The other day I was blogging about my new millstone that I had achieved in running. I took up this hobby and made it a habit to commit myself to run at least 5km each session every other day of the week. It has been more than 7 months into this routine. And while I hate running to the core, no doubt that it has brought very tangible benefits to me, not just physically, but emotionally as well. The strict routine that I adopted has worked well and I rarely lapsed, where I would skip my running activity for no good reason. It does happen from time to time. Exercising, running in particular, coming from someone who hated it, needs a large amount of motivation to get up on my feet, put those running shoes on, head to the door and just run. Sometimes, my motivational juice runs out at the end of the day you are scheduled to run. And so, you skip a session. But fortunately, as I mentioned, it rarely happened. Just getting to the door and wearing my running shoes however, is a tough act all by itself. So where do I find the motivation to actually do it?
I think the more difficult aspect about pulling yourself together to stick to the plan is how well you perform in your running. The mantra of “Just Do It” popularised by Nike works well, especially during the “shoe stage” or the stage where you put on your running shoes. Sometimes, I had zero motivation at all to run, but I know I had to. So I just tell myself, Just Do It. By the time I put on my shoes, it will be too late to back out. And thus, I will have no choice but to head out and go for a run. This worked really well for me. As I said, the most difficult part is actually using the time spend to exercise well. Sure you are out there running, but your performance is crap. You clocked at a terrible timing. Your pacing is off, you don’t care whether your pacing is off. So long as you do it. Sure, I have no motivation on that day. What can I do? At least I did some running right? And I never shortchanged myself and run anything less than 5km. There’s good and bad to this. The good thing is that you actually DID exercise. But I doubt I improve much in terms of stamina, and endurance. I know that every session spent exercising is an opportunity to improve your endurance your stamina, your chance in improving your timing and running speed. But those days, I would be happy to be done with the whole running thing so that I can go back home. Depend on how you look at it, you may see it as someone who really have the discipline to go out and actually run, or the lack thereof, not wanting to improve his performance.