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Motivation … Its the 5th discipline !!

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Over the last few weeks I have either spoken to, listened to or read about people struggling with motivation, sometimes its a break in the training and then trying to get back into it, the longer the break the worse that can be. Sometimes its not being at the same level that you were last year ‘immediately’ and that starts to grind, others just get out of that routine and then force it.<br /><br />But mostly, its just gone. ‘I’ve lost my mojo’ is a favourite. <br /><br />I have been there, what I suppose I came to realise is all the methods I describe below are great in theory but you have to have motivation from inside, even a faint spark, a burning desire to do something, anything that will get you moving from point A to point B. But it must be yours.<br /><br />Its that time of year again, February comes round, if you are a regular gym user you love it, the New Year resolutions have broken and the gym is empty. Unfortunately if you are one of those at home and not in the gym this might not be the best of times right now.<br /><br />If this time of year is you just starting back the initial push to get your mass, that once was a lean, mean training machine is very slow and downright difficult to shift. It takes me almost 2 weeks to get back to the enjoyment stage rather than the drudge of ‘having to do it’. You know if you don’t, you will regret it in 6-10 weeks when you say, I wish I had started 6-10 weeks ago. <br /><br />Just take the leap, leap of faith really, you probably did the same last year, and if like me you have been around a while, this could be an annual jump start. Yes, its dark outside, yes its cold but if you keep telling yourself your competition is still in bed and you are getting the jump on them you may just break the cycle.<br /><br />If on the other hand you have been training steadily and are just exiting January and the enormity of the upcoming season has just hit, you might not be getting the improvements you think you deserve after battering yourself for the whole of December/January or even worse, you have been going so well and now you have a cold/injury. Don’t despair.<br /><br />Injury can be a terrible de-motivator, the next step is recovery and mending, far too many seasons have been ruined by pushing too hard, too early. Listen to your body and try to move the focus on another of the 3 disciplines to keep that momentum moving in the right direction.<br /><br />The season can be a long one and its not many an athlete that can hang onto fitness year in year out. Its hard to stay focused permanently, you don’t just need motivation, you need goals. If your A race is 9 months away, that’s a long time to focus on one thing, mini goals may sort that, a couple of half IM races, some early season TT’s or some punishing 10K racing. It may not have to be sport based, having a break from training at the right time can be a great mental healer and having a holiday goal to refresh body and mind can be as rewarding as any PB.<br /> <br />Personally I use everything I possibly can to encourage my own motivation. And I don’t just mean beer at the end of an IM ! :-)<br /><br /><a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ouaJVWkU2Dc/TWDgpkwILdI/AAAAAAAAARY/8keQXuCwiJM/s1600/IMG_0827.jpg”><img style=”float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ouaJVWkU2Dc/TWDgpkwILdI/AAAAAAAAARY/8keQXuCwiJM/s320/IMG_0827.jpg” border=”0″ alt=””id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5575703343529471442″ /></a>Here are 2 posters I have up in my office, they have been up since the push for Kona and I keep them there as a reminder that things get tough, apologies for the crudeness in one of them but this just highlights another point. <br /><br />I personally like a more direct approach, softly softly doesn’t work with me.<br /><br /><br /><br /><a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-awFdmEfxL4c/TWDg3on4xiI/AAAAAAAAARg/VzTclJgbzWQ/s1600/IMG_0829.jpg”><img style=”float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-awFdmEfxL4c/TWDg3on4xiI/AAAAAAAAARg/VzTclJgbzWQ/s320/IMG_0829.jpg” border=”0″ alt=””id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5575703585086817826″ /></a> Being told you are are an arse for not getting out is more effective than telling me everything is going to be OK. <br />There are many coaches with different styles, we are all different, if you are looking for one, find one that knows how to push your buttons, there are many that won’t work for you but don’t despair. When you find the right one, you’ll know.<br /><br /><br /><span style=”font-weight:bold;”>I love to motivate others.</span><br /><br />That one really makes me feel good about myself and if by helping someone out I perk up a little, then great. I don’t go out on purpose as a crusader and goody two-shoes, I just love this sport and love talking about it, if talking about it makes a difference then wonderful.<br /><br />I have been through the period of post IM more times than I care to remember, a huge hole appears, the ‘recovery’ lasts longer than you planned and its so hard to get back into it, family want the time, work want the time back you stole last year. And you give in, slowly at first, then it seems easier to not fight, but fight you must, and learn from the previous year, learn to make time and keep that ‘mojo’. Get the family on board and they can be the only external motivation you will ever need !<br /> <br />One single comment from someone can change your current mood too, a well done, a remark that puts your lack of motivation into context, it’s akin to racing and someone cheering you on, they may be thinking that shouting, ‘well done, looking strong’ or ‘Go Nick’ doesn’t mean much but I’ll tell you, it bloody does. I may not react to say thanks everytime but its a huge lift.<br /><br />I also love motivational videos, below are a couple of my favourites, the music in the video is the key, watching the video and then using the music in your playlists can give you a great boost as your memory links back to what is in the video.<br /><br /><a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckFvoGRPiCU”>2008 World Championships¬† – Music Guru Josh Project – Infinity</a><br /><br /><a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iROsDCzDRRI”>2009 World Championships – Music David May – Superstar</a><br /><br />There are plenty of motivational pieces of music and videos that don’t have triathlon in them, for me that’s what I like to use, running, cycling, effort and a place to dream about, all the time feeling the music. I use the two songs above in my playlist twice !!<br /><br />To help my running or cycling (turbo) my playlist runs for about 1hr 30mins, enough for me to get thru a good session, sometimes this alone can be the reason for finishing a hard set strongly. I have plenty of tunes to make me move my butt out the door. OK, you can’t always use iPods in races but use every tool you can, when you can.<br /><br /><span style=”font-weight:bold;”>I also read about others.</span><br /><br />And heres the rub for those that get this wrong, I don’t read about others and think I should be doing more, I don’t read about others and think they are better than me, I read about others and feel inspired to do better, to train harder and to get off my bum and get out the door. Twitter and FB are great for that. <br /><br />There are loads of great people to follow in Twitter world but as an example, @emmanews, I have known Emma for a while, we have competed at races together, we have trained with the same coach but over the years its apparent to me that if you want to see motivation, look no further. Currently I think self coached and she is one of the first I look for in the morning to see what time she got up and trained before my Lumie even sparks into life. She trains well, eats well, sleeps well and talks sense. I sometimes do one of those and not always well, and I certainly don’t talk sense !<br />Yes, I follow pro’s and AG’ers alike and also a couple of people who tweet great quotes but I draw what I want and I ignore what I need to, its about you (well me) and motivation starts at home ! or is that charity ?<br /><br />Remember though, motivation may come in many guises and from some unexpected sources but if it doesn’t start from within you are already onto the slippery slope. <br /><br />If you think you can do it, you can. <br /><br />Rosey.

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