So, I’m running on a treadmill… a 30-minute session – and unfortunately today is one of those days when my body feels tired and my mind is everywhere else except here. 3 minutes go by… what?? It feels like I have been running forever! So, how do you get yourself motivated and in the mood, when you are simply feeling bleh.
Change your method
I have tried a number of methods and I find that the easiest way to make that run, cycle or swim easier to digest, is to break it up into smaller bite sized chunks. For example, a 30-minute session could be broken into 5-minute intervals, giving you smaller more manageable segments. Instead of focusing on 30 minutes, you can focus on 6 intervals and all of a sudden it doesn’t seem that bad. Look, it’s still the same amount of time, but you have just tricked your mind by making it think It’s completing a smaller number of tasks versus a 30-minute session – tada magic!
Another mind trick involves changing the way you look at the session length. So instead of counting the time from 1 minute to the final 30-minute mark, count backwards. See the duration of the session decrease rather than increase, and all of a sudden, the last 15 minutes become a walk in the park. Our brains are very interesting things, aren’t they?
Ignore the clock or give yourself a game type challenge
Another idea is to ignore the clock completely – and just go! This (for me) relies on having a killer playlist with a number of songs that work out to be exactly the length of my session. Cover the screen with a towel and go-go-go! Then there is also the option to create tasks within your intervals, such as sprint for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute, run for 3 minutes etc. This requires a more planned session, or you can even download an app that already has planned intervals for you, some of which even gamify the whole exercise experience (win points, rewards etc)– making 30 minutes literally disappear before you even realise.
Once you have beaten the concept of session length and your body and mind are used to it, you can start focusing on improving other aspects of your session, such as reaching a certain distance – which can then become reaching a certain distance in a certain time. Easy tiger. don’t get ahead of yourself if you have only been at it for a week. Build a habit, improve and then improve some more.
The last tip I have is to be grateful. Umm…. What? Yes, be grateful that you CAN! I was running on the treadmill, feeling slightly sorry for myself as I was having one of “those” days, when I spotted a young girl training in the pool in front of me. She was smiling confidently and for a second, I wished I was enjoying my session as much as she was. She then climbed out of the pool and hopped towards the chairs to fetch her towel, dry herself off and put on her prosthetic. Yep. She had one leg amputated and there she was, swimming and enjoying her session. I felt an instant feeling of guilt. Here I am, healthy – two perfectly working legs – feeling sorry for myself. And so, I ran. I ran hard. I pushed myself to my limits and would you believe I LOVED IT! I felt so elated and energised and it turned out to be one of my fastest runs.
So, today, tomorrow or whenever you decide to go out and push your body – trick your mind and you will really start to crave another epic session.