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Staying Motivated – Another Timely Blog by Trainer Dan Van Veen

Staying Motivated — It May Be Easier than You Think!

The other day, I was reading how that so many kids these days involved in sports are not only specializing in just a sport, but are specializing in a position…and these kids aren’t even in high school yet. I also read that a LOT of kids drop out of sports in mid-high school or lose their edge by mid-high school because basically they’re burned out on the sport. Experts seem to encourage kids instead be involved in a variety of sports, instead of just one, because it not only develops other muscles/skills, it also provides a mental break.

So, what does this have to do with you, running, and training for a race?

Well, how many people start out training for a long race, such as a half or full marathon, and end up feeling like they’ve bitten off more than can chew…and never actually do the race? Or maybe they get halfway through their training and suffer an injury?

I believe that people who don’t just run (adds in another sport) will find running easier, more enjoyable, and suffer fewer injuries due to running.

Why is that?

Variety is the spice of life. It’s an old saying, but true. If you, let’s say, bike, do exercise videos, and/or swim, not only do you develop different kinds of muscles, you also have mental variety. Now, don’t get me wrong, some people can zero in on running and it works for them. That’s great. But for a lot of people, mixing at least one other sport into their weekly activities takes the edge off of “having” to run and it’s more like “getting” to run.

For example, I used to run so I could be a better basketball player — develop the endurance. Well, as I grew older, I moved away from basketball simply because I couldn’t afford the turned ankles. : ) However, I picked up volleyball and it was basically a break from running. It was fun, it was different, it required more focus, it was team-oriented, it was (and is) a lot of fun. But it also helped me with my running…sometimes I would run to my volleyball matches, but it was good exercise, worked on my flexibility, used different muscles and (the way I play), I worked up a good sweat. : )

So, when you plan out your half-marathon or marathon training schedule or if you’re planning on focusing on simply keeping in running shape, add in a day that isn’t focused on running…it may include a short run (like I did to go play volleyball), but it’s funny how when you add the two sports together, it makes both of them more enjoyable.

Have an awesome run today!

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