(Part 2 or 2)
In Part 1 of our blog post yesterday, we discussed reasons why sometimes you lose your motivation to train and gave some possible solutions to get you out of those training doldrums. Today we finish up the post in Part 2.
Frustrated With Not Getting In the Training You Want
You are trying to train, but there really doesn’t seem like enough hours to get your workouts in. Maybe it’s because you’re traveling or working longer hours at work now. Maybe it’s due to your kids being sick. Maybe home life has been a bit of a mess and there are more pressing things to get to other than your training right now. Whatever the circumstance that is limiting your time to train, has put you in a complete and utter funk. You’re about to just throw in the towel and give up on your endurance dreams.
Solution: Yes, it’s frustrating when you want to train but can’t, but there are still some possible solutions. As you get this time management issue under control, why not compete in a shorter distance endurance race for the time being. While you wish to compete in a marathon in a few months, maybe training for a half or 10K makes more sense right now. Also, is it possible to get in a walk or run right after work or at lunch time at your job? Any way to wake up just 30 minutes earlier, so you can at least get some sort of run, swim or cycle in? And the same goes for the night – can you stay up a little later to squeeze in a 30-minute workout? Also, while time may not be your ally right now, try to do higher intensity workouts with the limited time you have – you’ll may be surprised what sort of fitness you can maintain by doing this. Or instead of sitting there and watching your kid’s soccer, football or baseball practice for 60-90 minutes, could you run around the field or head to a nearby park or gym and get some exercise at the same time?
What Will People Think of You If You Stop Competing?
Maybe your competitive endurance career has simply run its course. You have other responsibilities now that you would much rather focus on – family, work, travel, academics and other hobbies. But you are worried what your endurance friends and training mates may say if you no longer go to races – this is a big part of your social circle right now, and you are torn on what to do.
Solution: The finality of never racing again seems very ominous to you – so don’t make it so final. You can still go out for the occasional training run, ride and swim with your social circle (grab that beer with them after their weekly Thursday night group run), but maybe you just won’t push yourself as hard as you used to – and that may be quite liberating! As with your physical appearance (mentioned in yesterday’s post), good friends and training partners will understand your wanting or needing to train less to focus on other personal passions.
Slower Endurance Friends are Now Passing You
You’ve been out for a few months from training regularly and you find that a few of your slower friends (or who you once thought were slower) are killing you now in workouts. You are both mad and frustrated at yourself for losing so much of your fitness. You feel like you’re going backwards with your training and at this moment don’t have the desire to train hard to get back where you used to be, if you’re farther behind in your fitness than you initially thought.
Solution: You need to put your ego aside and just accept where you are now with your fitness. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing and if given enough time you can and will get back to your former endurance rock ‘n’ roll self! Let those friends who are now a bit faster than you be the first carrot you want to catch. Believe me, people who know you, realize that you can be faster, and they’ll be happy for you as you get your legs back.
You are More than a Runner, Triathlete or Cyclist
As I’ve said in a previous post, most of us aren’t professional endurance athletes. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong aspiring for lofty goals in your endurance sport, there is also nothing wrong ratcheting down your competitiveness and taking some of this undue pressure off yourself. Ultimately, one of the main reasons we as non-professional endurance athletes should be out there is to continue a healthy lifestyle that is both good for our body and mind. And while I know many of us identify ourselves as “runners”, “Ironmen”, “triathletes”, “cyclists”, “swimmers”, “marathoners”, etc. this is of course just a part of who we are. We are also: mothers, fathers, friends, mentors, uncles, siblings, aunts, cousins, coaches, activists, vegans, writers, teachers, grand parents, counselors, leaders, role models and hundreds of other possible labels, which can describe a part of ourselves.
Life gets in the way of our training all the time, and can even get us into the endurance training blues. But if you do love these endurance sports, than focus more on the process rather than the goal and you may find that your training rut doesn’t last for that long and your joy of these sports will continue to flourish.