Some people are constantly running races. They sign up for a few 5Ks here and there just for fun and then they run a few half marathons each year and maybe even a marathon or 2. Every race they sign up for is motivation to keep training. When there is a race on the calendar you know that if you don’t get out of bed to run you will be upset when it comes to race day and your time is slow. But what about the runners who never run races? How do they stay motivated?
I happen to be one of those runners who doesn’t run many races. Don’t get me wrong I would love to run more but there have been a few things that prevented that. I grew up in a small town, and went to college and an even smaller town, which made finding races a little difficult (5Ks were easy to find but the longer races were a bit more challenging to find). Now that I live in NJ it isn’t bout finding races any more, now it is about the race fees, which can be a little expensive especially for a college student.
So back to the question at hand, what motivates us “non- racers”? I run for many different reasons you can read about them here. The thing is, I could get most of what I want to get out of running by running just a couple miles every couple of days at any old pace. But I am an extremely competitive and driven person. So competitive in fact that I compete with myself. That is what pushes me to run faster and farther. I love to see improvement. I am motivated by seeing a change. If I were to run the same three miles at the same pace week after week I would get bored. But if I can run a mile further or a minuet faster each week then I feel accomplished. That is enough for me.
So although there is no national anthem at the beginning of the race, no awesome crowd with funny signs along the course, no water stations, no metals, and no amazing race atmosphere. I am still racing, I am racing myself and for now that is enough for me.
What about you?
Do you run a lot of races?
How do you stay motivated to run?
Do you get more satisfaction from increasing speed or distance?