Tag Archives: running

10 Ways to Stay Motivated for your First UltraMarathon



 

  1.    Write Out a Schedule–As soon as you decide you’re going to run an ultra write out a plan. Take your time and have fun writing the plan. Be reasonable with your schedule and limitations. Throughout the plan add rewards for completing significant long training runs. Your plan should also include enough leeway for unplanned obstacles and rest days.
  2.     Talk About It, A Bunch–The more people you tell your running an ultra, the more people that will be asking you how your training is going. The more people you tell, the more support you will have. And your possibility of finding training partners increases.
  3.      Challenge a Friend–Having a friend that is training for the same race is a terrific way to keep you motivated. You won’t want to let them down, and your competitive side will prod you to get out on those early morning runs. It’s also nice to have a friend to accompany you on those long training runs.
  4.      Follow Ultra Bloggers–There are a lot of ultrarunning bloggers out there, and if reading about their adventures doesn’t motivate you, not much will. Check out: A Trail Runner’s Blog, An ultrarunner’s blog, ultrarunner’s insight blog.
  5.      Build Your Own–Start your own blog. Right from day one you can share your ultrarunning experiences. You won’t want to let your followers down and writing about your running will keep you running.
  6.       Listen Up–When I’m out on a long run, nothing gets me pumped more than listening to a fellow ultrarunner talking about their training and racing stories. Here are a few podcasts to get you started: ultrarunnerpodcast, running podcasts.
  7.      Be Well Read–If you haven’t read Born to Run by Chris McDougall, do it. Even if you are not going to run long it’s a great read. Dean Karnazes book, Ultramarathon Man will also get you rearing to run long.
  8.      Write Out Your Race–Before your ultra, write out on paper your perfect race. Get as detailed as you like, be sure to include your lows and highs. By doing this you will see you can finish, all you need is positive thinking. And, of course, some training.
  9.      Sign On the Dotted Line–If you haven’t signed up for an ultramarathon yet, what’s holding you back? Once you register and pay you will be even more determined you will run it.
  10.   Love to Run–No matter how the training, racing and aftermath go, just love the run. Every run you go on, remember, loving to run is the original and strongest motivator.

What motivates you to run ultramarathons?

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Day 40–Build an Adventure


Did you get out and have an adventure today?

In today’s fast paced hectic full-time world adventures seem to be few.

Did you know by writing and running adventures are closer than you think?

According to Wikipedia an Adventure is,“an exciting or unusual experience; it may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome.”

Running can easily fall into the adventure category. Maybe you don’t feel that your daily 3 miler is falling into the adventure category, so why not build an adventure.

Here’s how:

Plan an extra long run. Run farther than you’ve ever run. If you’ve ran 10 miles, go for 12. If you’ve done 50, start training for a 100 mile run. Check out this super website for ultrarunning information and inspiration–ultrarunnerpodcast.com

Run in the Wild. Go running on a trail you’ve never run or skip the trail and blaze your own. Just be sure to have a compass and not get lost, although that would be an adventure.

Do an All-Day Run. You don’t need a week to have an adventure. Eight to ten hours is plenty. Dean Karnazes leaves his house for all-day long runs with a credit card and cell phone. Really that’s all you need. Start running and who knows where you will end up.

Writing also lends itself to adventures. They can be day long adventures to year long, but writing definitely takes you on exciting, unusual experiences with uncertain outcomes.

Here’s a couple ideas:

Write about what you don’t know. Choose a topic you have always been interesting in–firefighting, beekeeping, ultrarunning, etc. And then immerse yourself in it with the goal of writing about it, fictionally or non-fictionally.

Writing Weekend. Pick a weekend and just write. It doesn’t have to be a weekend, it could be anytime you can devote two or three days to writing. Who knows what will come out of it. Maybe a master short story or the beginning of your next novel.

National Novel Writing Month. November is coming soon, and trying to complete a novel in a month could be called an adventure. Commit and build your adventure.

Running and Writing adventures are around every corner for the people build them.

What is your writing or running adventure?

