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How to run when you do not feel like it

Posted Aug 23 2011 10:24am

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Yesterday was a tough workout. It was not a hard run (only 2 miles) but it was a run that was coming after a day in which I ran 15+ miles. I was tired and this really zapped my motivation. But as a streak runner, you can’t ever let feeling bad stop you from doing your workout. I’ve previously listed some of my tricks for boosting motivation . However, I’m always looking for more tips.

My sister sent me this interesting article about the 4 stages of motivation . It’s certainly worth a read.

Basically, it talks about the four stages of motivation. They have certainly been applicable to my joggling career.

I started running in 1992 as a way to get in shape, stay healthy, and increase the chances of me living until 107. Running was a perfect choice because all you needed were shoes and some workout clothes and you could do it anywhere. (I added the juggling later). My emotional motivation was to live longer and healthier. Quite frankly, at that point in my life the prospect of death was really depressing.

According to the article we are motivated to do everything we do. Watching tv, playing video games, eating junk food, juggling, and running are all things we are motivated to do whether we are conscious of it or not. Joggling has become ingrained in my brain so my internal motivation helps get me out the door. Sure, I still watch too much TV and goof off too much but I’ve found that internal motivation to accomplish my joggling goals. You’ve got to find your own internal motivators.

This suggests that you can build your motivation by creating a more deeply emotional connection to it. The running streak has helped me connect emotionally as “the streak” has almost become a real character in my life. I think about it almost as an entity that has to be considered. My spreadsheet recording all my runs has also generated some emotional attachment. It would be devastating to lose the information and it also hurts a little when I haven’t updated it for a while. Writing JYAJ has also boosted my emotional connection to my exercise activities.

Once you get to the point where you can easily motivate yourself, it inspires you to motivate other people. This has been true of me and one of the reasons that I blog about joggling is to encourage other people to start exercising. I want to contribute my part to making society a little healthier.

What phase are you at in the motivation process? Leave your comment below.

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