What with all the early season races now out of the way, particularly those which were used in the run-up to marathons like London, Brighton, Manchester, Edinburgh or Bungay, it can be hard for the road runner to find motivation at this time of year.
I have always called this period Pimms and Lemonade months when perhaps people’s thoughts start to turn towards holidays, watching a bit of cricket, Wimbledon, or of course this year’s World Athletics Championships in London.
However, there is still plenty of running and racing to do especially with the autumn round of half and full marathons just a few weeks away.
Now whilst it can be hard going when it is so warm or indeed even stifling as it has been these last few days you perhaps just need that little bit of extra motivation to get going.
I was asked very recently in Sportlink by a well-known running couple, Simon and Deborah English, after they had both won their races earlier that morning as to how did I always keep my enthusiasm towards running 100 plus miles every single week of the year.
Needless to say my answer was that I wasn’t always motivated to get out and run 20 miles or more every day irrespective of the time of year, but what I did do was have a collection of brilliant videos which documented the lives of Sebastian Coe (Born to Run) along with Steve Ovett and Steve Cram which were all featured at one time or another during the 1980s.
I told them to go check them out with a lot of other great stuff which you can now see on Youtube and if that doesn’t inspire you to run, then I don’t know what will.
Later that evening I received an email from Simon saying: “Just watched it – awesome!”
On Monday night I decided to do a treadmill session for which I put Youtube on the display and whilst going through some of the great classics, my real attention was tuned in to two races which both have to be considered amongst some of the best finishes ever to big time races.
The Boston Marathon 1982 between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley and The Great North Run 2013 between Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah.
Even for an old plodder like me, I could feel my energy levels rise whilst the hairs stood up on the back of my neck (none on my head) whereby my stride and pace increased with absolute ease.
Most amazingly I also noticed that my heart rate dropped by several beats as I cruised along watching these athletes at the very top of their game and all with two things in common…talent for one, but secondly the motivation to give absolutely 100pc when required.
Awesome and out of this world are most definitely the best words to describe athletes of this calibre, but I wonder if they ever had to go looking for inspiration?