Motivation and Self-Deception: Sometimes it’s a matter of talking yourself up or lying yourself into a run

Running and getting sweaty is tough business…it’s hard work to get out there and consistently kick your own tush. Don’t get me wrong it comes with plenty of rewards, (nothing can beat the feeling of shaking legs and a new PR and the perk of inhaling unholy amounts of sweets isn’t bad either!) but keeping pace with the motivation factor is an ongoing battle.

sunset runner

Hey, motivational pictures count too! :)

Sometimes you need to remind yourself WHY you are doing this and that in the end it’s worth it. This is where motivational quotes can really come in handy:

“An athlete who tells you the training is always easy and always fun simply hasn’t been there. Goals can be elusive which makes the difficult journey all the more rewarding.” – Alberto Salazar

“It is true that speed kills. In distance running, it kills anyone who does not have it.” – Brooks Johnson

“Just do it.” – Nike

“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.” – Paul Tergat

“One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.” – Bob Kennedy

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” – PattiSue Plumer

“We may train or peek for a certain race, but running is a lifetime sport.” – Alberto Salazar
own it
Mantras can also work wonders if you’re in the middle of a race or brutal interval session. They help you zone out…focus on the words, not the pain:

“Stay the course.”

“Smooth and relaxed.”

“I am strong.”

“I got this.”

“I’m better than them.”

“Think of Pop-Tarts.”

Other times though it’s more a matter of self-deception and straight up lying to yourself:

“Only five more minutes” – Reality check is you’ll say this about 6 or 8 times more, maybe more depending on how long the run/workout.

“It’s okay, I don’t really feel it today, I’ll just do a mile and see how I feel from there.” – Reality check usually after that initial mile of blah you get into the run and keep on rolling.

“Last one.” – Reality check, you might be saying this as early as your second repeat…it’s okay, keep lying and repeating.

“That really didn’t hurt THAT bad.” – Reality check…the race/run/workout probably did but you have to force yourself to block out just how bad it was to a degree so that you keep going back for more. I’ll liken it to a lady who just popped out a kid; I’m sure she has to forget how not fun that was in order to feel compelled to maybe have another. ;)

The truth is, running and being consistent takes a lot of motivation and in the end it has to come from within. Self-motivation and dedication isn’t something you can necessarily teach or force someone into…you either have it or you have to learn it yourself over time. Sometimes it takes quotes, mantras, and lies…but it gets the job done!

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The winner for the BIC Bands giveaway:
winner
So Dana, glad you found my blog, email me and I’ll get you your bands! :)
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1) What are some of the things that help you stay motivated either to get out for a run if you’re not exactly feeling it or in the middle of a tough run or race?

2) What are some of your favorite quotes or mantras?

3) What lies do you tell yourself?

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27 thoughts on “Motivation and Self-Deception: Sometimes it’s a matter of talking yourself up or lying yourself into a run

  1. Poptarts? LOL

    I needed this entry. I was supposed to get up again this morning and get on the dreadmill. I had my clothes laid out and everything. I ended up away from 2-4. Finally fell back to sleep at 4 and the alarm went off at 4:30. If I lived in a house, I would have just gotten on the dreadmill at 2. But I don’t know if my neighbors really want to hear me on it before 4:30.

    • never underestimate the power of the tarts. ;)

      oh man, blasted neighbors! why can’t they just realize that a runners gotta do wat they’ve gotta do regardless of the hour?? ;)

  2. I always tell myself the first steps are the hardest. It always seems to get easier once you’re finally out there. My favorite quote is “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act, but a habit.

  3. I lie to myself all the time, I say; “halfway done already!” usually when I’ve only gone have a mile and have a few more miles to go. I belive it works. :P A quote of mine that I really enjoy is; “Running is a lot like life, only 10% of it is exciting, 90% of it is slodge and grudge.” – Dave Bedford- That’s just one though, I have a whole book full of running quotes :P

  4. I tell myself when I’m feeling badly that this will change. Usually, at some point during the run the bad feelings turn to good. I just have to keep going to get there. Sometimes, the only mantra I need is “Right here, right now”. Other times, I need a full-on prayer. :)

  5. I lie to myself all the time :) My favorite mantras are “You never regret a workout.” “You can do anything for ___ minutes.” “Just go, you dumbass.”

    As you can see, sometimes a little tough love is necessary to get my butt in gear!

  6. “think of poptarts” hahaha. I want those wildlicious poptarts so bad – defs next time I’m feeling particularly unmotivated to do that extra XT. I definitely use that “first mile” too – 99% of the time, I just need some loosening up. In track I often did workouts alone since I was the only 10k runner, so my coach would trick me by not telling me the whole workout – she’d be like, ok, 4xmile! And then when I’d finished the fourth she’d be like, Ok, do another! do another! until I’d done 8 hahaha, i never knew when it would end!. I hated her for it at the time but it really worked, especially since i didn’t have teammates pulling me through!

    • ya, pops are the BEST!! :) okay, so i’ve tried the wildlicious ones, and don’t get me wrong i don’t think a pop tart could ever do me wrong, but still gotta say i’m partial to the chocolate ones!! either double fudge or ‘smores….just saying. ;) get back to me tho on ur verdict…TRY them now!! :)

  7. “Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” – PattiSue Plumer <– THAT. Oh my gosh. Yes. This has been one of my favorite quotes for a while because it just describes it so perfectly. Whenever I'm not feeling motivated, thinking about how what I do today will impact my race tomorrow (or further in the future) keeps me going!

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