Last week, Coach Kristie addressed the loss of Mojo in “Mojo, Mojo, Whereforeart Thou, Mojo“. This week, KR Endurance athlete David Bess, discusses it from his perspective:
I’ve trained as a “serious” runner for five or six years now, competing in numerous short-distance races as well as half and full marathons. Along the way, my motivation level has waned and has at times even disappeared. The newness of running is long gone, and the act of putting on the gear for one more run feels like drudgery rather than delight. Here are a few thoughts that help me keep my motivation level up and the “mojo” present.
Run to live, don’t live to run. Running can easily consume me and dominate my life. When it starts taking the place of faith, family or relationships with friends, its gone too far. Burnout for me then is just around the corner. I have to keep it in perspective. I run to live a better life, I don’t live to run a better race. As fulfilling as running is, there are far greater things in life!
Find the fun. Running started as something fun and exciting, and I have to make sure I keep it that way. If I get obsessed with a faster pace, a quicker finish time, or another new personal record, the pressure I put on myself robs me of the joy of running. There’s nothing wrong with having a goal, but I’ve got to find the fun in pursuing it.
Do something rather than nothing at all. If I just can’t bring myself to run, then find something else to do. Get on the elliptical at the gym. Lift weights. Do core work or yoga. I have to stay active so that I’ll be in better shape when I do get back to running.
Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. This saying was shared with me by Coach Kristie a few years ago when I was sidelined by an injury. It’s stuck with me ever since then. I simply don’t have the time to train for two marathons a year, though I’d like to do so. I can’t run a sub-20 5K at this point, and may never be that fast. That’s okay. I’ll focus on doing what I can at the present moment, and not let what I can’t do now discourage me.
Concentrate on doing your best for the day you have on the course you’re running. There will always be someone faster than me, and usually always someone slower than me. I’ll get disheartened quickly if I measure my worth as a runner by the guys at the top of the finish times. I’ll also get conceited quickly if I measure my worth by the people who finish far behind me. I just have to concentrate on doing my best for the day I have on the course I’m running. I can’t measure myself by what others do or don’t do.
Embrace variety. Running is often a mindless activity, and I often “zone out” while running because it gets so monotonous. So since I normally run alone, I get a great boost if I can do a group run with friends. Since I usually run on isolated trails, it helps occasionally to change courses and to find some pavement in a busier area. If I’m running all the time on the flats, hills add some new challenges and downhill excitement. And, as much as I hate treadmills, even they can bring new life to the running as I listen to music and let the stationary miles accumulate.