So you have chosen a goal, weighed the sacrifices, and come up with an ambitious plan to conquer your goal. Now you are probably thinking, “How in the hell am I going to keep going?” Well, that is a very good question and at some point in your training it will have to be answered.
Let’s be honest. If this goal were easy, you would have already done it and wouldn’t be reading this stupid blog. There are days when you will not want to do the training. There are days when you will be so tired that curling up on the couch with a 6-pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and a glass of milk seems like the most logical option. There are days when you will want to give up. So plan for these days and have a way to deal with them.
Motivation is a very personal thing. What works for one person may not get me to glance up mid bite from my Reese’s. On the other hand, something that dumps a gallon of adrenaline in my system during a hard workout may not raise your heart rate one beat per minute. So you must find what works for you.
In the past, there have been several things that always work for me. In no particular order of success:
- Tell Everyone You Know – Your friends, family, coworkers, etc. can become a huge source of motivation if they know what you are trying to achieve and how much it means to you. When they ask how training is going it holds you accountable to making progress. Or you could learn to lie a lot (not recommended.)
- Tell The Rest Of The World – In case you haven’t noticed, I have a blog (Pssst. You are reading it.) Whenever I decide to do something extremely stupid……..I mean whenever I decided to accept a noble challenge, the order of notifications is similar to this: Christine (my wife), Lara & Mason (my kids), the world. Everyone who knows me already knows I am usually up to no good, so they can read about it here. And knowing that people are monitoring my progress keeps me on my toes (or feet or hands and knees or curled up in a fetal position.)
- Join a Charity Team – In the past, I have raised money through the Janus Charity Challenge for my Ironman Triathlons and been on a team with the St. Jude Heroes and the St. Jude Marathon. I believe that at most major races there is some access to a charity or fundraising site. Undertaking a huge athletic endeavor while raising money for someone else takes the event to another level. It is built in motivation because you are doing something for yourself and for others.
- Help Someone You Know – You don’t have to sign up for a huge marathon with 5,000 charity fundraisers for it to be effective. Raising money for someone you know with an illness or need can cause you to dig even deeper because it is personal. I am always inspired by the sole efforts of one man or woman biking or swimming or running billions of miles in honor of a loved one or for a personal cause. They do not have to look very far for motivation (see here =====> Run for WWP)
- Look In The Mirror – There are many, many, many days when I look in the mirror and some asshole is looking back at me. He doesn’t care if I am tired. He doesn’t care if I am hurting. He doesn’t care if I would rather go lay on the couch and watch cartoons. He doesn’t care about any of my excuses. So before I skip a workout, I always go have a chat with that guy to get his opinion. By the way, he has never told me to take the day off.
As I said, motivation is personal. You may not need it every day, but you will need it one day. It is much better to have a stockpile just in case.