I have officially reached the hard part of half-marathon training. (Some may say ALL of half-marathon training is tough, which is true, but that’s not what I mean.) I have hit the point of training in where my motivation starts to disappear. The initial excitement of what I have signed up to do has long gone and the “work” portion has set in.
So what do you do when you hit a motivation block?
Running a half-marathon is tough. But training for said half-marathon is also a challenge. It is hours of dedication to running, cross-training, and fueling appropriately. Some runs are awesome and some runs make you feel like you never want to run again.
I start to miss running for no reason at all. I miss the running and not being worried about my speed, or distance, or the type of running workout that I’m doing. Sometimes, the fun and enjoyment of running gets left behind during half-marathon training.
Last year, I experienced this same feeling about half-way through my training. It becomes tough. The miles I am logging are no longer in my “comfort zone” of two to six miles at one time.
As the mileage increases, so does the time commitment toward scheduling those long weekend runs. Instead of heading out for a run that takes 30-60 minutes, the time is often double that.
It can also be difficult to find new, exciting running routes that fit those distances. I am not one to just go out and run until my GPS says that I ran a certain distance. I like to plan the route out ahead of time. Knowing the streets and the traffic patterns makes me feel safer when running. The longer distances make it harder to do without backtracking or running the same streets over and over again.
And this is the point of half-marathon training that people start to burn out. They lose interest and motivation. I know that I certainly have felt the excitement of the runs wearing off. But that is when I dig in my heels, push myself harder, and experience the most growth.
The first step is rediscovering your WHY.
Why did you decide to take on this journey in the first place?
I recently started a journey as a health coach. During one of the first training sessions, the program asks you to “Find Your Why” — why are you getting involved and becoming a coach? Ultimately, it’s asking what was your motivation?
But finding your why can be applied to SO many aspects in your life. And rediscovering my WHY has helped reignite my energy and enthusiasm for training and crushing these two half-marathons!
So, why did you decide to take on the challenge of a half-marathon?
- To prove to yourself that you could do it?
- To prove to others that you could do it?
- As a fundraiser to raise awareness and money for a charity?
- To inspire others?
- In the spirit of competition?
Whatever your why might be, OWN it!
Let it motivate you. You need to get excited about your running again. You can search all day looking for external sources of motivation — and they may work for a day or two, but ultimately, the motivation has to come from within.
Your internal motivation (your WHY) is way more powerful than anything else you may encounter. And if it helps, write down your WHY. Put it in a place that you can visualize it everyday. This will reaffirm why you are working so hard. It will remind you what you want to accomplish.
What are my WHYS?
The first half-marathon I signed up for solo. I wanted to challenge myself and get another personal record this year. I have PR’d in multiple runs this year and another one is always the goal. (And
if when I accomplish this goal, I will have set personal records for a 5k, 5mile, 10K, and a half-marathon this year).
I also want to learn how to fuel properly. After my first half-marathon, I said that I would never run another one because I felt absolutely terrible. Ultimately, I feel like I didn’t fuel properly and want to see if I can make a difference by training a little more aggressively and fueling correctly. It’s a learning experience to find out what my body runs the best on.
The second half-marathon I signed up for this year I am running with my friend, Angie. Therefore, my why is to help motivate and support her during her first half-marathon adventure. I am so excited to be there supporting her the whole way!
As you can see, your WHYS will be individualized. They may even change from race to race. Mine do!
Make them your own and then crush your goals! I know that you can do it!
- What is your WHY?
- Are you training for anything and how’s it going?
- How do you keep your runs interesting?