An important ingredient I need to successfully train for, and run my Ultra, is motivation. I’ve had those days when dozing under a warm duvet seems infinitely more appealing than a 3 hour run in the rain. On days like that even the preparation of my food and gear can seem a chore. I have positive and negative motivation. I tell myself that if I get out I will benefit from the run, becoming fitter and more likely to finish my Ultra comfortably and I will feel upbeat and happy for the rest of the day.
I promise myself rewards. I was so glad to hear one of the Training day veteran ultra runners mention pork scratchings. I love them and will often eat a packet after a run. I usually wash it down with chocolate protein shake. If the positives don’t work then I’ll move on to the negatives. Regret - I know I will regret missing a run and this will eat into me during the day (I never regret going for a run!). I know that, if I don’t put the training in then I won’t get the results and can picture myself as a broken, hobbling figure inching towards that distant finish.
If these tricks don’t work then I think about what inspires me. When low on motivation I still hear the words of my dad (he was killed a few years ago) - “Prior Planning Prevents P#ss Poor Performance.” This mantra (from his army days) I call the 6P’s and it can be applied to any aspect of life.
I think of inspirational books like ‘Born To Run’ and Dean Karnazes ‘Ultra Marathon Man.’ Dean would call me a 1st
class wimp. He eats marathons not only for breakfast, but for lunch and dinner as well! I think of our service men and women putting their lives on the line. A bit of rain is nothing compared to the ordeals they are going through every day.
What I have been doing over the last few weeks is turning on the TV for instant inspiration. Not Loose Women (I can always watch that on Iplayer!) but people who have put in years of hard work and achieved amazing things. I’m talking about the Olympics of course.
The Mo’s of this world got their rewards through sheer hard work and determination. The Para-Olympians are awe inspiring. They have overcome huge odds to produce superhuman feats.
When I watch them it also reminds me of the charity I support. Dreamflight inspires seriously ill and disabled children. Some of our top Para-Olympians – Liz Johnson, Amy Conroy, David Smith and Nyee Kindred – are all ex Dreamflight children.
On the 16th
October - 192 specially selected Dreamflight children will be flown to Florida on a chartered 747 aircraft. That trip will inspire some of these children to break through their limitations and achieve great things. Some will be the Olympians of the future.
You can read more about Dreamflight at www.justgiving.com/FlyingTaff
When I think through all these things, the rain bouncing off the window doesn’t seem so bad – because I know I’ll be watching the Olympics a few hours later, chewing pork scratchings and sipping chocolate milk, with no regrets.