Staying motivated is something I am asked about regularly. Because I train by myself usually, I often find it diffiicult to push myself with a watch. I have never been one to like fancy gadgets such as GPS or heart rate monitors as I feel that they detract from the enjoyment of running, especially on the trail when I am often running at 8 minute or 9 minute kms. If I have a watch on I am always looking at it and it is annoying!
In all of my PB's I have never worn a watch. Quite ironic really. Though I will wear a watch if I do not know that terrain. I train a lot by how I feel and am a fan of high volume training. I am not running high volume all of the time albeit I find that it works. My favourite training is multi day training where I will run on tired legs. I do not race multi day events though I have done a few on my own now. Hill reps and speed work also keep me motivated and are a great work out.. I wouldn't do speed stuff in the endurance building phase of my training. Recently due to injury I have been doing very low mileage and so I need to increase this endurance. Because I have done it before I know I can again.
The most important thing to me is having fun and a sense of goal or purpose in the training.. With inner confidence comes positivity and an unshakable self belief. You need that in training because it gives you the ability to bounce back from adversity or races where you have not done so well.
Seeing how others are doing keeps me motivated. As ultra running becomes more popular I think many marathon or shorter distance runners will have a go and so knowing the new people are coming through keeps me motivated to do more speed. The standard is high in NZ, Aussie and internationally and that is so great to see. If I am in the middle of a training run and do not feel motivated I think why I am doing it and yes having fun and enoying my passion is the first thing, though I run to compete so knowing that if I am not hitting goals in training I won't be hitting them in a race. Unfortunately due to injury this hasn't been a good year for me so far, though I am determined not to give up.
Tips to keep up motivation:
Train by yourself? Have a run once a week with others such as a group speed session. Join a group or start one up yourself.
Don't forget about cross training - it can be a change from running
Set a long term goal for a race.
Write a training plan and try to stick to it. I find if I write my plan out I usually stick to it.