Motivation issues

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Motivation issues

Postby Lovely.Rita » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:58 am

So, I've been running for a few years now, more or less consistently. It started first as a way to get exercise and clear my head, stay healthy, keep the weight reasonable, etc. Now it's definitely growing on me and I actually like the activity itself. Most of the time, that is. I imagine many runners have a love-hate relationship with running, and maybe this has been discussed on this forum before, perhaps many times, I don't know. Anyway, here's some of my bitching and whining:
It may be my personality with all my little insecurities and anxieties, plus a million external things I take too personally and let stress me out. sometimes it's really hard for me to convince myself that running is actually fun. or that i'm doing it because it feels good. I interact with a few other runners and we compare experiences with training and related stuff... they all seem so excited, enthusiastic, motivated, organized, disciplined... and for some reason that brings me down at times, rather than helping me stay motivated. I feel like I don't belong in the running community (if there is such a thing). there is this sense of pressure, that I'm expected to "deliver" or "perform" all the time, even if nobody's watching - but maybe that's just me bringing too much of the academic environment/stresses from my professional life into my personal life. interestingly, I seldom feel like I hate running itself, I just hate talking about it - i'd happily go for a run even in the "low" times, but talking about running upsets me.
ok, so that's that - anyone ever had a similar experience? or anything even remotely related to this? anyone out here willing to yell at me and tell me to get over it? because I know I probably should :)
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Re: Motivation issues

Postby soniczip » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:05 am

i'd probably feel the same if i compared my results with those of other runners and if my only fitness activity was running.
i "fight" this tendency by setting personal and realistic targets (timewise and lenghtwise), and by doing other sports. diversity helps a lot. try cycling and/or swimming, and/or climbing, ...
variety is a great help also when you run. choose different routes, run with different mates and/or don't run with those who depress you (by only speaking about running). listen to music (if there's no traffic).
:D have nicer runs :D
i'm focusing on some kind of stuff
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Re: Motivation issues

Postby xrodolfox » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:34 pm

I found that having a regular group of pals to do sport with helps me immensely.

WIth folks I see occasionally, sport talk quickly digresses to talk about racing, or talk about training (how organized they are, or how often, or how hard training sessions can be). These, to me, see like the talks you are having.

However, with a regular group of co-athletes which are about that same level as me; talk stops being about all the junk quickly. The key is the regularity of attendance. I've found that generally, the initial time of making the group work outs, or the initial re-entry, is talk about training or competing or goals or other such talk. The more regular the group, and the more regular the attendance, the less talk about that stuff there is. Everyone already knows your goals that cares to know, and the folks who've shared their goals, already have. Little talk is spent talking about training, because everyone already sees each other training regularly, so instead of talk, the group experiences your training, and you theirs. There's sometimes talk of upcoming races, but nothing too intense. Often, talk instead goes to fun talks about life, rather than just sport.

I am one of those guys who loves to talk about my training or my goals. However, as "that guy", I do find that I never bring it up when I'm with my regular training groups going regularly. There's just no need, and instead, all that I want to do is actually workout.
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
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Re: Motivation issues

Postby Lovely.Rita » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:29 pm

Thanks to both of you for your responses.

soniczip: yes, I should do more other sports. I do cycle quite a bit and swim about once a week. I should swim more - I really enjoy it. climbing - wow I haven't thought about that for a while! however clumsy I am, I do enjoy the activity :)

xrodolfox: interestingly, I do these "fun triathlons" every week with a group of friends. It's a heterogeneous group of people who are very athletic but also very laid back. I love those tris. and yes, there's talk about sports, sport injuries, funny stories from sporting events, and life in general. this past week, though, somehow, the fun tri did not materialize and i did feel a bit bummed about it. i wonder if that contributed to my latest "low".

on another note, I did a 24 mile run today and felt really tired leg-wise the whole time, but managed to enjoy the trails (and hills!) and take it really easy (about 10min/mi pace on average). so I think I can get over my current running-related depression, or whatever it is. I think I didn't get enough rest after my adventurous biking/running weekend last week, so maybe that's a part of the problem too. I'm going to take it easy this week and see what happens.

Thanks again and happy running/biking/swimming!
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Re: Motivation issues

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:02 pm

This may not help, but being "down" and unmotivated (or grumpy!) can also be a sign that you are overtraining (in the classical definition) or that you are heading in that direction. So that might be something to keep any eye on - but if you are confident that your recovery, etc. is good then it is probably not an issue.
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Re: Motivation issues

Postby Lovely.Rita » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:59 pm

Mr Cleetus,
yes, possibly... probably. I think I'm in denial... :)
my first marathon is in 5 weeks and I suspect that's where a lot of the pressure comes from. i'm sure there are several reasons for this, but this is probably one of them.
I think today's run was a good exercise in patience, and also being ok with being slow and not performing well. i needed to remind myself that I run because I love being outdoors, not because I want to impress somebody or prove something to someone (including myself).
and yes, I think i've done too much running (and biking, for that matter) this past week, without getting proper rest. i also ate a lot of junk food. well, not horrible junk food, but definitely not an ideal diet, but I know that has impact on my mental well being. and last, but not least, PMS does not help either ;)
thanks for your response. I need to be more honest with myself. i'll take it easy this week and see how it goes :)
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Re: Motivation issues

Postby xrodolfox » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:14 am

That's true. You have a brutal training schedule.

I've found that I get fit not from the exercise, but from the solid recovery between workouts. If I workout too much, then I loose the good recovery which is what makes me fast/strong.
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
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Re: Motivation issues

Postby ha » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:25 am

Here are some tips Ive gotten from training with world class cyclists/coaches and Im using them for running now. Ive used em for cycling the last 13 years.

*Eat 10g of carbs per kg of bodyweight per day. For a 50kg person thats 500g of carb. Undereating carbs kills longterm exercise motivation and can happen in 20km.

*Drink a litre of water upon rising everday or if you run early, drink a glass and drink the rest when you get back if its just a short run. Dehydration is the quickest way to overtrain and be hating life.

*Get plenty of early nights. In nature we would go to bed at sundown and evolved from the equatorial regions where there is 12hours daylight/night every day of the year. Under sleeping kills motivation and blows recovery apart.

*Have goals you work towards EVERY training session. It could be as small as sticking to an easy pace for the duration of the session or picking up a coke can every session and putting it in a recycling bin or shoving 5 peta flyers in 5 different letter boxes... Training is like life, without daily purpose, we feel worthless.

*Train with a group regularly. We always raise to the expectations of our peer group. Who we hang around is who we become wether we like it or not. Hang around champions more often.

*B12 stores will drop due to training/lifestyle stresses. Ive asked every world class cyclist Ive trained with from Lance to Cadel if they take b12 shots regularly and they all do. Most of us live in sterile conditions with excess stress and b12 injections/sublinguals can help a lot.

*Nobody has to train, but lets train cos we CAN! Lets do it for the people that cant. Lets do it for the animals, lets do it for OURSELVES...

*Avoid massive increases in training volume/intensity/frequency as this can jolt our body a bit too much and reduce its desire for activity. Keep carbs, sleep, hydration high every day. Keep your fat intake low and make sure whole plant foods make up the majority of every meal you eat. I know a lot of crew under eat on wholefood carbs like fruits, potato, brown rice, millet etc and then fill up on fatty, greasy foods and that can drive exercise motivation down in hours. Done longterm it will turn us sedentary in no time.
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