News - 14th July 2021
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Ask David: how to stay motivated

Vhi roadshow at Fairview parkrun

We’ve been asking you to submit your questions for Olympian and Vhi ambassador David Gillick to answer. This week David answers your questions around motivation and how to keep yourself motivated, particularly whilst events are temporarily suspended. 


What is motivation? Well it comes from the Latin word “Movere” which means to move.


It’s fair to say that with all the change and uncertainty in the world right now, our motivation to get out and move can be understandably questioned. With no parkruns taking place, our normal routines and habits have been seriously impacted, in fact some may have completely come off track.


So, bring it back to you! What motivates you to get out and move? Maybe it makes you feel good about yourself, you feel like you have more energy, it’s time away from a busy house, away from kids or the pressures of work?


When we answer the question, you may find it’s a variety of factors. So HOW do these factors drive us or move us to action?


One factor which motivates me is the way I feel after a run, I feel good about myself both physically and mentally, this drives me to get out and do some regular exercise because I know I’ll feel good and my mood will be positive afterwards. Other factors could be the social element, a personal fitness goal or a target time for an upcoming parkrun.


The good news is that our personal motivation levels can be influenced in several ways; by you, an upcoming event or even the process of training.


Currently our levels are low due to no parkrun events, so therefore the process is impacted due to having no target and nothing to aim for. As a result you feel a little low on energy to get out and get active.


So, what can we do?


Start with a goal or a target.

Walk or run 5k this week, or once a week for August. Wouldn’t it be great to say you have run 20k by the end of the month? If this seems too far after a long time out, do 2.5k. Just make sure to give yourself a number to aim for.


Do it with someone!

If you are struggling for motivation, get active with a friend or a group of friends (of course adhering to local covid guidelines). This will provide social engagement, which after 15 months in lockdown is a good thing.


Also, it will promote accountability to show up and do it! Enjoying a chat while you jog, or even a coffee post exercise, will boost the experience. There is a lot to be said about connecting with people, it will make it even more enjoyable.


Focus on the process.

Don’t expect to restart running and feel great immediately. It can take time, so be kind to yourself and build up gradually. Walk/run a couple of km to start and then gradually build up to continuous running or jogging.


Build habits and routines!

Pick the days you are going to exercise, put them in the calendar in your phone or on the fridge so everyone knows these are the days you do your thing!


9.30 am on a Saturday is always good way to start!

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