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Day 39–Sleep on it!


How do we find more time to Run and Write?

Sleep less!   Nope.

To write more, and to run more, we need to Sleep more. This may go against the grain of finding the time, but let’s look at how sleeping more will help you run and write more.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month – with 20 percent reporting problem sleepiness a few days a week or more.

Those daily activities would include running and writing.

In a Running Times article by Kevin Beck, entitled A Good Night’s Rest, he relates,

“To an endurance athlete, lack of sleep is a dual-edged psychological sword. On one hand, if you know or believe you aren’t getting enough rest, you’ll have one more piece of mental baggage to carry around the course. On the other, sleep deprivation is known to have subtle but relentless effects on mood and motivation, both of which factor heavily into attaining top performance.”

When your tired, do you want to run?

When you need a nap, are you going to feel like writing?

Finding time to write and run often involves staying up after every one else has gone to bed, or waking up before the sun.

So how do we make sure we are getting the sleep we need?

Tips to sleep better and longer:

  • Commit to a regular bedtime. Just like your running and writing, schedule in your sleep time and stick with that schedule.
  • Limit Stress. Relax by reading, taking a hot bath or just thinking. Give yourself an hour to wind down and not do high stress thinking or activities.
  • Exercise. Avoid working out right before bed, instead, do some stretching.
  • Create your Cove. Make your room a haven. Make it as comfortable as possible and try not to work or pay bills in the bedroom. It is where you relax
  • Avoid Caffeine. Even if caffeine doesn’t keep you up, it can affect the quality of your sleep. So avoid all caffeine 6 to 8 hours before sleeping.

Do you feel a lack of sleep affects your running and writing?

How do assure you get enough sleep?

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Day 38–Stoke your Writing & Running Furnace


Why is it that so many would be runners and writers flames die out after only a short time?

Mind-set.

Many runners and writers are sparked by desire. But the spark belongs to somebody else. They are writing or running because someone else thinks they should do it.

To succeed in running and writing the first word we need to toss into the fire is, should.

Replace the word should, with WANT.

We will not find the motivation to run and write everyday if we are only influenced by outside sources. These sources are called extrinsic. These forces may get us out the door the first day or week, but they won’t keep our flames blazing strong.

To fan our flames of motivation and devotion we need to be motivated intrinsically.

Our motivation must come from within ourselves.

Start with one of these motivators and stoke your fire.

Types of Intrinsic Motivation

Challenge

With running and writing we need to be challenged. Once we meet and surpass these challenges we are motivated even more.

Learning

Discovery is always available. It’s up to us to put forth the effort to accept the adventure and learn. Running and writing have endless facets that we can study.

Interest

If we are bored by something we will soon give up on it. If we are not interested in writing, there really is no reason to do it. Ask yourself, what draws me to running and writing? Get interested by reading and learning about running and writing.

Meaning

We can’t just think about the superficial attraction of running and writing. We need to find meaning. How can our running  help ourselves and others?

Purpose

Why do we write? Why do we run? We need to answer these questions honestly before  our fire starts burning hotter and hotter.

What is your intrinsic motivator?

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Day 37–Putting the Fun in Hard


In a zero gravity environment, our muscles would deteriorate if we did not exercise them. In order for our muscles to maintain themselves and grow they need to be constantly challenged.

Our mind, the muscle used to write needs to be challenged and exercised.

To advance in our running, some level of difficulty is necessary.

Why is it when we look up to someone it’s the hard worker or overachiever?

How many off us look up to or admire couch potatoes and sloth-like people?

Do you ever wish to be more like the slacker or  under achievers?

It’s because hard work is rewarding. When we work to accomplish something, we appreciate it more. The person who is given everything in life without any work, is usually the same person who neglects and under appreciates what they have.

This is why running and writing are fulfilling. They cannot be done without a little hard work. It’s not possible to go out for a run without any effort. To write a story is work.

As we grow as writers and runners we need to challenge ourselves. Getting stuck in the easy rut will steal the joy from the task.

