Running Questions – Staying Motivated For Marathons, Ultra Marathons, Epic Runs

Running Questions – Staying Motivated

After every big race some runners are affected by a letdown.  That let down sometimes lasts a day, a week or it can hang around longer.  I’ve heard about some runners suffering the “post marathon blues” so bad they considered never running another marathon or in some extreme cases gave up running altogether.

After my first marathon (Shakespeare Marathon, 2005) I had not planned on running another.  I had no goal on the horizon and I had not committed to any other races (of any distance).  I did not get the blues, but my running suffered, I fell back into some lazy habits, I started to eat bad, and I got out of shape.  Then almost by chance I stumbled across a Runners World article on the Richmond Marathon, and I decided almost instantly I was going to run that race.  My motivation increased, my running regained its consistency, I looked forward to being active again and I looked forward to my long runs.  I had the fire once again.

Since then, and since the advent of my blog I receive numerous questions on how I stay motivated between marathons, races and big runs?  My simple answer is, staying motivated is as easy as keeping your race calendar full, use social media to keep you going and take on one epic challenge per year.

Umstead buckle

Keep Your Race Calendar Full:  Plan out your racing year in advance.  If you have a plan for the year, or the next six months it’s easy to stay up for that next race.  I’ve found that after a big race if your plate is empty, it’s easy to get into a rut.  Stay motivated by savoring the great race you just completed, but then focus on your next event. Remember that age old saying “a rolling stone gathers no moss.”


Use Social Media To Stay Motivated:  From the outside many might see my blog updates, my race reports or my finish declarations as bragging.  But in all honesty I do it to keep the peer pressure on me.  I figure if I tell enough people of my running plans its harder for me to not run a race or to one day just sit still.  And I thank all of you who ask about my races and results…you guys keep the pressure on me!


Take On One Epic Challenge A Year:  Whether it’s an 100 mile race, an 24 hour event or four marathons in four weeks, by doing something epic it keeps the fire burning.  There is something about signing yourself up for something you never dreamed possible…that lights the fire under your butt.

One race is great if that satisfies your competitive juices but if you feel the need to keep moving don’t let the blues sink in….keep your race calendar full, talk up your events and success and do something EPIC.

How do you stay motivated, tell us about it.

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