Staying Motivated.......How I Do It.

Staying Motivated.......How I Do It.

Staying motivated seems to be an issue for a lot of people and that includes me.  I am a self motivated person and pursue my goals with a reckless abandon but there are days when going to the pool, or running the same route or getting on the trainer are the absolute last things I want to do.  Sometimes making a huge brunch, reading the newspaper (yes I still do that.......I work for DMNmedia and The Dallas Morning News), and watching Remember The Titans are the only things I want to do. When those days come I try to think about why I am doing the things I do and why I have a schedule setup.  How are these training sessions going to get me to my goal(s)?  Why did I set up these days the way I did?  I try to avoid the thoughts of whether or not that session can be pushed off because once I start doing that the slope gets steep to skipping it all and staying motivated gets harder and harder. Some of the hardest moments at staying motivated, for me, are a week or so after that 'A' race.  It is in those moments when I think that I still need the recovery or the training plan can be pushed back for a week but then I realize that if I am going to reach that next goal at that next 'A' race then I better get going on the training.  There are a few different things I use when I need that push to get started or to keep going which are listed below.

Staying Motivated And How I Do It With These Items

  • Strava - A lot of you may already know about Strava but if you do not click that link.  It is a 'social' platform for athletes to log their workouts and races.

For me, Strava is a great way to see what my friends and training partners are doing on a daily basis.  When I see that one person went swimming or riding or running I look at my schedule and think to myself:  Well if XXXXX did it then so can I and that gets me going.  It also works in the reverse where I think that my post on Strava may help one of my buddies to get up and get after it.

In addition to seeing how/what your friends are doing it also provides for segment performance metrics.  Strava will tell you if you are getting faster at a certain route that you have done more than once.  It will also let you know where you rank in comparison to other Strava users for particular segments.  Yes, you can get carried away with chasing KOM/QOM on these segments but if you stay disciplined and follow your plan there will always be time to chase those segment championships.

  • Recovery Days / Weeks And Taper - There are people who despise the recovery/rest day or weeks but  they are my carrot to working hard.  I know during ultra trail training that Mondays are an off day from running and I look forward to that day as the miles pile up from Thursday through Sunday.

There are also those weeks, either during the off-season or between 'A' races, that having an unstructured schedule are beneficial.  It is an opportunity to get away from the sports in a fashion that will allow your body to heal but also re-energize your mind.  We are not robots and routinely need a re-boot and that is where those recovery days/weeks come into play.

Taper is the same concept.  If you have done the training you were scheduled to do then you should not have taper madness.  Taper should be embraced as part of the process to producing tremendous results on race day.  When I assemble a training schedule I always highlight the taper weeks and have them hanging there as the reward for putting in the hours and work that it takes to get to the starting line prepared to perform at my very best.

  • Outside Passions. - It is no secret that I love to cook but I also enjoy sports and movies.  I love playing with my dogs and having conversations with my wife.  After a training session is complete and all the data is uploaded into Strava/Training Peaks/Garmin Connect and reviewed with any changes to the next days training plan completed I move on.  I cannot change what has happened in the past so there is no need to dwell on it, but instead learn from it and move on.

Staying caught in the past can lead to negative thoughts and not allow you to succeed at the next days training.


Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.