How To Find Motivation, Inspiration and Enjoyment In Your Training

Have you ever found yourself really struggling to find the motivation to exercise? You know that moment when you know you should train, but you have 5 others things that are more urgent? Or perhaps you’ve allocated the time, but you aren’t clear on what you should do for your workout or really why you are doing it which is making it difficult for you to find the inspiration to get started. Or maybe the challenge has disappeared from your training, it doesn’t push you anymore and the motivation that used to bring is gone. 

Each of these experiences of exercise is common, often people start strong with a exercise routine, it’s new, exciting, there is a challenge and the potential for physical change is at its greatest at the beginning for a training routine, making any type of training purposeful. But what happens when that shiny ball gets dull? How do you maintain motivation and consistency in training for longer and more sustainable results? 

I noticed this for myself just the other day. My training goals and the nature of my training has changed significantly in the past month. Previously I have been training for a short distance triathlon or Ironman / Half Ironman events. I love them and I love the focus this brings to my training. For the next 6 months however, my focus is not on triathlons or Ironman and I noticed for the first time in a while that when it came time to train in my diary I felt lost, my motivation wasn’t as great and I could have more easily found others things to do. Thankfully I didn’t, I still trained because training is important to me but the shift in motivation was something different that reminded me of the gift that is training for a fitness event of some kind. 

This lack of focus is not a brand new feeling to me. I have experienced it before, before I discovered my love for triathlons and Ironman. Before training for these events, I had the common goals of lose weight and tone up but neither of these things were stopping me doing anything, I have never been a unhealthy level of overweight and toning up was more of a nice to have rather than had to have. So while these were goals and I did want to achieve them, they didn’t always provide me with the level of motivation that really saw me stretch myself. Plus I was often disheartened when one week I would weigh 1kg more than the previous week even though I hadn’t done anything different, the goal post always seemed to be moving. I see these experiences as a common dilemma for many people who have joined a gym. 

When I started training for Ironman though, everything changed. I had a focus for each and every training session, a purpose for getting up a little earlier to get on the bike, a reason to challenge myself and overcome my fear of deep water and swimming in general. I was excited by the idea of the big day and the rush of endorphins I would get when I crossed the finish line. I loved seeing my personal bests get broken month after month and the people that I met along the way both inspired me to do that bit better and made it fun along the way. I was getting healthier and fitter, more toned and losing weight all without consciously thinking about it, I was focused more being the best Ironman athlete I could be rather than the thinnest or most toned I could be and I loved getting rid of that body image focus. 

Training for an event has now become what we encourage all of our athletes to do. It doesn’t matter what the event is or what size, it’s gift is in giving you a purpose to your training, making it enjoyable, having a very clear outcome with defined goal posts, it creates structure for your training, gives you an opportunity to learn about yourself and your body and it gets you challenging yourself in ways you had never thought of. All of this makes for a sustainable and consistent training routine for everyone, regardless of your personality. 

So next time you notice you feel lost with your training, lacking inspiration or motivation and the thrill isn’t their anymore, think about training for an event. Make the commitment, take the leap and notice that how you think and feel about your training changes entirely. 

Sharon

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