If you are a time-crunched athlete, and many of you are, every minute of your training and each workout counts. But you might be sabotaging that valuable time without knowing it.
Doing these three things has the potential to wreck your workouts when you could be optimizing them.
Keeping your cell phone notifications on. Unless I am expecting an important call from my wife, I turn off my cellphone’s notifications. No Facebook, no Twitter, no emails. I have found that when I keep my cell on during workouts, I can get messages that will take me out of the moment; focusing me on whatever issue is going on. I then fret and worry about it until I get home. Instead of focusing on my swim stroke form or my pedal efficiency or just the pure enjoyment of activity, my mind is immersed in “problem solving” and preparing mode. By turning off notifications (or even your phone completely), you minimize distractions and focus on what’s important: the workout and the moment. You will not miss out on anything by giving yourself that gift. But you will miss out on the workout if you don’t. Those emails and texts can wait until you finish.
Failing to prepare. I am sure I am not alone in forgetting my swim trunks or goggles at home or forgetting nutrition three hours into a workout or forgetting to pump up my tires before leaving home. Failing to prepare for a workout can ruin it and force you to bail or to cut it short. Instead, figure out what you will need (before, during after) and prep ahead of time so that you can do the workout successfully. Key reminders to think about are:
a. Nutrition (Do you need fuel or water at all?)
b. Gear like helmet, shoes, tires, spares, swim trunks, goggles, socks, clean clothes, towel etc.
c. Route if going for a long ride or run so that you don’t get lost out there
Not giving thanks. The moment a workout becomes a “have to” rather than a “get to” is the moment you need to switch your mindset. We do what we do because we love it. We love the way it makes us feel and overcoming obstacles. At no time though should it feel like a burden. Give thanks for each workout and in doing so ensure that it will be a good one.
So to optimize your workouts and make them count, turn off your cell, make sure you have everything you need, and treat it as a gift. With those three keys, you are on your way to a better workout.