It is hard to stay motivated year round. There will be days, usually around this time of year, when you do not want to train and no matter how much coffee, Red Bull, or Surge you consume, you cannot get going nor do you want to. You hop in the pool and before you take your first turn want to get out. Or you hop on your bike only to get off again. These funks usually sneak up on you without “logical” cause and can last from a day to years. I put logical in quotes because with the proper digging and reflecting there usually is a root cause, which is critical in breaking out of the rut and regaining your “mojo.”
More often than not, if you are feeling unmotivated, you are overly fatigued and sleep deprived. One poor night sleep will not ruin you but accumulated fatigue from many nights of poor shut eye will takes its toll usually by zapping your desire to train. To beat this, take a few days off and catch up on rest. If motivation still has not returned then you might need to look at the bosom buddy of fatigue: stress.
When your mental energy is consumed by other tasks like work, family, or finances and you feel like you are being torn in many different directions, I typically find that people lose the desire to train. It takes a lot of skill and practice to first figure out what is stressing you (it can be not easily apparent and subconscious at times) and then be able to put it aside for an hour so that you can train. However, you will be better for it. Giving yourself an hour to just be alone to train is a gift you should invest in. You will be able to return to that stress with a clear mind.
If both sleep and stress are healthy and normal but you still feel down, then look at what you are eating. Being calorically deprived or not putting the right food in your tank can leave you drained and not wanting to do anything. Look over what you have been eating and/or not eating and make some changes. You may need to take out heavy foods that leave you feeling tired and bloated, boost healthy fats, include more vegetables, or increase your carbs.
It could be though that your motivational core is in fact hollow because you are lacking a goal and/or purpose. If you cannot answer the question “why do you train?” then getting out the door is the least of your concerns. Having a solid purpose for training and doing what you do is where all motivation stems from. Once you find this purpose, write it down and plaster it somewhere in your house so that when you are lacking motivation, you can quickly find it again.
Coach Chris and Kev