Ten Tips on Motivation
Author: Bill Driskill
Last updated: March 01, 2013 14:11
Staying true to your training plan is hard. Getting out of bed to swim, bike or run; especially in the dark, wet, and cold, is difficult. With consistency of training being one of the most important ingredients necessary to successfully achieve your goals it is very important to start and finish the workouts in your training plan. The workouts that ultimately will help you the most in your training are the ones you would have missed – if you had not been motivated to start and finish them. The difficult workouts always make the most difference.
With over 25 years of racing triathlons and 20 years coaching triathletes I have had to finish a lot of difficult workouts, and some easy workouts that were just difficult to start. Here are my Ten Tips on Motivation that have helped me over the years to get my workouts done in hard times.
1. Make appointments for your workouts. When people say they don’t have time for their workouts, I say make time for your workouts by scheduling appointments for them. Just like you would any other important appointment like the dentist or doctor, having it written down in your planner or daybook will keep you more accountable. Be flexible, but firm with yourself once you make the appointment.
2. Find a training partner. If you can do your tough workouts like key over distance and intensity workouts with someone training for the same event it will provide motivation and companionship that can make workouts easier and more fun. Joining a local Tri Club in your area is a great way to meet some new training and workout partners.
3. Get your spouse involved. IRONMAN Hall of Famer Dave Scott credits the support of his wife as one of the key reasons for his success in the sport of Triathlon. Having your husband or wife involved with your workouts; whether joining you or supporting you, will make your life easier and your training more successful. Find ways to include your spouse in as many aspects of your training and racing as possible.
4. Keep a training log. Keeping track of your workouts and the details of them will help you plan your training and analyze your performance. You will be able to spot trends in your performance and make adjustments to your training. This valuable information also provides a note of self-satisfaction and pride when you get to record each of your workouts. There are online as well as written logs available.
5. Reward yourself for success.Develop a reward system to congratulate your self on the ‘tougher’ workouts that you complete, and buy yourself the needed workout gear and apparel that you will need for your training and racing. Set goals in order to ‘earn’ a new bike or wetsuit. Earning new equipment by completing your training goals can be very motivating.
6. Visualize your success. Think of every workout as a deposit in your ‘fitness account’ – one that builds upon the previous workouts and adds up steadily to increase your endurance, strength, and stamina. It is important to have a positive mental attitude when faced with difficult workout days. Using personal Moti-Quotes can help. Develop a short powerful positive statement that you can call your own.
7. Put your workout clothes on. The simple act of getting dressed for your workout: putting on run or bike shorts and gathering your gear, can provide the powerful impetus needed to get out the door and started on your workout. If you are having a tough time getting motivated for your workout, try getting dressed for the part and see if it helps. Continue the motion of prepping for your workout and preparing your fuels and soon enough you will be out the door.
8. Use some caffeine. Sometimes that little extra kick – like from a double espresso or a RedBull, can provide the needed incentive and enthusiasm necessary to kick-start your workout. Caffeine is a powerful ergogenic aid, and when used in moderate doses can provide performance enhancement such as prolonged stamina and endurance. While debating whether to workout or not have a caffeinated beverage, and put your workout clothes on.
9. Listen to your body. Sometimes you real reason you don’t feel like working out is because your body is fatigued. One of my Moti-quotes is: To be at your best your – your body needs rest. Listen to your body and if you are truly fatigued and tired then give your body rest. It is better to rest and fuel than to overtrain and risk injury.
10. Have fun. The most important reason to workout is because you enjoy doing it. If your workouts are not fun try changing your location, getting some new workout partners, doing a workout with your spouse, or introducing some new training techniques. I think an important element to having fun while training is feeling productive about what you are doing. Make sure to have a clearly defined goal and a well developed training plan; these will keep your workouts focused and fun, and fun workouts are much easier to start and finish.
If you have other motivational techniques that help you to get started on difficult workout days and that provide you with the motivation to finish those tough workouts – send them to Bill@totalbodyfitness.com and you can be featured in an upcoming article on Total Body Fitness.
Bill Driskill is the Founder of Total Body Fitness - Multisport Racing, Training and Travel and has the World's Toughest Triathlon, Laguna Phuket Triathlon, Wildflower Long Course, and IRONMAN Canada among his many Triathlon finshes and the Boston, Bangkok, Paris and Big Sur Marathon among his many Marathon finishes. Bill is currently training for the Land Between the Lakes 60K Trail Run in March.