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James Cracknell at the MDS Expo in 2015. Photo credit: RunUltra.

Running motivation from James Cracknell, Meghan Hicks and many more!

08-Jan-16

Last updated: 19-Jul-18

By Steve Diederich

It is a new year with all the promise that that brings. However, motivation to achieve your goals has to last past the middle of January and we all know that is more difficult than it sounds. We have talked to some of the highest achievers in the sport for inspiration.

James Cracknell OBE - Double Olympic gold medallist and ultra runner

  • Happy New Year, don’t lie there feeling sorry for yourself you’re not ill just hung-over. The best preparation for any Ultra is running when you don’t feel like it and what better day to start getting your body used to it than when your tongue feels and tastes like the bottom of a parrot’s cage.
  • Start getting used to running on an empty stomach this isn’t purely a weight loss strategy it’s that you’ll be running the race on a calorific deficit (unless you want a heavy pack) so get the body used to burning fat as fuel, the more efficient you can make your system the faster and longer you’ll be able to run.
  • Now for the good news every Olympic year is a leap year so that that means this year (2016 in case you forgot) is one so you get an extra ‘free’ day of training on February 29th so get stuck in and lap it up.

Kerry Sutton – Motivational running coach and ultra runner

  • Focus on taking the first step the rest will take care of themselves.
  • How often I leave the house with a cluttered mind only to return empowered and with a renewed sense of clarity.
  • You'll rarely finish a run wishing you hadn't gone. So lace up your shoes and get out there.

Meghan Hicks – Writer and ultra runner (MdS Womens champion 2013)

  • In a long run or race, you'll often find that your body and mind will want to operate incongruously to each other. For example, your mind will be eager but your body flagging. Or your body still strong and primed but your motivation weakened. I think this is natural and a part of the process, so there's no need to fight it. Instead, address the issue that's causing one part of your body to flag. Always operate in problem-solving mode. Once in a great while, everything will be working in harmony, and your long run or race will just flow. They don't last forever, so enjoy those moments. Embrace them.
  • A positive attitude will take you pretty far in long-distance running. It's a sport that we do by choice, for all kinds of reasons. To feel healthy, to spend time with friends, to work on goals, and more. In the throes of a difficult moment, we are apt to forget what got us here in the first place, ourselves. Stay positive and remember your big-picture motivations.

Fiona Rennie - Ultra runner (represented Scotland) and cancer survivor

  • It's the start of a new year and time to plan the race diary, something new, big and scary? Or you know you can do better on a race you've done before, maybe you're happy just to get out on the trails and enjoy them. Whatever your plans and goals celebrate you can get out there, it's a privilege denied to many, even if you're held back for a bit with an frustrating injury, head up and look forward, dreams don't have a sell by date.

Rory Coleman - Ultra Running Coach and 13 time MdS Finisher

  • As the original 'New Year's Resolution Person', I made some promises back in 1994 that I still maintain today some 8000+ days later. Running really did save my life and Running Ultras has provided me with a million life moments to cherish. Become the person you really want to be in 2016 and make some life promises today... And KEEP THEM!

Ian Corless – Photographer, journalist, blogger and coach

  • Make sure you are happy and that you do something that you enjoy each and every day. Try to make each year better than the last one and ultimately embrace every moment, seize the opportunities and live life to the full. It's in your hands. Happy 2016.

Samir Akhdar – Ultra runner, placed fourth in the MdS this year, Moroccan rising star

  • Most of us suffer from a lack of motivation during our training, for all sorts of reasons: work, the weather, time… But all of us share the joy of running and the discipline it brings. To keep our motivation for training high,
  • It is important to set goals so you start training for seriously. Book up for a race in a country that interests you, set your goals for the race and start training. It is that simple!
  • Take responsibility. Truly, only you know your body, and you know where your strengths and weaknesses are. Start working on your weaknesses. Look at drills, stretching, strength and speed work, also consider cross-training, I find my mountain bike really useful. You are the owner of your body and your mind, so you have to harness them, and motivate them to summit your personal Everest.

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