More shades of motivation

In 2012, celebrating his 50th year running in the Manchester Turkey Trot, the legendary runner Amby Burfoot , wrote that a life full of running isn’t just about health and technique. It’s 90% motivation. He offers these tips for staying motivated:

  • Read stories about courageous, life-changing runners in Runner’s World; these rarely fail to inspire.
  • Follow blogs and tweets by runners you admire.
  • Keep a training log to chart your own story, not someone else’s. Research shows that exercise and diet logs work; they help you hold your resolution.
  • Go on internet forums where runners help other runners, and become part of the conversation.
  • Put workouts in your daily calendar or appointment book. Treat these entries as seriously as you do meeting requests from your boss, and don’t skip them.
  • Collect great running quotes. You can start anywhere, from the Bible to The Iliad and the The Odyssey to Mark Will-Weber’s classic book The Quotable Runner.
  • Many great runners and coaches have counseled that you can increase motivation through variation, particularly of running routes. I’ve never believed this. I have one best route that I run from work, one from home, and one from the trailhead, and I have run these routes thousands of times. How can anything be better than the best? The great Villanova coach Jumbo Elliott used to tell his runners to “live like a clock.” I live like a guy who’s got only one map.
  • Lastly, the best way to keep yourself running will always be: Find friends and family to join you.

It was awesome to stumble on Amby’s list a week after compiling the Racery staff list of motivations for exercise.