Sometimes, when you move from casual exercise to “training”, as in “I’m training for a 5K”, or “I’m getting ready for a triathlon”, the fun wears off.  Sorry for the understatement, but it had to be said. The issue becomes this:  how do you keep yourself going when you don’t feel like it?  I mean seriously don’t feel like it.  Here’s a thought (ironically):  don’t listen to your head.

Strive for a grin-and-bear-it approach.  Once the fun has worn off, it can be hard to even get started. It’s like going swimming – how long does it take you to get in?  Grin-and-bear-it goes “splash” and is in and getting down to business.  [Apologies in advance] Watch someone at the pool or lake who is “listening to their head” and it’s hilarious how tall they try to stand as they walk in deeper. And how long it takes them!

The grin-and-bear-it approach embraces a concept I aim for in training (and many other aspects of life):  pre-pay your dues.  Work extra hard at the front end.  If you have a target pace, add a small percentage and try to do more than your original plan.  It’s harder.  It’s way less fun.  And – the extra work each day accumulates to the point where you are able to take a break later on without getting behind or feeling guilty.  If you approach it this way, you will often find yourself ahead of where you had expected to be. Your head was telling you to take the easiest route and just do the bare minimum;  grin-and-bear-it says, “Nope – I’m doing a bit more than I need to.  I’m going to push it a bit harder.  I’m going to give a full effort.”

When your training or workouts follow this principle, you eventually get ahead of your initial targets. So, if you find yourself wanting an extra rest day here or there, you have pre-paid it by accumulating those extra workout reps or minutes or kilometers.  So you can take that day off to rest up, or to celebrate, or to just sit around and relax with your family.

Keep up the good work.  We’re almost done the challenge!