That’s why we need to constantly reanalyze goals and methods. Increasing word counts and miles will challenge us and keep us stimulated.

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Day 36–Streamline your Running & Writing


This is a post from mnmlist.com

why less stuff is better

By Leo

People sometimes look at me quizzically when I proclaim that I don’t need more stuff, and that I’m constantly getting rid of what I do have.

What kind of weirdo is this? Why would you want less stuff?

Less is better.

Less means you spend less. You need less storage. You need a smaller house.

Less means you worry less. You search for things less. You are less bogged down by clutter.

Less means you’re lighter. You’re freer. You can focus on better things.

Less means you can travel more quickly. You spend less time with stuff, and more time doing stuff.

Less is more sustainable, more beautiful.

————————–End Post———————

What  can we as runners and writers take away from this minimalist’s approach?

It’s easy as a writer to get bogged down with so many projects and ideas that we can’t even get one of them going or even worse, finished. For example, right now I’m running 3 blogs, working on two short stories, one novel, 3 essays, and a page of freelance jobs. Too much.

So to minimize, choose one, and for one day or week focus on it. This can be hard if you have assignments and work in progress, but if you can do it, it’s a great way to free clutter from your mind.

Runners can also face a bogged down running program. If you are feeling weighed down–just run. Go out without a watch, heart monitor, goal or objective.

Runners and writers can  over complicate their life with endless logbooks  and notebooks. I find I have notebooks for everything, we when we moved I counted 15 separate notebooks for writing.

To end this cluttered pile of logbooks and notebooks, try to get all of your training or writing in one place. Get a binder and put all your notes in there, or find a website that you can organize all your writing or running on.

Streamlining means efficiency. The more we streamline our running and writing the more enjoyable and successful it will be.

How have you streamlined your running or writing?

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Day 35–Running & Writing Commonalities


In his review for LA Times of Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,” Peter Terzian writes:

How MANY athletic activities are as well-suited to the writing life as long-distance running? It’s cheap, for one — writers are notoriously poor, and all you need to run is a good pair of sneakers.”

What other commonalities bind running to writing?

Here’s my list:

  • They are both very solitary– Even though they are suited to doing on your lonesome, running and writing can be as social as you want them to be. By joining running and writing groups you can be a running or writing socialite. Although, the majority of runners/writers that I know like there space.
  • Require endurance- A one mile run takes some endurance, and a one page story requires endurance. The beautiful part of running and writing is that you can build your endurance and see results. The more you run the better you endure and the more you write the easier it becomes to go long.
  • They can be simple- Put one word in front of the other, or one foot in front of the other. If you are not the type for simple, you can add as many complexities as you like. The learning never ends when it comes to running and writing.
  • There is much more than meets the eye– Many people say, “I could write a book,” or, “I could run a marathon.” That’s when us runners and writers  say, “Okay.” Inside we are saying, “Let’s see it.” There is much more to running and writing than most people realize.
  • The more you train the better you will get- With every mile and every word we are better runners and better runners. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • We run and write towards goals- Writers and runners are goal driven, because they know that’s how they will find success and fulfillment. Every run and every story has a goal, even if you don’t know what it is when you begin.

These are just some of the things running and writing have in common. There are many more.

Will you please share what you feel running and writing have in common?

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Day 34–S.M.A.R.T–not dumb–Running & Writing Goals


To go anywhere in the world of  running and writing we need to have goals. These goals are alive and in a constant state of flux.

DUMB goals-run more, write more, publish something.

SMART goals-run a marathon in the next 4 months under specific time. Write a 200o word short story this week and submit it to 5 specific publications.

For our goals to do the most for us, we need to set goals and reevaluate often. Every week is ideal.

By using the acronym SMART, we can keep a constant handle on our goals.

Specific– Vague goals will go nowhere. Instead, determine the:

Who?– Who is involved in your goal? Our running and writing goals often hinge on the cooperation of family and friends.

What?-What do you want to accomplish? Write story for a publication is too vague. Publish a story in this magazine is better.

Where?-Where will you accomplish this goal?

Why?-Why do you want to accomplish the goal?

