Running can get boring after a while and runners are often looking for new ways to motivate themselves. There is only so much weight that you can lose by running and only so much that improves speed. Some tend to do other fitness routines and others do other things like:
Run with friends / family
Take time to accompany friends or family members who are running for the first time. If you motivate them to run, you motivate yourself anew. It will also remind you of how far you have come. Such initiatives build better relationships and bring health to everyone.
Be a pacemaker
A pacer is an experienced runner who guides other runners to finish within the time limit. To become a pacemaker, a runner chooses a pace that is below his / her level of comfort and foregoes personal endeavors to help others achieve their goal. It is altruistic and is generally appreciated by followers.
My recent experience at the Mumbai Marathon earned me unprecedented applause that was worth more than all of my medals. Training to run slower than usual is an experience and feels like learning to walk again.
Choose a cause
Aside from running events organized to raise donations for specific occasions – the Coimbatore Marathon, for example, deals with cancer awareness – runners can raise money for something they are passionate about. At major running events, runners can sign up exclusively to collect donations for registered charities. The 2018 New York Marathon participants raised over $ 40 million for various charities. This gives the runner another dimension. It is no longer about personal success. The focus is on the matter. Every donation brings additional motivation to overcome the distance. Although the concept is still emerging in India, runners from the recent Chennai marathon collected over £ 27 to restore the city's lakes.
Be a volunteer
Volunteers are the backbone of the marathons. It is practically impossible to organize an event of this size without your support. Be it cheering for the runners, helping with water, checking the traffic or simply guiding through the target areas, they offer exceptional support. Volunteering costs a lot of energy and can sometimes be more strenuous than running. Besides, there is nothing more motivating than watching people run. Katherine Switzer once wrote: "If you lose confidence in human nature, go out there and watch a marathon."
Spread the good word
When you write and speak about running, you become an evangelist for running. The transmission medium is much wider and more accessible thanks to the Internet. Share your views, experiences and ideas and learn from those of others. It helps you explore many unknown facets of running and the positive changes it brings to many lives. Every runner has a story and the stories of my followers have inspired me to do more.
Running starts as a fitness activity and ends as a lifestyle. It has enriched life by improving not only physical health but also mental wellbeing. There is a lot you can do by just putting one foot in front of the other and forging forward.
The author is an ultra marathon runner who has run at the Comrades, Two Oceans and the Berlin Marathon, among others.