In Search of Motivation


Low spots. Speed bumps. Ruts. We’ve all had them. Suddenly you find yourself in the midst of training without any mojo and weeks to go. How do you get back those butterflies you initially felt after registering on  Here are a few ideas to conquer what you’ll eventually see as a minor blip on your way to the finish line.

Find a “training” race. Whether it’s a 5K or a 50K, get inspired by an event that reminds you how good it feels to get behind that start line with others. While a shorter distance can help those fast-twitch muscles find their groove, a longer distance can be a good for mimicking nutrition and gear practices. The more chances to experiment with solid food, gels, electrolytes and hydration, the better. While training runs are great, they don’t offer aid stations which can be critical in both speeding you up as well as slowing you down. Hands down, the best place to find motivation is a local race where friends and volunteers can offer words of wisdom, advice and encouragement. And nothing beats that.

If you’re willing to turn to yet another form of social media, joining Strava can get your head back in the game from the comfort of your couch. Following other athletes on this data-driven app allows you to play witness to where and when others are running. Maybe there’s a mountain trail that’s being frequented by local runners, or you’ve seen numerous people rising before the sun to get their daily runs in. Whatever it might be, the possibility for inspiration is endless. Strava is an entire community of “kudos,” so get on it!

Finally, read a book. There are plenty of inspirational quotes on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, but nothing beats a good, long read. Wisdom comes from hours upon hours of research and experience, and a well-written book by an expert author can offer some of the most sound and comprehensive information needed for motivation in almost any discipline. If it’s been a while since you’ve perused the pages of a novel or autobiography, try setting aside time to put down your phone and dive into a good book. The journey is often one you’ll never regret.


About Author

Amy Clark is the Editor of UltraRunning Magazine. She began her career at a small advertising agency in Bend, Oregon, where she enjoyed the fast pace and creative environment. For over 15 years, lunch hour runs were a ritual. Amy also joined the board of the local running club, became a race director and finished her first ultra. She has completed over 35 marathons and ultras combined, and continues to run long distances while encouraging both kids and adults to ignite their own passion for running.

1 Comment

  1. David Johnson on

    Good advice! there’s nothing like a training race to remind you that there are other crazy people out there who are running miles, thinking, eating gels/bars/perpetum training to run races. I recently saw a YouTube video of Tony Krupicka, and that was inspirational. A reminder that we are all striving to do super human things.