An OCR event is always going to push runners to their limits, and that’s a big part of the appeal and the reason why they’re so rewarding. But there can also be points in a race and during training where our motivation dips and it starts to feel like a Sisyphean task. Everyone has their own ways of staying motivated and keeping their training on track. Here are some of our top motivation tips that make the difference between whining and winning.
1. Train with Friends
OCR is all about the community. Running with friends and teamwork mean that, at its best, OCR is able to offer much more than just a fitness challenge. The social aspect keeps people coming back weekend after weekend and makes it more rewarding. Training with your friends also means there’s someone to keep you motivated on those days when don’t really feel like it.
2. Set a Personal Goal
Whether it’s improving your time or just making it to the end of the rings, having a challenging but achievable goal in mind at the outset will give you focus and something to aim for in your training. Once you’ve achieved one goal, you can move onto the next, gradually improving your fitness and getting more from each event.
3. Track Your Progress
Keeping track of your training and progress can make a big difference to your motivation, letting you see how much you’re improving. There are plenty of fitness and running apps out there, while fitness wearables can also work, but so does an old-fashioned pencil and training diary. Having a record of your workouts and times gives you that little bit of motivation to do that extra set, last rep or put in a quick last mile.
4. Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut
Another advantage of keeping track of your training is that you can easily see if your workouts are becoming repetitive. Mixing up your routines and exercises keeps things fresh and helps you to avoid getting stuck in a rut. And since your body will get used to running at a certain pace or doing specific exercises if you do them all the time, mixing it up can also make you fitter.
5. Run for Charity
Running for a cause that means a lot to you or your family gives you a big injection of motivation when you need it most. The knowledge that getting to the end of the course will really benefit others can drive you to keep going to the end of that long sandbag carry or help you get over that last big wall.
6. Reward Yourself
Training for an OCR is tough, and after a race even getting out a bed can be struggle. Promising yourself that you’re going to treat yourself to a new piece of kit if you make it to the end or hit your target can add that extra bit of incentive. Go on, you’ve earned it!