Don’t Worry About Pace And Time
Watches and other gadgets are important for all runners, but there are times when they should be ignored. One of the first things an athlete struggling with motivation should do is relax on all pacing and timing requirements.
“I often tell my runners to leave your watch at home and do your run or workout based on effort,” Honerkamp says. “The runner will get a good workout in without knowing what pace they’re running. If a runner is tired, they won’t know that they’re running 10 seconds slower per mile on their tempo run. They won’t be bummed out and they also are less likely to over-train.”
Along the same lines, Hartmann calls this “letting go of the time component.” Hartmann says that sometimes the pressure athletes put on themselves to hit intervals in a specific time, or to finish a tempo run at a certain pace can overwhelm or frustrate them. “They can end up running ‘stressed’ or ‘mechanical’ versus with a relaxed stride, and the pressure to hit that specific time can sometimes yield a negative-training environment if the athlete constantly feels like they are ‘not hitting the times,’ perhaps because of tiredness, perhaps because a coach gave them unrealistic times to hit, or perhaps because they are reaching to hit their end-of-season goal times now versus at the end of their season when they should hit those time goals,” he says.
“Ultimately, this can decrease motivation if an athlete feels like they are not en route to achieving their end-of-season goal, or if they feel like they have lost fitness after being ill, or if they think they are ‘slow.’”