We all have those days: extra sleep is irresistible, dinner with friends is a must, and/or you just really need to catch up on one (or six) episodes of your favorite show. You’ll train extra hard tomorrow. It will all balance out, right? Well, kind of. No, you can’t really make up that lost time. And, no, missing a day or two won’t really slow you down that much. But we all know how quickly bad habits form and how hard it is to build or repair good ones. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to keep your head, and body, in the game.
- Adjust your focus – When you have those tough days and training is the last thing you want to do, it may that you’re focusing on the wrong things. You’re thinking about the first two miles, or saying no to other plans, or any number of less-loved aspects of your training schedule. Where should you focus? On miles 5 and 6, when you’re feeling like a well-oiled machine. Focus on the end goal and how today’s session will turn into a finish line in a few weeks/months.
- Pump up the volume – We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: music can make a difference! Movies and television shows do it to us all the time. They prime our emotions and expectations with soaring strings, foreboding base lines, or high-energy jams. Create a playlist or two and get yourself in gear before you start your workout. Wake up to music or start listening to whatever pumps you up on the way to the gym. Keep it going throughout your workout and see what a difference it can make for you.
- Identify your obstacles – Is your battle with the alarm clock a daily struggle? Are your friends trying out a great new (or old fav) restaurant three or four nights a week? Then adjust your training schedule. We hear about triathletes waking up at 3:30 am to get their workouts in. Maybe you’re a better midday trainer. If you are struggling to keep your training time consistent, try moving it until it feels right.
- This is all about you – Does skipping a day make you less committed or less driven than the next guy? Not necessarily. But remember, this journey you’ve chosen is all about you. Your goal is a better finish time or to complete your first marathon, triathlon, ultramarathon, etc., but along the way you’re becoming this organized, focused, goal-oriented person. How do you best nurture that? Snooze three times? Or getting up and hitting the pavement? Your training regimen is building more than muscle. It is building a better you in ways you’d never predicted. Keep that in mind and use your time wisely.
- Address your trouble spots – We’ve all seen the guy who forgot leg day for three solid years or the lady with great abs who’s winded after two flights of stairs. You know your strengths and weaknesses. Could a stronger core help you run longer or faster? Could running a few hours a week help you in the pool? Think outside your normal protocol—if you’ve hit a plateau, look harder at yourself and your performance. There is always a means to a better end.
We hope these pointers help you keep that training date. And yes, from the runner just getting started to the triathlete with a trophy room, we all have those hard days. Maybe you’re one of the millions of athletes whose struggle is something not addressed in these points. Maybe muscle cramps are what keep you second-guessing yourself. Thankfully, we have a suggestion for that as well: HOTSHOT is the only product scientifically proven to treat and prevent exercise-associated muscle cramps. Look around the website and check out what athletes are saying about HOTSHOT. Then, try it for yourself. Can’t get enough? Great! We’re everywhere—come follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Happy training!