire (undoubtedly a classic film on running that can truly inspire), Saint Ralph (a 2005 Canadian film where a teenager sets out to win the 1954 Boston Marathon, thinking this is the "miracle" required to wake his mother from a coma), even Endurance, the 1999 docudrama on how Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie became one of the best distance runners of all time.

And there are the books to read for inspiration. Leading Hennick's list are two favorites among runners - The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, a short story by Alan Sillitoe tells the tale of a rebellious youth in a reformatory who runs in solitude and makes a stand against a system he doesn't believe in, and the cult classic Once a Runner, by talented runner John L. Parker JR., which captures the hard work and dedication required of fictional collegiate miler Quenton Cassidy.

After going through Hennick's list, I tried to come up with a short list of 10 "interesting" ones which I suppose would most likely be doldrum busters for many.

1. MAMA, GET A NEW PAIR OF SHOES. Two-time Olympian Shayne Culpepper puts new gear she receives as an elite athlete to good use. "It's fun to break in a new pair of shoes," she says. "Sometimes that's enough to get me excited."
2. EVERY MILE YOU RUN burns roughly 100 calories. Think of that next six-miler as two slices of pizza.
3. MAKE A MASSAGE APPOINTMENT for the day after your long run.
4. GET YOURSELF A HEARTY DOG who needs lots of exercise. You'll always have a reason for a daily jog. 
5. FOR EMERGENCY USE ONLY: Consider taking a short break from running if you think you've got the beginning of an overuse injury or you're truly fatigued. A couple days of rest may be the thing to reinvigorate you. Call this one instant running motivation for three days from now. 
6. YOU'LL BE WEARING A BATHING SUIT in another month or so, won't you?
7. PAY YOURSELF. Set a price for attaining a certain weekly mileage goal. When you hit it, pay up. Keep your mileage money in a jar, and once it accumulates, buy yourself that new running jacket you've been ogling.
8. BUY A FULL-LENGTH MIRROR and make sure you look in it every day.
9. A HEALTHY RUNNER IS A HAPPY RUNNER. As soon as you feel like you might be coming down with something, pamper yourself: Eat more healthfully (think lots of fruits and veggies) and get extra rest. A little prevention today means you won't be debating next week whether you're too sick to run.
10. EXERCISE IMPROVES SEXUAL PERFORMANCE, according to research. Nuff said.

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