Success in running is much like success in everything else in life; it takes continuous forward progress.
There are always going to be times where you feel like you aren’t going anywhere, your motivation wavers or where the hurdles and speed bumps get bigger and closer together.
For the runners that I coach, it is at times like this that I usually ask them to refocus on what started them on this journey to begin with.
When it comes down to it, if you make your WHY bigger than your WHAT, the HOW will take care of itself.
Motivation is such a fickle thing. We can be motivated by seeing others achieve. We can be motivated by listening to a story. We can be motivated by the words of others. But motivation has the tendency to be extrinsic, in that it comes into us from the outside. What happens then when the input does not meet the needs of the required output? What happens when you are alone on the track, with the rain coming down, and you are tired from a long day at work with nobody to tell you to push on? What happens when you are wrapped up in your warm bed and your alarm goes off at 4:30am to go out and do that training that needs to be done, and there is no one and nothing to make you do it?
The people who manage to get it done every time, don’t rely on motivation. They know it can be as unreliable as the weather and instead choose INSPIRATION over MOTIVATION.
Inspiration is intrinsic. It is making your WHY bigger than you WHAT. It is tapping into the real reason you first put those running shoes on. It is aligning your energy with your goals, allowing the hurdles to come and knowing that your inspired drive will always prevail.
There is great strength in this state of being. No, it is not something that comes easily, nor is it something that is reserved for those with the right amount of resources, time, support or money. It is simply a state, and a state that we can create for ourselves at will.
Think about someone close to you. Someone you would do anything for, give anything for, perhaps even die for. Focus on how much they mean to you. The feeling is powerful isn’t it? That feeling is real, but in reality it is a just a feeling. It is no more physical than your urge to sit on the couch instead of run.
If we can tie enough meaning and intrinsic value to that person that we would literally do anything for them, surely we can put ourselves in a state that inspires us enough to do the hard things when we know they will get us to our goals.
So practice getting yourself in that state of absolute unstoppable, determined and committed inspiration. Practice it until all you need to do is flick that switch to make stuff happen.