Whether you’re a complete newbie intimidated to take those first steps or you’ve recently taken a U-turn in your training, we’re here to help you get moving in the right direction with the Four Powerful P’s to Get You Motivated: Pick a Goal, Plan the Workouts, Purpose for Doing It, and Persist Until Success.
Pick a Goal
Pick a goal that scares you a little. If you’re a complete beginner, start with a realistic distance and increase it by no more than 10% each week.
Patrick: I used telephone poles when I was getting started, and whenever I wanted to quit I just told myself to make it to ‘one more pole.’ OK… I won’t lie, I STILL use that today on my longer runs!
Signing up for a race is great motivation – telling the world about it is even better. Pick an event that is 3-6 months out and consider it your ‘A’ race, make sure you announce it to your friends and family so they can offer valuable encouragement. Along the way, you can do smaller ‘B’ races that aren’t as challenging but will offer you a means to test your progress and stay motivated with these mini-achievements.
Plan the Workouts
If you can achieve your goal without following a plan, it probably means that your goal isn’t big enough. A proper plan will ensure that come race day, your body will be properly adapted to the stress you’re about to place on it. After you make the plan, be sure that you write down each workout on a calendar and check them it after you do them. Looking back at your completed workouts will remind you how far you’ve come and give you more incentive to get out there for the next one. Here is an example of one of our training calendars.
What are you doing this for? It may be to improve the way you look and feel. It may be to raise funds for a charity, a sick loved one, or to save all of the poor puppies in your local shelter. Whatever it is, make sure you constantly remind yourself by placing an inspiring picture of it on the wall so that it’s the first thing you see when you wake up. When you’re on the last mile of your workout and you want to quit – bring that picture to mind to keep you motivated.
Place reminders where you know you’ll see them and move them around to keep this mental stimuli fresh – do it before your brain starts to ignore them. We use yellow stickies on our bathroom mirror, pictures on our screensaver, we even write things on our rear view mirror in the car with dry erase markers. Get creative and have fun with it!
On the days you wake up and don’t feel like getting out of your warm bed to get your miles in, turn on the light and stare at the picture on your wall, look at the checkmarks on your training calendar …. Think about your purpose and how far you’ve already come – and GET UP!
Julia: A little trick I play on my mind is to tell myself that I’ll just get my workout stuff on and then I’ll see how I feel. Once I’m dressed, I always say ‘what the hell, I’m already dressed – let’s go do it..’
Do your workouts in the morning so your daily life doesn’t knock you off your schedule. Not a morning person? Place a shot of coffee on your nightstand and down it as soon as your alarm goes off. Don’t like cold coffee? Pick your caffeinated beverage of choice.
A great way to ensure you persist is to enlist your friends and family for support. Tell them about your progress and how many miles you put in that day on Facebook. Some runners keep a running blog and write in detail about all their runs. If you’re into apps, look at myFitnessPal, where you can post and keep track of your workouts, calories burned, and weight loss – you can also share your achievements to other friends on MyFitnessPal.
That’s all for this week’s post on keeping motivated! Please comment on this post if you have any questions or need more training plan samples. We’re happy to help!!
Keep on Running!
Julia, Patrick & Jo-Jo
Our Running Store & Triathlon Shop: