Internet comic The Oatmeal has a great series of comics on his motivation to run–and not just run, but run ridiculous, ultra-marathon distances. According to him, the inspiration to run comes from a desire to beat The Blerch.
You know The Blerch. Basically, it’s the self-indulgent saboteur inside us all who keeps urging us to do things the easy way, avoid pain, and partake in immediate pleasures. Running is a way to extend a big ol’ middle finger to that saboteur. That can feel incredibly motivating. And it’s a good thing, because as The Oatmeal points out, running doesn’t always have the other positive benefits you might hope for. Continue reading Running motivation: Beating the Blerch
I think a lot about motivational design in the context of my own health behaviors, and probably never more than when I just trained for and ran my very first marathon. Although it can be dangerous to take a case study too seriously (as I learned from one of my mentors at the University of Michigan, Chris Peterson), since any one person is unique, there’s definitely value in using case studies to think about how principles might work out in real life.
The self-determination theory of motivation says that people are motivated when their underlying needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are met. I saw all three of these play out in my training, but in a quirky way that fits my personality. Continue reading I ran a marathon!