Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Choose Your Motivating Words

Last summer I had an epiphany: I needed to find a saying that I could repeat to myself during workouts, easy runs, and races and it needed to help me refocus and be in the moment. I wanted a saying that would help me run faster or check on my form. It had to be easy and it had to have personal meaning. It needed to motivate me to work harder.

Running fast hurts. 

That was it. I've repeated that to myself on plenty of runs now. Each time I go out I say it, even if I'm running a slow, easy workout. It does what I needed it to do: I can focus immediately on what I'm doing in that moment but it allows me to remember that each step I take is for a purpose. I want to race faster than before. This saying is even more helpful in a race, where you have to push through the pain that is telling you to stop. It is important to remind yourself that everyone feels pain, but that a race is won or lost by how you deal with that pain. A PR is achieved by pushing through pain. This saying has reminded me that I can always push harder than what I'm doing at that moment. Running fast hurts, so run faster. 

A new saying was born in the last month:

Get s**t done. 

I started using something like this, without the s**t part, with the track kids. The girls work so hard each day. You give them a workout and they do it. They don't complain. Because of this, they see the results. They have realized that to run fast, you have to suck it up and train. Train hard, train right, just do it. It's my own version of Nike's "just do it" saying, but it provides more personal meaning because I chose the words myself.

I had to use that saying the entire time I was in Vermont. It's 17 degrees and the wind is blowing? Well I have a workout to do, and therefore, need to get s**t done. I think that by saying this to myself it makes me feel 'tougher'. I focus on the moment, rather than the "dread" of running, and then I realize that the cold isn't that bad. I instantly become thankful that I'm out there, getting the workout in, and feel better after. To see results, you just have to buckle down, and get s**t done.

Finally, a new 2015 saying, and one I have to work on, is:

Eat like an Elite. 

I suck at eating the right foods. I probably eat more servings of chocolate in a day than fruit. No joke. It's a new year and it's time to get serious. This phrase has more meaning to me than "eat more veggies".  I want to become a faster runner (not an elite). What is one thing I know that I can improve on every day? Nutrition. I know I feel better with higher quality food and refuel properly after workouts. In the last two days since I came up with this saying I've actually walked away from chocolate to pick up fruit a few times. I had to pat myself on the back. It's a small feat, but it feels good. I just have to repeat it over and over.

Why am I sharing my motivating sayings with you? Because I want you to find your motivating words. I often repeat the certain phrases or words to my kids at practice. If I say it enough then they can start to hear me in their head when I'm not there. If you don't have a coach, then you need to become your own coach. We all have goals for this new year. Maybe yours is to stay injury free, to get a PR, or to attempt a new distance. Maybe your goal is to forget about splits and to run for pleasure, or it's to forget about running all together. Whatever the goal, choose some words that you can repeat to yourself to get you there. Repeat it to yourself enough and it will begin to come naturally.

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