Friday, February 11, 2011

Motivation vs Self Discipline

Today I had a long run scheduled of 21 km.  Added to the tremendous stress at work these past few weeks, I was stressing more as I couldn't stand the thought of running long alone, again.    So I found someone to run with.

Running today with a partner opened my eyes a little about my recent lack of interest in running that I have been feeling lately.  Ariella said that she takes a year off between marathons because she "uses up all her self discipline, and needs to store it up again for the next run."  At first it sounded a bit bizarre to me.  How can one "use up" self discipline?  Isn't it an elemental part of anyone, althete or otherwise, that consistantly, and purposefully sticks to any type of program? 

So I thought about this, and I think what she really meant was motivation.  But even if she didn't mean this, it's what resonated with me.  While I am a very disciplined person, and training for a marathon pretty much on my own goes to prove this theory, what I do suffer from, from time to time, is lack of motivation. 

So I looked up the definitions for both -

Motivation can be defined as: the driving force that initiates and directs behaviour. 

Self Discipline can be defined as:  Training and control of oneself and for ones conduct, usually for personal benefit.

So for me, the key is that the motivation needs to come before the self discipline. 

In thinking about the past few weeks and how unsatisfied I have been with my runs, I see that I need to find positive motivation for running.  I think I need to refocus on what the benefits are of training and running, and see if that can be a bit more inspirational for me.  I'm a constant thinker, and I'm sure I'll work this one out.


1 comment:

  1. Great post! As runners, I think we get caught up in the "how" (training plans,etc.) and forget about the "why". That being said, I've never run a full marathon, and would definitely need a break between two of them!!