Thursday, 17 October 2013

Getting back on track

Thanks to Fiona Haywood, one of Marcus's PT's, for the following thoughts:

"A lot of us train with a specific goal in mind. It’s what gets us in the gym and pushing our workout just that little bit further. It could be a specific challenge like Tough Mudder, or a personal best, or for me it was fitting into that all-important little white dress on the big day.  But what do you do AFTER that big day? When all your motivation disappears overnight? How do you keep that motivation to get up in the dark for a pre-work workout, or pass down the oh-so tempting trip to the pub in favour of a punishing PT session?

There is a lot of support out there to get you to your goal, but not much about how to get back on track afterwards. How to make sure all that hard work wasn’t in vain? I found it a huge struggle to find my motivation to get back on track with training after my goal - all that training and focus disappeared. How was I supposed to get it back? 

(1) Yes, you can relax... 
Its OK to take a step back and appreciate how far you have come, celebrate your success and if you like, give yourself a day or two off to recuperate and recharge...but don’t let that exception become the norm.  Before you know it, one day off becomes two days, becomes a week, becomes a month and suddenly your workout kit has made it into that drawer of clothes you never touch, and your waistline is ever increasing. You have become that person who ‘used to be fit’. The solution to this? Drag yourself back in to just one training session! If you trained 7 days a week before, get back there for 3 days, and build yourself back to previous levels. It will hurt, it will make you curse every session you missed, every chocolate bar you ate, but it WILL be worth it!

(2) Re-focus your goals
This is the big one. Ok, so maybe you don’t have one ‘big’ goal to aim for anymore, but that doesn’t mean your training shouldn’t have focus. Either sign yourself up for a big challenge in the future if you need to, or set yourself some smaller short term goals.  For me, this went from “the dress will zip up, it will zip up!” to:
  • I will train 6 days per week, and give it everything I have at each session
  • I will look after my body and my mind by eating healthily and congratulating myself when I have accomplished something
  • I want to have a strong flexible body that can achieve my goals

(3) Mix it up a bit

Has your workout routine become stale? I was so focussed on a big goal that someone could have told me to do the same workout every day and I would have ploughed on regardless if it had guaranteed success! But that can only work for so long, so make sure you are giving yourself new challenges and mixing up your workout to make sure your mind is still challenged, along with your body. Rediscover sports you used to play, take up a new one, or make it a goal to run a different route each week.  It will keep it fun and interesting and you are less likely to give your workout a miss." 

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