New Motivation Technique

Sometimes you need to get creative with how to motivated yourself to workout. Lately I feel like I have been just kind of floating along without a plan. I have races on the calendar, but I haven’t been really focused in my race training or workouts in general. That changed this week! I have been trying to lift heavier weights and have been feeling like a bit of a slacker lately, so I needed to kick things up a notch. My goals were:

  • Create a consistent weight training plan
  • Build strength and lift heavier weights
  • Increase the amount of cardio I am doing
  • Stay motivated
Rather than set myself up for failure with a strict plan, I wanted to create something that was goal-oriented and created positive-reinforcement for myself. I decided to set separate goals for strength and cardio – a weekly goal for total cardio minutes and strength days. Then I fill in the blanks.  Knowing I have a small goal to hit each week keeps me motivated.

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This week I set a goal of 300 minutes of cardio and 3 days of strength training. I kind of pulled the 300 minutes out of thin air, but roughly based it on the number of minutes I would most likely spend on my planned training runs and then added more. These minutes do not have to be at a specific intensity and can include everything from interval runs to leisurely walks with the dog. I will be able to adjust each week’s goals based on my schedule and how previous weeks go.

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So far this week I have completed all three of my strength workouts and 163 minutes (hey, every minute counts) of cardio. It is Thursday and I have an 8 miler planned for tomorrow (roughly 80 minutes) which will leave me with ~ 60 “fun” minutes for the weekend. I have a feeling I will surpass my goal for this week.

The reason this works well for me is simply that it gets me out the door. Yesterday I worked from 6AM straight through the entire day, only getting off my butt to walk from my desk, to the kitchen, to the bathroom, back to my desk. Normally I would have skipped my speedwork, but I knew I wanted to tack on those 30-something minutes to my weekly total so I wouldn’t be cutting it close come the weekend.

So I laced up and hit the road for speed intervals and wound up covering 3.1 miles! It felt so great after sitting around all day and I was proud of working towards my goal.

For strength training – I have enlisted the help of my very own personal trainer – Aaron. We did two workouts together this week and he encourages my to try new strength moves and to add heavier weight that normally would scare me. I feel so strong after our workouts and can already feel the difference lifting heavier weights makes. 15 lb dumbbells feel so light now! I can’t weight to see more progress!

How do you stay motivated?

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