Motivation vs Discipline

Hi Everyone!


First up, huge congrats to those who ran the TrackSmith 5K on Thursday eve – amidst a huge thunderstorm! We had Karen, Brianna, Jordan (PB!) and Kai Tai. It’s not easy doing something new and way out of your comfort zone – an evening track race – and this crew all gulped, closed their eyes and jumped. Way to go.


The other day I was listening to a podcast with a top professional business coach. The interviewer asked about discipline, and the coach replied that the top performers are there not because they are disciplined, but because they’re motivated. Top performers don’t have to convince themselves to get out of bed early to get to work. And the difference between them and their colleagues who aren’t at their level is usually just a matter of motivation and engagement with their goal or purpose. That’s not to say they aren’t disciplined. Discipline gets them through slumps or lower energy phases. But they don’t rely on discipline.


My brother in law said to me the other night that I must be super disciplined, based on how much he sees me run. I looked up from my glass of wine and bowl of ice cream and said – I’m not really that disciplined to be honest. I can be disciplined when I put my mind to it, but that’s not what has kept me running and challenging myself physically for over 30 years. That has been more of a pull. A carrot vs the stick. I think for most of us in this group, that is the case. We are runners because we love it. We run when we’re on vacation, we run when we’re not “training”, we run maybe when we shouldn’t always be. This is not to say it’s always easy. And when we’re reaching for new levels of fitness, we do question our motivation and have to draw a little more on discipline. But what I have found, is that if you push through the harder stages and use some discipline to smooth over the gap, the motivation quickly follows and falls back into it’s guiding place. When I have a big training block ahead I can become a little intimidated and nervous and maybe tentative, but once I get myself going and am in the middle of it, I find it’s the desire and drive that take over. I think many of us are in that stage right now, looking at what’s ahead and thinking: “Yikes, this will be hard”. But just get started. Trust that you’ll get into it and it won’t be so hard once you’re in it. Remember, you love this.


On to tomorrow’s workout: back to Riverdale Hills! Let’s do the old standard which I seem to have missed the last couple of times: 3 x hill followed by 4 min tempo. Repeat 3 x’s. (2 if you’re just coming back or feeling sore or tired). 1:30 between hills and tempos on each side.


I’ll aim to be there for 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO!


See you in the am 