10 Things Highly Motivated Runners Always Do (That You Don’t)
In a world of quick-fix fitness, Bec Wilcock is pretty damn impressive. An ultra-marathon runner (she's even run the full Barkley 100—Google it, it's one of the most difficult races in the world), wellbeing coach and Blackmores ambassador, she's a highly motivated athlete who never really stops. One look at Wilcock's Instagram account will give you an idea of how uplifting her personal brand of fitspo really is. (Our favourite quote: "Dreams get you started, discipline keeps you going.") All this to say it's pretty clear Wilcock knows what's up when it comes to telling the voice in your head (the one who'd rather watch TV than run) to shut it. Which is why we reached out to her for insider tips on how to get off the couch and onto the track/treadmill. Ahead, Wilcock shares 10 things highly motivated runners always do.
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Don't have a PT? Wilcock suggests building a training program yourself. "Developing a structured program that helps me towards my goal—whether that’s achieving a desired time or length of run—is always my priority." Wilcock cycles between different types of training sessions throughout the week, including; running, cross training (such as boxing or anything cardiovascular) and strength training.
It's important to remember progress takes time. If things aren't speeding along as fast as you'd like, know this—even highly motivated runners feel defeated sometimes. "Don't be too hard on yourself," advises Wilcock. "Focus on your progression and know you’re not going to become a superstar athlete overnight—it takes consistency and hard work."
If you're keen on sleeping in, Wilcock's method for ensuring she never skips a workout might sound overly brutal: "I wake up to my alarm every morning without the second option of going back to sleep." If you like working out in the evenings or at lunch, Wilcock suggests scheduling gym time into your calendar as you would a dentist appointment or coffee date.
"If you’re struggling to find the motivation to get your butt off the couch, rope in a running buddy and push each other together," says Wilcock. Don't have any pals who run? Join a local run club instead.
Setting smaller goals is a great way to keep momentum going as you chip away at your overall goal. It also helps you track progress and gives you more opportunity to both succeed and celebrate. "I'm hard on myself when I want to improve but I reward myself when I make gains," says Wilcock. Nailed your first 10-minute run? Get a massage. Went for a run three times this week? Treat yourself to Gold Class movie tickets.
This one goes without saying: "Fuel your body with the right nutrients—especially pre- and post-run—and aim for 8 hours sleep each night," says Wilcock. Can't drift off no matter what you do? Here's how to fall asleep in under a minute.
According to Wilcock muscle recovery is as important as nutrition and sleep: "Rest, recovery and proper supplementation are critical components for any successful training program." Aside from always warming up and down on either side of her runs, Wilcock takes Blackmores Muscle Magnesium ($29) before bed to support her muscles.
Wilcock says it best: "You can always find an excuse to hold you back." See? Even highly motivated runners have to battle their inner demons some days. According to Wilcock, the secret is using whatever motivates you to get you out the door and on your run. "Whether that’s laying out your clothes the night before or preparing a delicious breakfast for your return home, do whatever you can to ensure you have no excuses!"
Speaking of motivators, studies suggest music has performance-enhancing qualities when it comes to exercise. Wilcock relies on a stellar playlist to her moving on off days: "If I’m feeling unmotivated, it’s always music that gets me out the door." (You can listen to her current Spotify playlist, here.)
Last but not least, when you feel yourself hitting the wall you might want to try smiling. Turns out, the power of positivity can be surprisingly powerful. "If you’re starting to crash and burn during a run, the simple act of smiling have can have profound impact on you both mentally and physically," says Wilcock. "It can often help you push through that last barrier before reaching the finish line."