We've all been there....you're training for a specific even and at some point you just think 'what the hell am I doing?' and want to jack it all in...
This week has probably been my hardest week in terms of staying motivated throughout my marathon training. I've felt knackered every day and all I've wanted to do is eat and sleep. It's made me question how much I'm putting my body through. However, coming out of the other side of this mindset, it has also made me very grateful and proud of just how much my body is capable of.
I have had IBS since I was 18 and when it flares up, which it does and often unpredictably, it can be incredibly painful - inconvenient at best and debilitating at worse. It gets worse when I'm tired or stressed or not sleeping well. As I've been suffering from all three of those triggers the last couple of weeks, its not been great.
However, rather than giving into it, it's got me thinking about how to stay motivated in general when all you really want to do is give in. Here's a few ideas I came up with:
- Remember why you started this journey. Was it was to raise money for a charity close to your heart, get fitter, prove to yourself you can accomplish a major challenge or just because it's something you want to tick off your bucket list? Whatever the motivation, you had strong reasons for undertaking such a challenge and you're nearly there. Don't give up now!
- Think about how much you've accomplished so far. For me, I've run up to 18miles in training and have been running a half marathon/half marathon+ distance every weekend now for about 6 weeks. That in itself is an enormous accomplishment! This time last year, if someone had told this was possible, I'd have laughed in their face. Now its become the norm. I even find myself saying things like 'oh its just a short ten miler today'. Be proud of how far you've come and remember that most people wouldn't be able to do what you're doing.
- Reward yourself. Sometimes you need to just stop, pat yourself on the back and reward yourself! It could be buying some new gym gear or just having that slice of cake, but enjoy it! After a long run, I reward myself with something yummy to eat and thinking about that often helps me finish a long run when I'm feeling ready to quit.
- Don't beat yourself up if you miss some training. We've had some dreadful weather recently and its made running outside impossible. This means I've had to rethink my training and have done a lot of it on the treadmill - not great but at least I've still done it. I've also had a quad injury, which meant over Christmas I had to take some time out. It was frustrating but carrying on through an injury was impossible and could have caused a more serious issue. I managed to get back into training and I don't feel like I've missed too much out.
- Enjoy the experience. You may never train for a big event again so try and think about how you'll feel after its completed and how proud you'll be that that you managed to do it. Hopefully, you'll be able to look back and actually think that you did enjoy some of the process!
Good luck with whatever event or training you are undertaking and do feel free to share your motivational tips!