Some people would say I am extremely dedicated to running to be able to fit in as many miles a week as I do. But when I share my secret to success with friends and co workers they all give me the look as if a light bulb has gone off in their head. Are you ready for it? Do you think you can handle the secrets of a distance runner?
Make. A. Plan. Oh and then the important part. Write. It. Down.
IPods and pretty pink watches are great motivational tools but nothing beats the old fashioned paper and pencil. Plan ahead with your training schedule and hold yourself to it!
Of course it is true that I am dedicated, I couldn't make it work otherwise. But I also look at it like a requirement. If I want to run long distances, I have to put in the work required to get there. It's not an option, it's not extra credit, it's what has to be done so I do it. And in order to do it write I have a training calendar that helps me get there. I put it on the wall right in front of me at work so I have to look at it all day every day. I plan how many miles I need to run each week to be ready for whatever race or challenge I am working on. I write major events, work deadlines, sometimes even the weather. Anything that might interfere with my training has to go onto that calendar. And then you have to learn to plan around it.
Training days have to be treated, for the most part, as non negotiable. There are always days that I don't really WANT to hit the treadmill or head outside. I would much rather settle down on the couch with a glass of Pinot Grigio and a bowl of popcorn to watch trashy reality TV some nights than go through the pain of the workout. But I know I won't get where I want to go unless I put in the work. There are no short cuts to any place worth going my friend.
The best motivator is knowing that if for some reason I don't get to do my planned workouts, I have to erase them from the calendar and write down a lower mileage for the week. It may be only a personal disappointment but for me it's like admitting to myself that I have failed. It never puts me in a good mood and It always makes me work harder the next week. Kind of like a chore chart that you had when you were a kid? Except backwards.
I know what you're thinking, if I am not motivated to work out how can I be motived to plan working out? Well think about it this way, you can make your plan while you are still on the couch. But once you write it all down it will be hard to look at with out feeling guilty for skipping out on things you have committed yourself to. Don't forget to hang it up somewhere that you are constantly looking at. Hopefully it's the extra little extra push that gets you to commit to more workouts and see more results!
It's easy to skip essential moves like abs or slack on your workout towards the end.
Writing it all down helps remind you what you need to do!