{Fitness Fridays: Lacking motivation in your workouts? Tips I use to stick with it}

We all experience it. We’ve got our gym clothes packed in our bag, but we’re drained from a long day of work, or just not feeling motivated to get our butts onto that treadmill or lifting some dumbbells.

I work out almost everyday but believe me, there are days I just downright wanna go home and veg on the couch, even though I know I’ll feel better if I get even a half an hour run in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to listen to your body and make sure you’re not forcing yourself to workout when your body is too fatigued or overtrained to do it. But sometimes your mind plays tricks on you and your mental fatigue is mistaken for physical fatigue. I can honestly say I’ve never felt WORSE than I did before my workout. It’s a great mood booster and stress reliever.

Here are some tips I use to stick with my fitness schedule:

1. Just get to the gym or at least put your workout clothes on. I always think the hardest part is getting to the gym or at least looking the part (great excuse to go to my favourite store, Lululemon). I always tell myself I can workout for 10 minutes and if I wanna stop, I can, and go home. I find that 99% of the time, I’ll end up getting a full workout in.

2. Do group classes or change it up. I really love doing group cardio and bootcamp style interval classes, I find it a great motivator, I’m really competitive by nature so I feel I need to work harder when I see someone else really putting in a lot of effort. They’re usually scheduled, so I find that gets me to the gym in a timely manner. Plus having awesome instructors and good music always helps too 🙂

There are lots of different kinds of classes out there: spinning, strength training, yoga, dance, etc.. Or get out of the gym and go hiking. Find your workout style and change it up to keep yourself interested.

3. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Lately I’ve found it hard to motivate myself to get my training runs in. I think after my regimented training for 5 months in preparation for my marathon had taken some of the “fun” out of the running. So lately I’ve been doing them without my GPS watch. I find there is less pressure on me to run at a certain speed within a certain time and it allows me to just enjoy and take in the scenery and being outside.

4. Give yourself a reminder of a previous achievement. Another tactic I use when I don’t feel strong enough to complete a long run is looking at my timing chip on my shoe (which I left on my right sneaker from my marathon) as a reminder to myself of what I’m capable of doing. It never fails to instill confidence in me and remind me that I am stronger than I think I am. I also put all my medals hanging above my bathroom mirror to remind myself of how far I’ve come since starting running 2 and a half years ago when I could barely run 5 minutes without feeling like I was going to die.

4. Make workouts a priority in your schedule. Every week I plan out a schedule of the classes and runs I plan to do. It’s almost like a mini goal sheet, I put a checkmark beside each one when I’ve completed them.

5. Sign up for a race. The goal of beating my PR time always gets me excited about running.

5. Reward yourself. Find what mini treat will keep you on schedule. For me, on those Sunday runs, just knowing I have a plate of that thick cut raisin french toast from Lazy Loaf waiting for me at the end is always a great motivator. Occasionally, I’ll also splurge on a purchase from lululemon.

Most importantly though, listen to your body. Don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty if you miss a workout. It happens and sometimes when you’re really fatigued, it’s your body’s way of telling you that it needs rest. Or if you have a scheduling conflict during the weekdays, just put in a longer session on the weekend to make up for it.

Another thing, make a workout schedule that works for you. Everyone has different fitness levels, goals and schedules, so make sure whatever you do, it works for you and your lifestyle.

This is me right after I ran Melissa’s 22km in Banff last September. It takes you around the Banff Springs hotel and golf course and down through the cave and basin, the most scenic and beautiful race I’ve ever run.

4 Responses to “{Fitness Fridays: Lacking motivation in your workouts? Tips I use to stick with it}”
  1. Vincci says:

    These are great tips, Jen! I’m going to forward these to the kinesiologist that I work with so he can share them with our clients 🙂

  2. foodtable says:

    I need to do a goal sheet. I am so bad about going to the gym lately. It’s the hardest part. Once I am there. I am okay though.

    • eatrundesign says:

      Yes I agree, just getting there is one of the hardest parts. I do a weekly goal sheet so its not so overwhelming, and then at the end of each week, i track the time i did for strength (yoga, weights) and cardio and see where i could use improvement for the next week, usually I’m a slacker when it comes to strength stuff so its a good reminder to me, stretching is as important as the cardio to prevent injuries.

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