By Glena Kirkby.
Like the jockey guiding his horse, your mind needs to find motivation for your body so that it will achieve things it’s never achieved before. Good jockeys don’t use whips; they find other ways to go fast.
A treat works just like training a horse with rewards. When I first started swimming regularly I used to hate having to shower and dress at the pool then go straight to work, so I bought some really expensive shower gel and shampoo which I only allowed myself to use at the pool. This meant I actually looked forward to the mayhem of the change rooms. These days I always have a home-made banana smoothie (a banana, ice water and skim milk powder whipped up) after swimming and the thought of that helps me get through the last hard kilometre.
Horses like to run in herds and your body is no different. You can achieve things when you’re part of a group that you probably wouldn’t consider alone so try to find a group to swim, cycle or run with. Have you heard of the Parkrun (sorry South America they don’t happen down your way)? Check out the website (www.parkrun.com), you not only get to run in pleasant places but your results are recorded each time you run so that you can keep track of your improvement; plus, there’s a nice herd of other runners to pace you.
Another motivation is to take the kids and your partner. Kids especially like to use lots of energy with Mom or Dad. A friend of mine is a great runner and every Sunday morning I see her out with at least one of her three young sons. They ride along behind her on their bicycles and have a great time, plus, she confided in me that it makes them tired enough that there’s very seldom sibling arguments on a Sunday.
Getting up early to train can be the hardest thing to do but focussing on how good you feel after you’ve trained is a good way to get yourself going. There are so many times after my training session that I am grateful I’ve pushed myself to get out there because at the end I feel so great.
The essence of motivation is to use your mind to trick your body into looking beyond the current piece of hard training towards something you will really enjoy.