Training is actually really, really, hard and I can think of times I have struggled with having excuses in the past. The last few years, however, I have come up with some tips to help me stay committed to my goals:
1. SAFE ROUTES – While I love to explore, if I have a 2hr training run to do on a day I am waffling, exploring will be too WAY to easy for me to under commit and come up short. I will find an excuse to turn around early. Instead I choose a ‘safe route’. A route I have ran before that I know will guarantee me a 2hr run. I have safe routes for varying distances and times. These runs help you see your goal to the finish.
2. CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK – it’s speed training day and I am feeling unmotivated. What I really want to do is blow off my run and go home. Instead I compromise and make a new goal to just go ‘run’ without the pressure to suffer like I would with my speed work. I might choose a hilly route so I have the option to push some intensity if I get my 2nd wind. I aim to run the same duration my speed work was schedule for.
3. FOLLOW A PLAN – I follow a detailed training plan and write my runs in my agenda at the beginning of each week. This way it is visual and I will be more accountable when I know my training expectations and I treat the runs like appointments and this helps me follow through. Especially on a day where I work, coach, take my son to guitar and we don’t get home until 7pm. I tell myself throughout the day that it is going to be hard to get my butt going at 7pm so when I get home I don’t try to talk myself out of it.
4. TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME – this is kind of like racing for me. At the start of a 50k, I am not thinking about the finish line. I am breaking it down to the first aid station or 10km. Same with my training. If I am tired or unmotivated on Tuesday, I do my best with the run on that day and not worry about how I may or may not be feeling on subsequent runs that week. It helps to stay focused and present. I also sometimes use the 15min rule and if after the first 15min I still don’t feel great, then I turn back. Rarely do I end up turning back as I soon find my groove, connect with nature and am focused on my goal.