A common misconception among runners (and other athletes) is that because they don’t feel like working out, they must not be motivated. For some this may be true, but for most there’s another issue that should be addressed. If you’re even thinking about working out, you clearly have some motivational drive – even if it’s just to keep your PT happy. So what else could be holding you back? Why is it so dang hard to get out of bed each morning to tackle your workout?
How about your energy levels?
As you know, I love talking food. And why not, it determines how we function as humans (and athletes). And the food you’re eating could be negatively impacting the energy stores in which you rely to keep you going.
Often times I see endurance athletes (on social media) complaining about not wanting to get out of bed. They’ll often plead, “I just need someone to motivate me.” Now, I know that these particular runners run 50-80 miles a week on average. Why would they think they need motivation? Oh wait… these are the same athletes that claim to eat entire pepperoni pizzas in one sitting. Or, they’re the runners who share those awkward bar pics on Friday and Saturday nights.
What appears to be happening is the word “Motivation” is being used synonymously with “I’m completely irresponsible with my health and therefore my energy is lacking.” Now don’t get me wrong, if you enjoy a nice brew from time-to-time, that’s perfectly fine. And if you enjoy highly saturated animal meats, that’s your deal. I just want to clarify what the underlying issue really is.If you continually feed your body toxins, highly processed foods, acid-forming animal proteins, and saturated fats, you’re NOT going to feel good. But, provide your body with healthy, plant-based, cholesterol-free, whole foods, and your energy stores may surge to their highest levels ever.
Yes, runners can find whole plant-based foods to fuel their runs!One of the first things I noticed after switching to a plant-based (vegan) diet was that my energy skyrocketed. Some of this was due to the weight coming off and the fact that I no longer felt bloated from cheese and dairy. But eating raw fruits and vegetables (with the help of my Vitamix blender) gave entirely new meaning to the word energy. I even cut back on my consumption of coffee. I just didn’t need the caffeine boost like I once thought.The Bottom Line
I tell you all of this to say that making a few dietary changes can improve your energy from the inside out. And this energy may be all you’re really missing. Don’t blame lack of motivation for missing a workout here and there. Start your day off with healthy choices and your body will follow!
You're absolutely right Brandon, energy is often mistaken for motivation. I've found recently that I have the motivation (even if it's hard to hear the 4:30am alarm), but that my body is not able to keep up with my mind. I'm sure if I changed my diet I'd see vast improvements (I follow a paleo diet 70% of the time), but I'm also pretty happy with my weekend nights out and indulging in a few things that don't fit the ideal running diet. It's a tough balance. I do have a half marathon coming up at the beginning of May, so I will change a few things in the coming weeks to prepare and, you're right, my energy will probably improve greatly. Thanks for sharing and the reminder of the difference between the two!