When?-When do you want to attain by? Set aside time to reach the goal.

Measurable– Distinct mileage goals and word counts help to measure progress and see if your goal has been reached. Concrete goals like 3 miles a day, 20 miles a week or one short story a week, 500 words a day.

Achievable– By setting impossible goals we only discourage ourselves. For example, writing 20,000 words in a month is reasonable. 50,000 is a little high. 110,000 words is nearly impossible. SO start small. Do you truly believe you can reach this goal?

Relevant–We want to accomplish goes that will have a positive affect on our life. One way of judging if your goal is relevant, is by thinking back to if you have ever accomplished something similar in the past.  How did it affect you?

Why do you run?

Why do you write?

Timetable–Your goal date cannot be “Someday.” To reach our goals we need to set a fixed date. That’s why it’s good to enter a race, by doing this you will have a fixed date to aim for. Or decide on participating in National Novel Writing Month

Whatever your goals are, make sure you stick with them. Remind yourself of them everyday. Write them in your planner, on your fridge and anywhere else that will constantly remind you of them.

How do you create SMART goals?

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Day 33–Run & Write Where You Are


One of the best things about running and writing is that you can do it where ever you live. It doesn’t matter if you live in middle of the woods  or in the center of the city, you can run and write.

Many other sports and hobbies call for living or being in a unique location. You can’t surf without the ocean, and you can’t rock climb without rocks.

Being able to run and write in any location, makes it possible to accomplish a running or writing a streak.

If we are traveling we can still run, if we move we can still write, no matter where we are there is a way to run and write.

Our running and writing will grow if we keep the attitude of, “There is no better place to run or write than where I am right now.”

If we view our running and writing in a positive light it will only help. If we constantly have the grass is greener viewpoint it will stifle our running and writing because we are too busy dreaming about how it’s better somewhere else.

When really there is no better place to run and write than where you are right now.

There is actually nowhere better than where you are right now.

The important thing is not where you are, but what you do with where you are.

Take a run, write for a session. And then look back knowing, you ran, you wrote, and tomorrow you are going to do it again.

Start your running streak today.

Where ever you are pay yourself first.

What do you love about where you are?

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Day 32–Stop Writing & Running and Go to the Beach


Today we are going to spend the day at the beach in Leon, Nicaragua. Do some surfing, enjoy the ocean, and just relax.

How does this affect my Running & Writing Streak? Only for the good.

I’m still going to run and write today, but only the bare minimum. I woke up early so I could get this blog post out into the blogosphere. And after this I’m going to take a quick 3 mile run.

If you are doing a running or writing streak, take a day and go to the beach. It can be literally or figuratively.

In other words, take the day off. Write for 15 minutes, and then run for 15 minutes. There it’s done, and now take the rest of the day off.

Why do we need days off?

  1. Repair & Recharge-A runner needs to let his muscles repair themselves. For streakers this means doing an ultra easy run day, the bare minimum. So, run the bare minimum and forget running even exists until tomorrow. Runners also can benefit from a mental break, not thinking about the run, when it will be, where it will be and how you will do it. Writers also need to let themselves be repaired. If you write everyday, there’s a pressure for that constant output, so give your head a rest and head for the beach.
  2. Spend Time with Family and Friends-It’s not healthy to get so caught up  in your writing or running that you overlook spending time with the people you love. Even if you are with them, you may catch yourself thinking about your running or writing. Today, concentrate on being with the people your with, and leave your running and writing at home.
  3. We are not Machines-We are human beings and we need to live our lives. If we are always working, we won’t be able to appreciate our goals when we reach them. Part of running is reaching a goal, and then enjoying. Like running a fast race or a very long run and then taking the time to realize what you’ve  just accomplished. Or finishing a writing project and then enjoying the reward of being done. If we are always on the go, we don’t get to enjoy the best part.

Being a Human and relaxing.

Nobody can argue that taking a break doesn’t feel good. So take today or tomorrow and go to the beach.

Where’s your beach? How do you recharge and enjoy the fruits of your labor?

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