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Unlock Your Full Running Potential: Moving Beyond Motivation

    Are you an older endurance runner struggling to get the best out of your running as you age? Do you wonder if motivation is holding you back? If so, this article is for you.

    The Motivation Illusion

    Let’s start with what I call the motivation illusion. Everyone talks about motivation, but it’s often an illusion. Think about work—did you always feel motivated to go? Probably not, but you went because you were committed. Commitment, not motivation, got you there. The same applies to running. Motivation ebbs and flows, but commitment keeps you going.

    Strategy #1: Moving Beyond Motivation Towards Commitment

    Imagine you’re on an island with everything you need: a beautiful house, ample food and drink, but no one else around. In this scenario, would you still run? There are no races, Strava, or external validation—just you and your passion for running. Why would you run?

    This scenario helps you discover your “why.” Many runners lost their motivation during the pandemic due to the lack of races and external validation. However, some kept going because they had found a deeper commitment. They knew their “why.”

    Your “why” is your driving force. It makes you lace up your shoes and hit the pavement every day, regardless of external factors. Finding this deep commitment ensures you stay consistent and improve your running.

    Strategy #2: Ruthless Adaptability

    As we age, we become more inflexible, often sticking to what worked in the past, even if it’s not working now. Successful runners adapt. Here’s how you can, too, with the Four As:

    1. Accept: Accept the reality of your situation. This isn’t passive—it’s about owning your current state without blame. Radical acceptance helps you move forward without resistance.
    2. Assess: Assess your situation honestly. Look at the warts and all. Understand what’s working and what’s not.
    3. Adapt: Identify what needs to change and take action. Adapt your strategies to meet your current needs.
    4. Act: Based on your assessment and adaptations, start taking action. Consistent action, even small steps, leads to progress.

    Embracing these steps ensures you stay flexible and responsive to changes, keeping your training effective and enjoyable.

    Strategy #3: Listening to Your Body

    Listening to your body isn’t just about acknowledging fatigue; it’s about understanding the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Use a system, like the five-zone perceived effort system, to monitor and adjust your training. Slow down if necessary. This ensures you’re training effectively and staying motivated.

    Strategy #4: Be Curious

    Set benchmarks and celebrate small wins. Imagine you’re standing on one side of a riverbank—this is where you are now as a runner. On the opposite bank is your goal, the race you’re training for. The river represents the gap between your current state and your goal.

    Your ego might tell you to swim straight across, but that’s not the best approach. Instead, use stepping stones to cross the river. Each stepping stone represents a progress point, a small victory on your journey. Recognizing and celebrating these small wins fuels your motivation and keeps you moving forward.

    Runners often overlook these progress points. When I coach runners, I emphasize the importance of noticing what worked each week. Even when things don’t go perfectly, overcoming small challenges and recognizing these victories keeps you motivated.

    Boost Your Running with My 8-Week Program.

    If you need support, consider joining my 8-week program. It’s designed to show you the best way to train for effective results. After the program, you can continue or stay on for more coaching.

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    Marathon Maximiser Audit

    For those who prefer a personalized approach, try my Marathon Maximizer Audit. I’ll review your current plan, identify gaps, and suggest improvements to help you achieve your goals.

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