Winter Training Motivation

Winter Training Motivation

There is no doubt about it, it’s cold. The ice on my car windscreen says so. How is it possible to stay motivated for your fitness journey during the cold, dark and wet winter months? Let’s look at the problems we face with winter motivation and discuss some ways to keep going even when the odds seem stacked against us.

Why is winter training so tough?

Not only is it cold but for the full-time worker we seem to be living in eternal darkness. Out come the layers, the lights and the vitamin D and the summer bike moves onto the turbo for the indefinite future. Also, is it just me, or does getting ready to anything take twice as long in the long winter months?

I like to think of myself as a mentally strong girl. However, I do in fact seem to struggle with winter motivation more than I would like. I was having a particularly rough patch last year. Then, one of my friends reminded me I am, in fact not a superhuman. Like everyone else my body needs rest.

I am guilty of viewing myself as different to much of the population. This perhaps, a result of my obsessive nature and desire to be the best I can be. I often push myself too far, and in one circumstance to breaking point. It’s only in the last year that I have begun to decipher between being lazy and my body calling out for a rest. One of the most valuable life lessons I have learned.

What’s your why?

I recently wrote an article for my blog about my ‘why’. For me it is crucial in terms of motivation. If you are not working towards something it can be very easy to fall out of love with what you are doing. This results in feeling lost and a struggle for motivation. So, ask yourself; why do I do what I do? You might surprise yourself. Once you have answered the ‘why’ question, look at what is stopping you putting the training in. Now I am not talking in terms of work or family commitments, but mentally, why are you holding yourself back?

Forming the habit

I have had a number of people ask me how I manage to drag myself out of bed for a 6:30 swim or run. Well it’s because I have made it a habit, it’s part of my daily routine, and you might say I would feel lost without it. The alarm goes off, I get up and I get on with it, knowing that I will always feel better for having done the session. The winter months are all about building strength to be enjoyed and used in the summer months. Don’t get me wrong, very occasionally there will be a day where I choose to sleep instead, but this goes back to my previous comment about deciphering between being lazy and my body calling out for a rest.
I often find the hardest bit of a session is getting out of the door, so if you get that far you are 60% there.

Manipulating the mind

I often find myself picturing a time I felt particularly strong, for example running along the red carpet at the Ironman Wales finish line. I use this to drive myself forwards, because if you have done it before, you can do it again. Retaining a strong and positive mindset is crucial to training and racing, and if you can’t seem to do so the issue might be bigger than you think. I also find having a mantra really helps, mine is:  ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’

If you really find yourself in a hole, it might be time to look at your life as a whole. Something might be out of kilter and need addressing. be it work, family, or social life. If something is stressful and drawing on your energy, it will have an impact on the rest of your life too.

If you have any other top tips, feel free to comment below.

Be TrueSapien. Reject Mediocrity.

Thanks for reading and be sure to head over to my blog page!

Pocket Rocket Rach

Health and Fitness – Unique Journeys and Comparisons

Health and Fitness – Unique Journeys and Comparisons

That someone has taken the step to BEGIN or Recommence their fitness and health journey is what counts. Not where they are on that journey.

We Are Unique

Those embarking on this journey do so at a different time, under different circumstances. In different ways and with different aims. Everyone will progress along their journey at different rates dependent on countless factors.

So why would we choose to measure ourselves against someone else? It is meaningless because who are we to judge someone else’s journey? Theirs is unique to them, and about which we may know very little.

Pointless Comparisons

Yes, we can all finish a race and look at those around us. Who finished first? Who lagged behind? And Who was that guy you overtook who looked really fast, but was panting hard on the brink of collapse. And so on…

These thoughts are all very well, and analysis of others is only natural. Indeed, by considering the performance of others, we can sometimes identify why someone performed strongly or otherwise. There may be something we can learn from their training or racing, in order to better ourselves.

But what this analysis of others should NOT lead to are thoughts like, ‘I’m better than him or she’s better than me.’ Such thoughts are as misguided as they are superficial. Feeling ‘above’ those at the back of the field? Being spellbound by the front runner?

NO!!!

A Look In The Mirror

Remember, we are all at a different point in different journeys, with different goals. Respect that fact. Because comparison only serves to demean our personal ambitions and the route we’ve taken to reach them.

The only person with whom you should compare yourself is the younger you. Have you improved your younger self? Or if age is against you, are you succeeding in holding back the years? Look in the mirror before looking around you.

