by Chris Hague
I usually hate shots, but at the beginning of this week, I desperately needed one. I could have gotten out the bottle of Grey Goose or gone to the Doctor’s office for some B-12, but those would have only solved the problem temporarily. What I needed was a large shot of motivation.
On Monday, I woke up and simply did not want to go to early morning swim practice. When it was time for my afternoon run, something came up and provided a great excuse to skip it. Moreover with the first half of the season done and my next race a month and half away, I felt that I had plenty of time to train. Skipping one workout would not kill me, right?
While I never ended up skipping a workout, it took a little bit more energy to get out of bed or lace up my shoes. Moreover, without some motivation coursing through my veins, the workouts were no longer enjoyable, and I had to fight to make sure I finished the workout and not turn back early or just go easy. After two days like this, I lined up the syringes, filled up the shot glasses, with these motivational vitamins:
1. More sleep: Sleep is the ultimate recharge for our bodies and mind, so without it, our motivation drops significantly. When we get a full night of quality sleep, we wake up refreshed and ready to take on whatever TrainingPeaks has on the schedule. When I began to feel my motivation drop, I decided to go to bed 30 minutes earlier. While I had to cut back on my Facebook and my “Words with Friend” time, getting that extra bit of sleep was well worth it. My body felt fresher before and during workouts, and my mind was just as focused instead of wandering into negative thoughts.
2. More calories: In addition to a lack of sleep, lack of calories can lower our motivation and drive. When we starve our bodies of calories especially during hard training blocks like what I am in now, our bodies do not have enough of the much needed nutrients to fuel workouts and repair muscles. Instead, our bodies cannibalize itself, breaking down muscles to fuel our workouts. Thus, we do not recover as quickly and our brains feel like crap. Therefore, I increased my healthy fats from avocados, fish, and coconuts, vegetables at meals, and complex, non-wheat based carbohydrates like gluten free
granola, sweet potatoes, and fruit before and after workouts.
At the same time, I cut down or out empty calories that would leave me in a food coma after consuming (non sprouted bread and sugary carbs). Immediately, I felt a boost to my workouts. When I was properly fueled my workouts were much more
enjoyable. For those of you who are trying to loose weight, large training blocks and the peak of the race season is not the time to do it! If you are worried about your figure, weight, and calories, which I admit I do worry about, then cut out processed foods, not calories.
3. Updating my iPod: Plenty of scientific studies have shown that music helps us during exercise and makes us feel happy. I therefore went on a spree in iTunes and updated my motivational mix. Here are a few good ones: “I’ll make a man out of you” from the Mulan soundtrack, “Boyfriend” by Justin Beiber, “Till I Collapse” by Eminem, “Toy soldiers” by Eminem, “Moment 4 life” by Niki Minaj, and “Gonna fly now” from Rocky!. I listen to my motivation mix when I wake up and before I workout. It fires me up and provides me with mantras that I can repeat during the workout.
Check the lyrics on this one, do you still feel tired & lazy??
4. Remind yourself of your goals: Although my next race is a month away, I reminded myself that hard training now will pay off then. After I visualized myself doing well and achieving my goals, I refocused on the necessary steps that it would take to get there. Focusing on just the goal can be daunting and weigh you down so instead focus on the process.
After shooting myself up and polishing off a full bottle of these motivational tidbits, my body and mind were
refueled and ready to tackle my next workout.
Fortunately, these shots will not leave you sore or hung over.