We are all aware of the perks of running; less stress, better heart health and even an easier time slipping into your jeans. But even the most disciplined person can find themselves requiring extra motivation. One of my favorite quotes states, "Once you've succeeded at a challenge, you need new ways to test your limits”.
We all have goals and dreams but it can be difficult to stick with them. Every week I hear people say that they start with good intentions but they can’t seem to maintain their consistency for a long period of time. The other one I hear all the time is that they struggle with mental endurance. Clients often get started at something but then they can’t seem to follow through or stay focused for very long. Don’t worry, I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. The result of this is people often end up disheartened when they lose focus or motivation because they think that successful people have some unstoppable passion and willpower that they seem to be missing. Now here is the reality.
Successful people feel the same boredom and the same lack of motivation that everyone else feels. They don’t have some magic pill that makes them feel ready and inspired every day. The difference is that the people who stick with their goals don’t let their emotions determine their actions. Top performers still find a way to show up, to work through the boredom and to embrace the daily practice that is required to achieve their goals.
It's this ability to do the work when it’s not easy that separates the top performers from everyone else. Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated however the defining question is can you continue to work out when you are bored? What about when the work out isn’t easy? What about when it feels like nobody is paying attention or you’re not getting the results you want? It’s the ability to work when work isn’t easy that makes the difference.
So with this is mind, here are a few tips that can help:
Finish runs feeling strong and happy, not worn-out. It'll keep you coming back for more and help you reduce injury risk.
Find your sweet spot
Write down your workouts, then color-code how they made you feel: yellow for amazing, orange for just OK and red for exhausted and flat. It's a visual way of seeing how your body responds and will help you pick up patterns. For example, if you're always orange or red around the end of the week, that's a sign that you should be doing lighter workouts on those days.
Use a foam roller three times a week to improve flexibility—it helps reduce injury better than static stretching. If you are not sure how to use one, come and see me at the Dolphins Health Precinct.
In order to get stronger your body needs time to rebuild. Mix easy days with tough training days and avoid pushing when your body needs a break.
The Mental Game
Confidence springs from putting in the physical work of hard, smart training between races. On race day, even a well-trained runner can sabotage his/her effort with negative or unproductive thoughts. The bottom line is to believe in what you’ve done to get to the start line, focus on what is possible, and use both your physical and mental strengths to produce the best outcome on the day.
Keep up with your training. The Jetty to Jetty is only 4 weeks away however our health is a lifetime assignment so make sure you enjoy doing what you do. Keep it up guys and I will see you on the running path.
Personal Trainer & Marathon Runner
Dolphins Health Precinct