Did you run YOUR best race? Are you doing what you need to do to improve YOU and get where YOU want to be?

Be TrueSapien. Challenge Life.

For more of my thoughts on Lifestyle, Health and Fitness please visit my blog page.

Motivation and how it is effected by seasonality

Motivation and how it is effected by seasonality

With summer over, autumn upon us and winter in our sights how does the change of season affect us as human beings? There are claims our brains are affected by seasonality such as huffingtonpost.com article How Different Seasons Affect The Way Your Brain Works, but does this relate to motivation?

Is SAD the only affect on motivation?

With exception of the New Year boost that is apparent from every gym around the world (from my limited view anyway) it seems it just might. There are plenty of articles about SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, where the shorter the days impact someone’s mood. Just check out the NHS page on SAD where the look at what it is, what the symptoms are and how we may treat it. It is without a doubt that it is a “Thing” and with a change of mood is a change in motivation.

Seasonality Affective Disorder on motivation

Avoid the Extremes…

In relation to your training days summer is by far the best time to get motivated, right? I’m not so sure myself. I am wondering if it is actually Spring and Autumn that are the best times of year to get motivated. After all, we aren’t battling the elements of extreme heat or extreme cold.

With winter giving short days and cold months you can see why it becomes that bit more difficult to have the “get up and go”. Summer on the other hand has the longest of days but with it comes the heat. On top of that there is the holidays and the temptation to join friends and family in social outings. This isn’t conducive to a prime time to motivate. Whereas Spring and Autumn days have a decent amount of sunlight. We have also not quite overcome by the buzz of summer or wound down in the dark months of winter.

…or embrace the challenge!

So, in relation to training and getting the most motivated it’s the less extreme months that allow us to start anew or push harder to reach goals. After all, the elements are in our favour. But Truesapiens enjoy the challenge, check out our “Be Truesapien” page. A run in minus temperatures is like waving a cookie in-front of a Sesame Street character; it just has to be done. It is a defiance of modern day living, its self-proof we can still brave the elements but most of all it’s exhilarating.

Keep it moving Truesapiens

It isn’t easy though when the cold gets bitter or it has been sweltering hot. I myself have fallen foul to the temptations of the temperature controlled gyms. Fact is perfect conditions allow perfection in performance which is great. Just like the invention of light makes us able to work and play at nights. With that said though, if we do not challenge our environment then why challenge ourselves. I’m a big fan of functional fitness but what is the point if I cannot test how I function the extremes!

The only thing I must stress is BE CAREFUL! Mother nature has no mercy and the likes of heat exhaustion or hypothermia is not something we should ignore. So gear up, fuel up and hydrate. Winter is coming and this may be when many may see motivation waver, but this is where TrueSapien’s can thrive!

Winter running

Too lazy to take the stairs?

Too lazy to take the stairs?

People are lazy, me included. If it involves an easy way out or less effort, then this is doubly so. One recent example involved a trip down to the big smoke. Traveling from A to B, like many, I took the subway. Exiting a train I waited in line, London tube can be annoyingly packed, to get top-side. This queue was big and crammed but well organized due to some security guards keeping the herd in line.

There were stairs!

Five minutes in and I was frustrated enough (following the herds emotions) to question what the hell was holding us up?! Poking my head out the queue I just saw a thick line of flustered travelers slowly moving onto the escalators to take them to the top. One taking us up, one taking others down to the platform and a thin set of stairs separating them. The stairs stuck out like a sore thumb as it seemed like everyone was playing “the floor is lava” game with them and avoiding them at all costs. The security guards keeping everyone in line was ensuring we stayed on route to the escalators, so I thought that may be some annoying HR rep had the bright idea of banning their use to some pointless first world danger. Frustration kept building and with a security guard in earshot of me I asked him why we can’t take the stairs? He answered simply, “you can, just no one wants too”!

Too lazy to tak ethe stairs

Just plain lazy

Let me re-iterate; most in the queue, being a Friday as well, was flustered and frustrated as they. Like me, just wanted to get home. People need to chill. I needed to chill as we’ll get there soon enough but that isn’t my point. No matter how annoying it was standing in the queue not a single individual throughout the 10 minutes I had been waiting there wanted to take the stairs. NO. ONE. What the fuck is wrong with people! I wasted no time; heat of the tube station and the increasing packed space was already getting to me so taking on the steep and long set of stairs was a welcome break.

