Wellbeing Wednesday: Choosing a workout plan that motivates.
Its nearly January. The time when many of us are creating goals for the year and looking for plans to achieve them. Whether it is dropping 2 dress sizes, completing your first marathon, or regaining your health, the trick to success is finding the right plan. And following that plan requires the right motivation.
I find myself repeating a favorite quote this time of year.
A successful achievement is one that allows us to enjoy the process AND the results.
When you come up with a goal, ask yourself WHY, get deep into the things you feel you will achieve by reaching those goals. Why do YOU care about looking good in a bathing suit on a beach full of people you don’t know? Why do you want to run 26.2 miles and invest time in doing it? Is it the final reward or the journey to get there? You will need very compelling reasons to stick to your guns when it isn’t comfortable or convenient for you.
A little over a year ago I learned something about myself, and it’s safe to say it changed my life. Maybe it was turning 40, maybe it was just the right time but I figured out that I love to eat miles. What the heck does that mean you might ask? Well, here is what happened.
We needed an idea to do a challenge at the gym, and my friend Johnny K suggested an ironman challenge. We had one month to complete 112 miles on the spin bike and 26.2 miles on the treadmill and had weekly goals to get ourselves there. This was perfect timing for me as I was beginning base training for a long summer bike race.
I became inspired and slightly obsessed with getting as many miles as I could in each week. It wasn’t about beating other people, it was about beating the goal. I was focused on thrashing those miles each week and showing them who was boss. I had finally found a training plan that fueled me. At the end of the month I was in better shape and more motivated than I had ever been during winter.
In the past when I trained for other races, after about 4-6 weeks I became bored, started losing trust in my plan, and lost quality in my workouts. It wasn't the race, it was the plan I felt stuck to that wasn't working best for me.
After finishing the indoor duathlon I took what I had learned about my personal motivation and applied it to my new race plan. The plan was simple… 100 miles a week on the bike for 10 weeks resulting in 1000 miles by race day. Though it was simple it was well planned out. I still lifted some, went to yoga, and had lots of fun, but the overall goal got me exactly where I needed to be for race day.
In some ways it was a goal within a goal, I had daily and weekly goals but I also had a ton of flexibility on how to go about them. This flexibility allowed for crazy schedules, illness, and even injury. It allowed me to listen to my body while still getting the results I needed. When I started my race in June it was the first time I had ever approached a starting line feeling motivated, well trained, and primed.
So as I begin to write my personal plans for this coming race season, I am using the same ideas again this year. I will improve on my old plan and make some changes for the things I have planned. But the motivation factor will be the same. Eat some miles, and show that plan who is boss.
So what inspires you?
Do you know?
Are you beginning a journey towards a goal without understanding what makes you tick?
If so I highly encourage you to take a step back and think about what kind of plan you want to follow. Plans are a lot like diets… they all work, it is sticking to them that is the hard part.
Look at your life, your work, your fun… what have you succeeded well with? Just because a plan works for your friend or your spouse doesn’t mean it will work for you. Do you like to eat miles? Then a plan similar to mine might work. Do you like to make lists and check off boxes? Maybe making your plan part of a daily to do list is more your thing. Do you need someone to keep you accountable? Hire a trainer or train with friends and leave the planning to them.
Whatever it is, the plan needs to fit you. And when you find one that fits, you will be well on your way to reaching your goals.
Caryn Moxey is the owner of PURENERGY Fitness and has been a personal trainer since 1999. She enjoys doing anything outdoors with family and friends. She also raises 18 crazy chickens and loves to garden and grow apples.