5 ways to stay motivated through January and beyond
Written By: SportsShoes
It's the start of a new year, and for most of us the beginning of new fitness intentions, whether it's training towards your first 5K, a marathon PB, or maybe just to get little fitter and a little healthier. But, while it's easy to stay motivated in the first flush of enthusiasm, research shows that around half of us starting a new exercise regime this January, will drop it within the first month.
Here's how to stop the wheels falling off those training plans, and stay motivated through the year ahead.
- SET SOME RUNNING GOALS
- SCHEDULE YOUR TRAINING
- DON'T FORGET YOUR REST DAYS
- RUN WITH OTHERS
- TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
1. SET SOME RUNNING GOALS
It's easier to stay motivated with a goal in sight. So, whether your goal is to complete a Race for Life, tackle an ultra or lose half a stone, get your goal down on paper and mentally set in stone. Then set out how you're going to achieve it with a training plan, making sure to set small incremental goals along the way to help maintain focus. Remember - it's not only about the end result - how you get there is just as, if not more, important. Make sure to display your training plan prominently, whether it's on the fridge or on your desktop at work - small visual reminders will help to keep you focused when your motivation starts to dip.
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2. SCHEDULE YOUR TRAINING
We've all been there - Up at 6am every morning to train for the first couple of weeks of January, only to drop off as life commitments get in the way. Realistically consider how you'll be able to fit a gruelling training schedule into everyday life and plan accordingly. Anticipate key stress points and life events, and schedule in your training times at least a week ahead factoring these in. Scheduling your training means committing to it, and helps to avoid those times when you're "just too busy" to lace up your running shoes.
3. DON'T FORGET YOUR REST DAYS
Your rest days are an important part of your training plan - not only essential in promoting physical recovery, but also in giving you a mental break from training. Take your rest days and use them to spend time with family, see friends or catch up on outstanding tasks, so that you can train distraction-free for the rest of the week.
4. RUN WITH OTHERS
Socialising your training is a great way to help maintain focus and commitment. Arrange to train with friends (it looks bad to cancel!) or join a running club to meet like-minded people with similar goals and aspirations. Not only does this make training more enjoyable, but also helps to make you more accountable - if you don't show up you're not only letting yourself down, but your running buddies too.
5. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Sometimes a goal can seem so distant, that it's easy to become disheartened. Here's where having small, incremental goals comes in. It might be losing your first three pounds, hitting 10 miles in your long run, or knocking 5 seconds off your average pace' you may still have a long way to go, but these milestones help you to see your progress in real terms. Use a fitness tracker or download an app to help you track this progress accurately and look back at how far you've already come.
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