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Motivation & Music

Do you have any tips to stay motivated on hard training days/weeks?

Sometimes you need a little extra help to stay focused on your goals – such as why you’re doing this or how you need to keep on progress to be fit enough for the event you’ve signed up for. And to keep that at the forefront of your mind on harder days, chart your progress and see how – despite any difficulties – you really are making strides.

If you’re slipping behind, make a slight tweak to your plans, slow it down or take stock of where you’re at. It might not be so bad after all. It could be about motivating yourself to step it up or cooling off a little as you’re pushing that little bit too hard. Consider changing tack. If you’re fed up of weights, try an exercise bike. If you’re fed up of running, take a walk or change your route.

Whatever’s making it hard, there’s a solution. Before you know it you’ll be back on track. There’s probably something in your routine you prefer, so focus on that more preferable section to help you cross the line, or break down what you’re doing into bite-size chunks to make it less imposing. Don’t think hour or half-hour slogs, take every minute as it comes - with every 60 seconds you tick off, you’re ever closer. Try rediscovering the fun factor. That might mean rethinking routines, swapping an hour in a gym for an hour on the squash or netball court or five-a-side football pitch.

Sometimes, just involving friends will also help you over the line. If it’s all too much one day, swap that workout for a shorter one. It could be all you need, and in a day or two you’ll feel more up the task, with motivation no longer an issue. If you know you’re at your lowest after a long day, ditch that session until the next day, or swap it for a bike ride into work. You just have to know where and when to push harder.

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