Running & Good Times

Accountability or Motivation?

What keeps you running towards the starting line or the finish line…accountability or motivation?  The other day, I was running and these two words popped in my head.

Having accountability to one’s self is the best way to keep moving and logging the needed miles for a scheduled race.  Personally, I find that if I sign up for a race then I really have no choice – train or bail out.  There’s nothing more I dislike than paying for a race (registration, flight, and hotel) and not being able to cross the finish line.  Not sure what is worse DNS (did not start) or DNF (did not finish) either way my DNS outweighs my DNF.  

I like to plan out my races as soon as I can for the following year.  Unfortunately, summer time in Virginia is not the idea time to run a marathon, so planning is crucial.  Once the races are booked or at least identified then it’s time to build the training plan.  Most of my runs are with a friend, so it’s important we are on the same page, and use the same training plan.  I consider this my first line of accountability. When I look at what is required week after week, I know I must adjust my schedule to fit in the runs as well as the strength training.  Sometimes this is not possible when works calls or there’s more homework than I expected.  I utilize Strava for my runs (and to track shoe mileage), and if I miss a run then it’s likely I’ll hear about it.  My friend is one aspect of my accountability toolbox.  What keeps you accountable?


Staying motivated week after week can sometimes be hard when the weather doesn’t cooperate or at the onset of an injury…causing the blues.  This is where my friends I compete with assist me.  They are always there to pick me up or make fun of me (jokingly) when I’m not out there doing my part.  Sometimes keeping the motivation meter at 100% is difficult, but sitting around doing nothing has a negative connotation as well.  On a wall near my desk I have placed my race bibs (not to brag), and this a great conversation piece when others walk in.  Talking about various races and completion times…many times I talked with some folks months later who started running based on our conversation.  They too start a bib wall.  Motivation comes in many ways.  What motivates you?


Whether it’s accountability or motivation, both are necessary tools anyone should have in their toolbox.


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