And while this is true, the motivation level of even the most dedicated athletes can sometimes wane. This is most often seen following the most important race or event of their season. The athlete focuses on this goal for a long time, working steadily toward it and attempting to peak just in time so their body and mind are sharp, fresh, and ready for their best performance of the season.
This long preparation takes a toll, both mentally and physically. And when the event ends and they come down from their post-race “high,” a lack of focus and motivation often arise. While this is a natural part of the training cycle, it’s still important to notice it and take action right away.
If your motivation lags, for whatever reason, you can follow these 5 steps to get you back on track:
- Decide on your most important long-term goal (within the next 1 year), then REGISTER for it!
The simple act of signing your name on the registration form (and paying for it) gives you an immediate sense of purpose, and your focus is clear. Time has a way of slipping away from us, and having the clear and well-defined target gives us that nudge to get started.
- Do what you love! And conversely, don’t do what you hate!
If you like to run, register for a running race. One that gets you motivated. Maybe it’s a race where you have run well in the past. A little positive reinforcement goes a long way! Or maybe it’s a race in an exotic or otherwise cool location. There are cycling events, running races, and triathlons in every corner of the world. There’s nothing like building a trip around a race to get you motivated!
- Set aside time to train, and get agreement from your family.
Your family must support your goals, pure and simple. The best way to gain their support is to discuss the amount of time you’d like to dedicate to your training, and be sure to break this down for each day of the week.
- Find a training partner (or several training partners).
We’ve all experienced the extra motivation and accountability a training partner provides. Just knowing that our partner is waiting for us at the gym, the track, or the pool often provides that extra bit of incentive to get us out of bed and to our workout. In addition, we typically work harder when we train with a compatible training partner.
- And finally, HAVE FUN and enjoy the process.
It’s fun to have a goal. It’s fun to participate in activity we enjoy. It’s great to enlist the support of our family and to train with people we like to be with. Every day we’re able to train, to sweat and to move our bodies is a blessing. Enjoy it!
We all know the benefits of regular exercise. However, life has a way of making it a challenge. And if we’re not motivated and if we don’t schedule exercise as a regular part of our day, our training time will get eaten up by other less useful activities, many of which are pure time wasters.
If you feel that training isn’t fun or if you’re just not that motivated to train, review these 5 easy steps and you’ll be right back at it. So keep up the good work as you train hard, train often, and have fun!!
Photo credit: darkmatter