marathon, Mindfulness, running

Keeping up the motivation

After my peak 20 mile run last weekend, I’ve been feeling an odd mix of excitement and demotivation. Excitement, since I’ve just run the furthest I’ve ever run and overcome a huge obstacle- both mentally and physically. Demotivation, since I’m absolutely exhausted and I’m 100% ready to sit on my ass and eat carbs, as opposed to gradually tapering off my miles like my plan advises.

As I’m sure is quite normal at this stage, energy and motivation have been lacking. But I found this picture on Strava Run’s Instagram and saved it to my phone. It’s a huge reminder of how strong I feel after completing a long or tough session that I thought was out of reach.

IMG_2810 (1)

I’m not fooling myself- I know I won’t look like this when I cross the finish line in two week’s time (eek!), but I damn well hope I’ll feel the same sense of achievement and satisfaction.


What’s your advice for keeping motivation during a taper?

Do you have any images or phrases on hand for when you need a kick up the butt?

Lots of love,





13 thoughts on “Keeping up the motivation”

  1. I think your demotivation is probably just your fatigue talking. Crossing the finish line of your first marathon is unlike anything you will ever experience in your life. There are just no words, really. Everyone always told me that before mind and I’d be like “yeah okay sure,” but then I crossed that finish line and I was like “oh, I get it now.”

    Taper is a hard time with lots of conflicting emotions – on the one hand, you are antsy and feel like the race can’t come soon enough and on the other, you just want to sit on your ass and eat carbs, lol. What you’re feeling is normal, just ride it out. The most important thing right now is to take care of yourself and make sure you get to that starting line ready to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think I was naively hoping that taper time would just involve yoga and watching TV with my feet up (even though I’d looked at my plan!) so it was a bit of a shock when I was like “damn, I still have to go and run long this weekend?!” But it’s all good, I’m gradually feeling more recovered from my 20-miler at the weekend and getting used to tapering things off gradually! Plus I get to take my dog running this weekend which I’m sooo excited about!


  2. Agreed. Tapering is tough but to jump on Hanna’s unintended pun – riding it out may indeed be your savior. As in, a long (say 20K) but very easy cycle (both elevation and speed) may just keep you sane without damaging your marathon efforts

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I just keep in my mind a mental image of the big timing clock above the finish line showing me coming in just under my goal time. It’s a simple image to recall and when I need a kick in the bum to get me up and out or to push through a tough run, I bring it to mind and remember why I’m doing it 🙂 works for me.


  4. I think I start to lose motivation during taper because the taper feels so mundane compared to all of the training and suddenly it feels so long until race day! Practical reasons to keep up your running through taper is so your immune system doesn’t crash (don’t want to be sick for race day!) and so you don’t feel sluggish on race day. Just remember not to push pace or add extra mileage – the work is done. As far as crossing the finish line, don’t be freaked out if you don’t feel overly euphoric and/or like you can take on the world as others describe. I definitely think you will feel a sense of success and achievement. I crossed the finish line and was excited, but really wanted chocolate milk and warm clothes. Oh, and I kept telling my running partner that I wanted to lay down! Ha! It was the fatigued talking. It really took a couple of weeks for it to sink in and I look back on crossing the finish line in a different way than how I felt in that moment because honestly, once I stopped running I realized how much I had just put my body through! ENJOY the taper, it’s the greatest rest until post-race.


  5. i mean you could look like that if you got the wing add-on’s for your shoes 😉 2 weeks away wow thats usually my motivation knowing a race is so close. i dont really have any images that i go to but more listen to my favorite songs and keep myself pumped up. a harry potter marathon is also always a good idea!


    1. Haha a harry potter marathon? I didn’t know that was a thing!

      I’ve recently found Women’s Running does a monthly playlist on spotify- it’s a mix of everything to get you pumped, and it’s really been helping me this month when energy has been lacking!


  6. I say embrace the taper. I either really love tapering or really hate it. In the fall, I was like BRING IT ON. I wanted all of the food and none of the miles. This time around, I’m a little more pumped up about my new training plan sooooo I feel the opposite. If your body wants to chill, chillllll. You got plenty of work ahead of you on race day and you want to be rested!


    1. Haha yeah whenever i was tired in the past few weeks I would just be like X DAYS TILL TAPER TIME. Now I’m tapering off I’ve become very reluctant about running- I’m like “really? 10 miles? at pace?”

      Oh well! I get to take my puppy running this weekend so that’s something to look forward to!


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