Recently, I’ve discovered something invaluable about the sport of running, particularly with the term “training.” Yes, when we run, we train our bodies to become better at running, improving athletically in the process. However (being an aspiring ultra runner with each race spacing months and months apart from each other), how does someone maintain a decent level of training motivation throughout the entire lengthy process?
For me, with my first real race about seven months away, it’s actually been easy. Motivation and positive personal feedback don’t have to come in the concrete/tangible form of results from a sheet of paper. Running is much more than that. My motivation seems to lie within the actual physical movement of gliding over the dirt and through the woods and natural terrain in my minimalist shoes. That, in itself, is motivation for the next day. Each day is motivation for the next because of how pure and supernatural the sport of running can be. I look forward to going to sleep each night just so I can wake up the next morning to run on the trails. I don’t need racing (for now) or results. I am motivated by my surroundings and the internal “flow”, peace, and continuity that running provides.
Spacing out these large-scale ultra trail races is nice because of how important each one will be when I make the weekend trip to these locations. With that said, I am very anxious, yet confident to be racing the Ice Age Trail 50 for 6-7 hours this upcoming Spring. May 14 can’t come quickly enough.