It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I thrive on routine and organization. I like schedules, knowing where I can fit things in, and structure. Most of my weeks look very similar work and fitness wise and I live by my paper planner to get me through the week. On the flip side when I don’t have anything scheduled or that urgently needs to get done I can relax, be lazy, and am happy to let someone else make plans and me follow. Life is all about balance 🙂
With the snow storm yesterday in Boston my schedule was thrown for a loop and with that comes my whole mindset. This combined with a show tonight, and wanting to be able to enjoy March Madness I have been in my head all week during my workouts. Yesterday I went out for an easy run and stopped after 4 miles having to run walk back to my house at a pace that was about 3 minutes slower then my normal pace. Then this morning I tried running on the treadmill for the first time in years and needed to get off 2 miles (how did I train for 2 marathons ONLY on treadmills at one point) before trying a pool workout and just not feeling it. While I know ups and downs are part of training I thought I’d share by favorite tips for getting your motivation back when it’s running low.
- Ask yourself what the f is actually going in your life – like I mentioned above getting out of routine, being incredibly stressed in both work and in life, and needing a vacation in the worst way can all explain why I haven’t been on my A game this week
- Buying some new songs on Itunes – Nothing makes me happier then a new playlist or podcast to look forward to. If you are running indoors you can also save your favorite TV shows to entertain yourself.
- Recruiting a friend – Even if the person is not at your fitness level having a friend who you know is going to be waiting for you will get you out of bed in the morning and hold you accountable. You also will be 10x less likely to stop if you are chatting about your weekend plans or that horror date that your friend went on the day before.
- Read online running blogs/quotes etc – The internet is full of inspiring people and you will also realize that everyone has those off days/weeks that they aren’t on top of their game. There have literally been mornings that I google “motivation for a long run” and you would be amazed at how many inspiring articles come up. I always tell myself “if they can do it so can I”.
- Rewards – While I know working out should be “fun and for your health” sometimes you need external motivation. Tell yourself if you finish all your workouts for the week that on Sunday you will treat yourself to a massage (my personal favorite). Maybe 2 workouts this week earns you a new running outfit next week for that 3rd workout 🙂 I often will schedule breakfast/lunch with someone after a workout so I know I have x amount of time to finish a workout and can’t slack off.
- Take a moment to watch kids or dogs play – This may sound silly and I am not encouraging you to start creeping around school playgrounds but the simple act of watching children play can be enough to realize that at the end of the day its suppose to be fun. Kids don’t come in from a playground saying “if only I went down the slide in 29 seconds instead of 30”, just like dogs don’t come in saying “man that was a HORRIBLE walk I just had I should never go for a walk again”.
- Try something new – While I admit this is a difficult one for me sometimes getting out of your comfort zone can spark that fire inside of you. It can also make you realize how much you love your previous exercise of choice and get you motivated to get back!
- Volunteer at a race – If you have never done it get on the internet right now and sign up to volunteer for a water stop at your local running club or for a race. It is so rewarding and inspiring to watch people pushing themselves in so many different ways. It will also give you a better perspective of how much volunteers actually do (My biggest lesson to my runners is to ALWAYS thank your volunteers and police who are working a race).
- Take a fitness vacation (or a real one) – If you truly feel burnt out and dreading your workouts maybe it’s time for a few days or a few weeks off. This will help your body recover and can also build your mental game. Be sure to pick a date to start back up again or this can get into a slippery slope. Sometimes you are not actually helping yourself by workout out you are only hurting yourself. And if you are lucky enough to take a real vacation DO IT (and maybe take your favorite social worker/blogger along.).
- Remember your why – See previous post 🙂
I can’t go back and re-do my workouts this week but I can learn from them and move on. Reflecting back I’ve realized that swimming and biking don’t allow me to zone out like running does and so these are both hard for me to do in the mornings when I am thinking about everything I need to get done for the day. I also need to find some friends to recruit for these activites. I also hate that indoors I have the opportunity to just stop what I am doing with no consequences (having to get back home). As always baby steps….
Have a great day! Tonight I am heading to opening night of The Finish Line Documentary and will be sure to report back tomorrow.