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June Newsletter – Motivation

It’s been a busy few months at Cavill Coaching as we have been training hard for some big events of our own. People that don’t train or that don’t do endurance sports often find it hard to understand how we have the motivation to put so many hours into what we do and it can be hard to explain, especially if that motivation is intrinsic and personal. But, the one thing that is always worth remembering is that motivation follows action, not the other way around. Completing the Hardmoors 110 last month reminded me (Kim) of that lesson.

Why would I go back to a race that I had already done, got a good time in and won? It is not something that makes sense to many people I suppose but curiosity to see what I could do when I had a lingering feeling that I could do better, meant that I lined up to start the Hardmoors 110 last month, 9 years after my first completion. The story of the race itself is a longer one and you can read about it here, but really, the race was only part of what felt like a new chapter for me.

After a few rollercoaster years when it came to training and racing, I couldn’t shake the idea that I had more to give. At the time, it felt like nothing I did was working: I was trying  to get faster, fitter and to feel that I had gotten the best out of myself, but something was lacking. I told myself that I was training hard but in reality, I wasn’t putting the focus in to do what I knew I was capable of. Bouncing from one training focus to another meant that I didn’t ever deliver on race day or was telling myself that it was okay if I didn’t run well. Sometimes it was, as not all races have to be the best race you have, but when UTMB – a race that I cared deeply about – went so poorly, it was time for a different approach. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that event and the finish was mind-blowing but it wasn’t the race that I wanted in terms of performance. So what to do??

Firstly, I chose a race that meant something to me. I loved Hardmoors for many reasons and the last ultra I did of theirs – the 160 – was also terrible for me, so I just wanted to feel that joy again at being in a special community and on a course that I adored. Secondly, I had Jayson plan my training. I knew that if I hadn’t done it myself, it would be something that would challenge me more and that it would feel more serious! Thirdly, I got my crew in place, just a couple of friends who I trusted completely to know how to do things on the day and who had crewed me at the first 110. And lastly, I got to work! I am lucky in that when something is on paper, I will just do it without thinking and that is what I did for the months leading up to the race. Things had to be adapted in the last few weeks due to a niggle but I was feeling much fitter than I had in a few years, so trusted I had done what I could.

So where did the motivation to train well come from? It is a chicken and egg situation to be honest. You can’t think, talk or argue, yourself into being motivated. You can’t watch some Youtube videos or read a book to get motivated. Those things can inspire you to action but the motivation comes from seeing the results of that action. When you start to feel better or even just get into the habit, the need to get out and keep going will follow. That is exactly what happened to me and is continuing to post race. Having one of  the runs of my life, even after convincing myself that I didn’t have it in me anymore, has given me so much more confidence and motivation to keep training well and with focus. There is no big race goal for now, but I know that if and when there is, I do have the motivation and drive to put the work in, as I remember how good it feels to be proud of a performance!

So, when motivation is low, get up and take action anyway. It might feel hard, you might not have a great session but you will have taken the first step in getting your motivation back where you want it to be!

Kim and Jayson.

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As long as there’ll be Hardmoors, we’ll be coming back again…