Although I love running most of the time, training for a big run like the himalayan 100 means you have to put in the miles, and you often end up running the same old routes listening to the same old playlists day after day and week after week. Over time this can really wear you down.
I got to the point a couple of weeks ago, where I was starting to get really bored with my running, and finding it hard to put my trainers on and get out for a run, but three things got me back into my stride.
First was the support of fellow runners on sites like the dailymile. I posted a comment on how I was struggling to get motivated, and almost immediately I received messages of support and bits of friendly advice to keep me going. I’ve used a couple of websites to track my training, fetcheveryone is another good one (although it doesn’t link to my nikeplus) and NikePlus (although it doesn’t quite live up to its potential as far as community goes) but at the moment dailymile is my favourite. It seems to be largely an American site, but it has a really community feel and a great mix of people with a lot of ultra and trail runs, there are also a handful of local runners on there that share there routes and race details.
The second thing that made a big difference was taking a week off running my regular routes to and from work, and doing some trail runs that i love. A sort of back to basics week, just enjoying the runs and not worrying about how many miles I need to get in or what time i do them.
Finally I spent a couple of hours creating a whole new playlist on itunes. I use my ipod nano and nike plus to track my times and mileages, so I tend to listen to my ipod as i run. Its quite surprising how refreshing something as simple as having a new playlists can be, some of the tracks were recommendations from runners on dailymile others were tracks from my library that i hadn’t listened to in a while. I’m even thinking of creating a set of playlist for the himalayan run, and getting some friends to record motivating messages for me for those 10,000 meter ascent days.
Another great way to recharge your running mojo is to read something like ‘feet in the clouds’ or ‘born to run’, these are 2 of the books that got be into fell running and ultras in the first place and are a great reminder of everything i love about running.