Inspiration when you don’t feel like running…
It’s a sunny Friday and I have finally sat down to write another blog post after a break from blogging to write a big chunk of my book. I can’t wait to share it with you!
This blog post came out of a chat with one of my friends who is going through a period of struggling to find the inspiration to run at the moment.
As we sat and chatted and came up with ideas she said “Why don’t you write a blog post about it?”
Seemed like the perfect time to give myself a dose of my own advice and just do it!
As many of you will know, just look at motivational images won’t cut it when your brain is telling you that you would rather sit on the sofa and binge-watch Netflix. I find the best way to lace up my trainers is to look for people and places that inspire me to run.
I have selected a few ideas for you to try and let’s see if it gets you up and running again.
Inspiration No.1 – Read or Listen to a Great Running Book
I wrote about great running books in this post and I have read quite a few books since then.
Nothing gets my running juices going than a great inspirational running story. I also read about triathletes and other sporting athletes too – people pushing their limits and achieving makes me want to shoot for the stars too!
Here are a few books to get you inspired:
A Life Without Limits – Chrissie Wellington
Chrissie Wellington is the world’s No 1 female Ironman triathlete, four times World Champion, having recently won her fourth title in October 2011 and the World Record holder. In 2009 she was voted ‘Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year’ and in 2010 was awarded the MBE.
She is the undefeated champion of Triathlon, having won thirteen Ironman titles from thirteen races. She set a new World Record of 8 hours19:13 at Quelle Roth Germany in 2010, which slashed over 14 minutes from the previous record and where she was only beaten by six men. This book had me gripped from start to finish and she really has to be an all-time role model for me.
Your Pace Or Mine – Lisa Jackson
Lisa Jackson turned into an inspiring runner by accident it seems, she represents everything I love about the running community – funny hats, fancy dress, encouraging the back runners and making friends along the way. She ran her first marathon at 31 and her first 56-mile ultramarathon aged 41. She has also finished last in 20 of the 90+ marathons that she’s completed so far. Inspiring, funny and encouraging to others. Wonderful book.
Just A Little Run Around The World – Rosie Swale Pope
Aged 57 Rosie set off to run around the world after her husband died of cancer, raising money in memory of the man she loved.
This book is a page-turner from the start, she left Wales with just a backpack and ended up 20,000 miles later finishing with stories of being knocked down by a bus, followed by wolves and chased by a naked man with a gun.
This book taught me a lot about determination, courage and hope. I have reread it several times and can’t recommend it highly enough.
Inspiration No.2 – Follow an inspiring runner’s journey
Ben Smith is running 401 marathons in 401 days. His story really resonated with me – he battled in his younger years with bullying and being gay. He set out on his mission to raise awareness and has inspired countless people to get into running and shoot for big goals. You can follow his progress here
Tom and I were introduced on Facebook by a mutual friend who knew we would get on. We haven’t actually met in person yet but I just know we are going to get on. He has a heart of gold and is so inspiring.
A survivor of aggressive testicular cancer, he is now a campaigner for cancer awareness through his website and an incredible ultra runner. Just seeing his posts on Facebook give me a kick up the backside and my trainers on and out for a run.
Connect with him and be inspired too.
Inspiration No.3 – Enter a race
If I am without a running goal I find it easier to make excuses not to go out for a run, I work best with a plan of action. I work about 6 months out and pick races that I want to enter and then schedule my diary.
At present I am working towards an ultra marathon and have a training programme tied to that goal, I then will keep up my mileage throughout the winter for some spring marathons and ultras. Having those races in the diary makes all the difference.
Why not pick an amazing event to enter, stretch yourself out of your comfort zone and go for a challenge!
Bucket list Races:
- Comrades Marathon – this is a tough one and a bit of a rite of passage for ultra runners. I just need to persuade my better half that we could combine a holiday in South Africa at the same time!
- The Cotswold Way 100 – I LOVE the Cotswolds, they are a beautiful pocket here in the U.K. and so beautiful. Picture-postcard villages, rolling hills and beautiful trails. This is a 4-day event with almost a marathon a day but what an enjoyable challenge it would be!
- The Big Sur Marathon – It keeps getting voted one of the top 10 world marathons to do, the breathtaking scenery is a big pull for runners.
- The color run 5k – The happiest 5k in the world! Thousands of Color Runners start the day in a white t-shirt, getting covered from head to toe in a rainbow of colours at each kilometre of the course. It’s all about the fun and what gives you the biggest smiles. At present, there are lots of runs around the world but I may just pick a fun U.K. one to do.
- The Medoc Marathon – Dress up, drink wine and explore the most famous vineyards of France in the whackiest and booziest Marathon- The Marathon du Medoc. Every year runners get dressed up in fancy dress and run mile to mile stopping off for wine, cheese and even oysters. The atmosphere is said to be incredible and full of love and laughter. Definitely one to tick off the list and ‘train’ for.
Inspiration No.4 – Pick an amazing new route
Often, just for the hell of it I will check out my friends from Strava and go and run one of their routes. It has led to discovering a few new routes that I now love. Just mixing it up and going on an adventure can bring all the inspiration back to your running.
I would love to connect with you on Strava and follow some of your routes!
You can find me here let’s connect and maybe even meet up for a run together.
Inspiration No.5 – Write it all out
Sometimes just putting words on a sheet of paper makes all the difference.
When I am feeling uninspired or demotivated I ask myself the following questions:
What are the benefits that going for a run gives me?
More energy, a more positive outlook, time in nature etc.
Why did I take up running in the first place?
To help my mental health, to feel fitter and more energised.
What would NOT going for a run do?
Continue my sluggish feeling, the feeling of disappointment, not work towards my training goal.
What fears come up for me when I think about going for a run?
My muscles ache, don’t like running by myself, worried I won’t make the distance I usually go.
How can I soothe those fears?
Going for a run will ease up those aching muscles once warmed up, call up a friend and invite out to run with me, go for as long as I feel comfortable today.
Try this exercise and ask yourself those questions and report back if it works for you.
I hope I have gone a little way into giving you some tools to get you lacing up and out for a run. I would love to hear any suggestions of great books and places to run. I would also LOVE to connect with you on Strava.
The most inspiring thing about running, for me, are the people I meet along my journey..