Tips on staying motivated to #Run1000Miles in 2018

Trail Running training editor Paul Halford offers advice on how to find and keep that often elusive 'mojo'

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As someone who has built up plenty of mileage over 20 years, running 1000 miles in 2018 will be much more of a mental than physical challenge. For me, the motivation to put in the training I need to in order to reap the benefits comes and goes rapidly like a switch - one that is increasingly more off than on.

I'm therefore not the best one to advise on for motivation, but I can offer a few tips I've found have worked for me over the years:

1 Run with someone
Whether it's as part of a club or something you arrange more ad-hoc, running with someone else definitely makes it easier. It's more difficult to cut your run short.

When I look back to my last spell of fully motivated training - in the spring of 2017 - it was a jog with others at a much slower pace than I am used to that sparked my 'mojo'. For three months, I didn't look back after that.

On the other hand, I can recall runs I've done with faster individuals where I've gone at a faster pace than I would have liked. However, being in faster company, I've come away feeling like an "athlete" again and this can work wonders.

The point is that you may need to be flexible in order to run with others. And the change of pace can often bring benefits in itself.

2 Run A to B occasionally
Doing a loop around your house can sometimes be a little uninspiring. It's too easy sometimes to decide mid-run that you'll make do with one of your shorter routes.

I find running from home to get somewhere or running home adds purpose to the run. Although usually the logistics make it difficult, it's worth considering. 

Running to and/or from work is one example of how to do it - and it saves time and money too. You could also get someone to drop you somewhere and then run back. Or you could take a train or bus somewhere. Also, at this time of year particularly, you might get chance to drive your car to a Christmas party and then run to pick it up the next day.

3 Run early
Life can often get in the way if you schedule your runs for the evening. If you finish work later than expected, it's easy to decide it's too late to run. But running in the morning means it's out of the way rather than something you'll do later if you get time.

Running first thing tends not to be easy. My legs don't seem to work until four miles in and my pace tends to be around half a minute per mile slower than in the evening. However, it doesn't matter if you are slower - you're still putting in the same benefits, so you'll get the same rewards..

4 Don't give yourself the choice
I know from personal experience that once you decide not to run one day when you should it becomes easier on subsequent days to view it as an option.

Having the motivation is a mindset. You need to see running as something you do every day or on however many days your schedule dictates. Granted, if you're sure you've been training too hard, an extra rest day might be required.

So enjoy your #Run1000Miles campaign. Whether you're a newbie or someone who's used to plenty of miles, running can often be a challenge. But the shared experiences and common goal of #Run1000Miles will give us a boost.