Mama’s Half Marathon – What’s your motivation?

If you’ve been following along the Mama’s Half Marathon series, you know that I like to start with a brief training update.  This week was fun because I was working towards a ‘mini goal’ to close my rings on my Apple Watch everyday.  The Apple Watch tracks your movement and sets a daily goal for you to achieve 30 minutes of exercise, stand once an hour for 12 hours and burn a certain number of active calories.

With this in mind, we went for a family bike ride and I completed 4 small runs (~3km), 1 medium run (7km) and one long run (17km).  It felt good to be focusing on something new while still training for the race.  Smaller workouts are also much more family friendly.  Clyde and I snuck out one night before dinner for a small run just the two of us.  I ran with the stroller and he jumped in and out as he pleased.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some tips for training and touched briefly on finding out what motivates you.  I’m bringing it up again today because for me, finding out how I’m motivated has been the difference in accomplishing so many things.

I am primarily extrinsically motivated.  I do best when I have accepted a challenge and/or am working towards a tangible goal.  30-day challenges, registered race days or the offer of a reward will motivate me to stay active.

When I learned about extrinsic motivation, I was able to look back on times that I was successful and see it in action time and time again.

My earliest memories of identifying a successful time driven by extrinsic motivation dates back to hockey camps and my desire to win the ‘athlete of the day’ award.  One of the five days that I was in camp, I would work particularly hard with my sights set on receiving the prize at the end of the day.

More recently, Adam challenged me to give up ice cream, my all-time favourite dessert, for one year in exchange for $1000.  Being the ice cream fanatic that I am, I had plans to visit a creamery later that month so we put that date in the calendar as ‘my last dance’ and the bet would be on for one full year.

Was I successful?  Heck yes, I was.  I won the athlete of the day at camp and I happily accepted my $1000 cash prize.

To find out more about extrinsic motivation, check this out.

Adam is primarily intrinsically motivated.  He is consistently active because he does it for the joy of running, biking, swimming – or any other form of exercise.  He enjoys setting personal fitness goals and has the drive to see them through.

To find out more about intrinsic motivation, check this out.

One form of motivation is no better than the other.  What’s important is being able to identify how you are motivated so that you can set yourself up for success.

If you are someone that is driven by extrinsic motivators, set a goal for yourself and establish a clear reward that you can strive towards.

If you are someone that is driven by intrinsic motivation, try writing out your vision for yourself – maybe, where you see yourself in 6 months and how you will get there.

In both cases, be sure to consider some of the following when establishing a goal:

Write it down.
Be realistic.
Set a clear timeline.

I learned a lot about goal setting a vision board during a time when I worked for Lululemon.  Knowing what motivates you and what you’re working towards is extremely powerful.

Here is some more information about goal setting.
Here is some more information about personal vision.

As I’m closing in on race day, I’ve been thinking about what’s next for me.  I’m excited to share that I will be joining the BBG community and spending my summer sweating with Kayla.

The BBG workouts are all 28 minutes or less and involve exercises that Clyde will be able to try too so it should be fairly easy to squeeze in during a normal day – and without the need for babysitters.  Adam is also working towards a muscle toning goal so we snagged a new piece of fitness equipment from Kijiji to complete our home gym!

After race day, I will do a weigh-in and take some measurements in order to set clear goals for a September check-in.

My extrinsic motivator will be a shopping spree for my newly toned bod in time for my return to work after Labour Day.

Any other extrinsic motivators working towards something exciting?