Carrot and stick, part deux

I just didn’t feel like running last night.

A burrito bol fueled my run last night.

Steve and I have both been fighting off a weird “maybe it’s a cold, maybe it’s not” throat-scratchiness, and running into the chilly darkness just didn’t seem appealing.

Then, we got an e-mail from our group-run organizer announcing we’d be going to Chipotle after the run. Chipotle changes everything.

We could have skipped the run and gone to Chipotle ourselves, but it wouldn’t have seemed right. So we headed out, more excited for the food than the run.

Of course, we had a great time once we got out there. It was a hilly route, but my pace group held a solid 8:10 pace for the 5.26-mile out-and-back — possibly fueled by the promise of yummy food after (plus, sports nutritionists say you can count on a 10-percent increase in calories burned for each degree of incline. This means running on a 10-percent incline actually doubles your calorie-burn, meaning I more than earned my veggie burrito bol).

This made me wonder why I don’t dangle carrots like these to incentivize workouts more often. My new goal, in line with my new run-happy philosophy, is to promise myself something for every workout. A month ago, I wrote about some running toys I’ve got my eye on. These are fine and good for long-term goals, but I need some rewards for micro-goals: a nice bath, an hour with a book, or some other cheap, sustainable carrot I can dangle in front of my eyes on a daily basis. I can think of lots of food-related rewards, but it would be nice to mix that up a little.

How do you reward yourself for hard workouts?


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5 responses to “Carrot and stick, part deux

  1. Amy, you have an excellent point. Too often we don’t recognize the little accomplishments in our lives and we think that only the “big ones” matter. But an hour with a book is a luxury, and one that will surely make us happier in undefinable ways. I think we all need more “incentives” like this in our lives. Thank you! And, I hope your Chipotle was excellent! 🙂

  2. I schedule a massage every 6 weeks. It’s a nice little reward, but it’s also justified as I believe it helps keep me injury-free.
    My workouts are an instant stress-soother and self-esteem booster. That in itself is my main reward.

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  4. Coffee…I’m only allowed one cup a day.

  5. hmmm….my reward from working is running-since work seems to occupy most of my time…is that silly?

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