The Motivation’s The Thing
It’s not just after the new year that people (you, me, and everyone else) make resolutions to go to the gym more, or eat less cake. The problem is sticking to it. It always sounds so easy before you remember that you have a life outside of fitness, whatever your fitness level may be. Movie nights, cocktail hours, work, dates, and Dexter always get in the way.
It’s easy to come up with excuses not to go to work out. Personally, I get an excuse every time it rains. “Ohhh, it’s dangerous to ride my bike when it’s raining. Road bikes aren’t made for weather,” and, “My running shoes are too expensive to ruin by getting them wet!” are my two favorites. Between you and me, I really love working out yet I still find excuses as often as I can get away with.
The reason it’s so easy to get out of is because there’s no accountability and no end game. It’s not about procrastinating like you’re writing a paper. You can’t “cram” a workout routine. It’s got to be constant, and it’s got to become part of what you do, like laundry or a TV show. Again: easier said than done, but here’s some free advice to help working out become part of what you just have to do:
1) Register for a race. A 5k is easy (you can probably do one right now if you had to). If you’re a beginner but want a little more of a challenge, the HCA 8k is coming up in November. That’s about five miles. The Richmond Road Runners’ Club is a great source for local race info. If you find you like racing, join the club; the dues pay for themselves in spades if you race often (you get discounts on registrations).
2) Sign up for MapMyRun.com. It’s free (unless you want to pay, which I also recommend if you want the more advanced features). Getting into the habit of logging your workouts, reviewing your progress, and seeing how you’re improving makes it a lot more fun. If you’re a stats-freak like me, you’ll waste hours finding averages and predicting your fitness futures.
3) Annoy your friends on Twitter and Facebook by letting them know the stats of every workout. Soon, they’ll be just as used to ignoring your fitness posts as you are to making them! In all honesty, though, your friends will probably be great encouragement. Friends’ comments are great motivators to keep getting better, and even if you feel like a dweeb starting a fitness regimen, they’ll probably all be jealous.
4) Join a club! I’ve already mentioned the RRRC, but there’s also the RABA (Richmond Area Bicycling Association) and the Richmond Tri Club; all of them are designed to take on members of all levels of expertise, and are super friendly. If you belong to VCU Rec Sports as a student, alum, faculty, or staff, check out their incentives also!
Nothing above inherently costs you money. Except registering for a race.
Remember: even if you just go to the gym for 15 minutes and give up because you’re having a crap day, you get an ‘A’ for effort.
Tom loves triathlon training, and shares his adventures on Twitter. In his spare time, he works with coffee and watches Doctor Who.
For every good workout song there has to be a good cool down song.July 28, 2015
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