Maybe everyone else like me thought it was inaccessible for some bullshit reason but as I looked back half way up only a small of handful of people had joined me with the majority opting to wait. It was a long set of stairs, in my frustration I scaled them 2 or 3 steps at a time carrying three bags so perspiration was in full flow, but I was finally out and continued my way home in seconds.

Easy way isn’t the best way

Some people can’t do it, I get that. Most can though, yet I see stairs avoided in shopping centres in favour of escalators, lifts seemingly being the only option in offices and travelators full to the brim in airport so people can travel down long corridors without moving. Why? Because people are too fucking lazy to put effort into getting from A to B. A side effect of technology bringing efficiency to the masses and advanced capabilities is the dumbing down (for another post that one) of society and creating indolent individuals.

We all have times we want to be lazy, but don’t let it be a default state. In the same way as we should watch what we eat, we should watch what we do and be accountable. Whatever machine, computer or device you use to cut corners and make things easier use it to advance yourself. Use it to treat yourself. Don’t be another Sapien giving up…or simply put, don’t be fucking lazy!

Side note: travelators when empty is so much fun, just run down them and look to the side (watching your footing of course) and see how fast it feels.

Is Success As Simple As ‘Short Term Pain, Long Term Gain?’

Is Success As Simple As ‘Short Term Pain, Long Term Gain?’

Aims, goals, dreams, ambitions, aspirations, objectives…… However you want to describe them, these are the building blocks that collaborate to build the purposeful life. The mediocre would have you believe that ‘opportunity'(or in their case, a consistent lack of opportunity) is also also a major factor. But that’s another discussion.

But what is, possibly the main determining factor behind success with these building blocks?

 

Short-term pain, long-term gain.

Yes, this may be the cliched quote straight from the wall of a 1980’s Bodybuilding Gym or possibly some regurgitated business management spiel. This doesn’t mean it should be overlooked or explored however.

TrueSapien’s understand the value of applying this universal rule, be it through instinct or through habit.

 

Pay the price

TrueSapien’s know that to create the aforementioned building blocks, a price has to be paid and the price has to be paid UPFRONT. By repeatedly paying this price (the pain) TrueSapien’s achieve their goals and ambitions, in turn enriching their lives. If their aim is high enough they will reach their true and inherent potential as Homo Sapiens.

 

Suffer only for the good choices

So what’s the difference in the suffering of the TrueSapien compared to that endured by the average or mediocre? The average and mediocre will indeed suffer and they’ll certainly let everybody know of their plight too. They’ll complain bitterly about their suffering as though it’s through no fault of their own, blaming every man and his dog for it.

In contrast, TrueSapien’s will likely talk about their suffering with a positive pride and relish.

Why? Because TrueSapien’s suffer for the GOOD CHOICES they make, the choices that are required for them to achieve their goals aligned to their overall success.

The Mediocre suffer for the BAD CHOICES they make. the choices born out of laziness, ill-discipline and desire for short term gratification.

 

SUFFER ONLY FOR YOUR GOOD CHOICES.

BE TRUESAPIEN.

Lose The Ego – Be Better Than You Appear

Lose The Ego – Be Better Than You Appear

Be better than you outwardly appear. Yes you read correctly. To non TrueSapiens this may seem odd advice, in a society where everyone around us seems to want to appear BETTER than they actually are.

People want to APPEAR more attractive, stronger, fitter, faster, richer, more successful. Desperate to prove themselves better than others. Social media unfortunately provides a convenient and accessible platform. It doesn’t matter whether they actually ARE any of the above, the shallowness and superficially biased society care more about what others think of them than what or who they actually are. This all results in inflated ego’s and a win at all costs mentality. It also results in a tendency and a temptation to take shortcuts in an attempt to desperately make rapid improvements.

TrueSapiens put their egos aside because they know inflated ego’s breed contempt and blockers to self improvement – ‘how can perfection be improved?’ Or ‘why should I improve when I am this good already?’ Seem to be the subliminal messages. TrueSapiens would rather BE better than they appear. TrueSapiens show humility and modesty in their achievements and speak of others fine performances and actions before their own. They accept praise and accolades with humility also.

There is no harm at all in showing how you’re challenging yourself. Be proud of how you’re challenging yourself but always do it with humility and WITHOUT ego. This is way more inspirational. This is TrueSapien.

Be TrueSapien