January "To Do" List
January “To-Do” List!
Notwithstanding New Year’s Resolutions, it’s tough to get off to the right start in January. Here are a few things I find bulletproof for ramping up training and getting stoked for the coming year. They’re simple and in some respects obvious when you look at them individually, but if each is an ingredient to a recipe, then the recipe produces motivation!
· Develop Focus- What’s the point of training? A key race? A breakthrough in personal fitness or accomplishment? Write down the vision. Keep copies in key places (at your desk, in your car, with your workout bag, etc.). When starting my training year, what gave me motivation was to write down the splits that I wanted for my key “A” race. Any time I wasn’t “in the mood” to train, I’d look at them and remember what I was working toward and how important it was to get out and get the training done!
· Create the Roadmap- This is likely your training plan. If you have a coach, one will be created for you. If you don’t, you’re on your own to either create one (if you have the background to do it) or buy one online. But you wouldn’t get in the car for your family vacation without first knowing where you were going, or what roads you were going to take to get there. Don’t try “just doing it” without your map!
· Be Consistent- It’s hard, for everyone! Sometimes you’re just not in the mood. Sometimes it’s sickness, soreness, fatigue or just plain “don’t wanna’s”. Consistency in your training will pay in big dividends. Get out and do something. Even if you have to cut back on your planned training day, get yourself started and many times you’ll find that you feel better after your warm up and get the whole thing done!
· Maintain a Flexible Mentality- Don’t let the weather, your job or other variables destroy your plan. Keep options available. If the pool is closed for some reason, switch your training days around and do something else. If you can’t ride outside, ride on your trainer. If your boss schedules an early morning meeting, bring your running gear to work and get your run in during lunch (or immediately after work). Don’t let variables get in the way.
· Have a Support Team- Few people (if any) can do “life” on their own. We all need a support team to help us through. When I ran my first marathon, I made a pact with a good friend that we’d call each other at any time we “didn’t wanna”. And we kept that pact. After speaking to each other for a few minutes, we’d get the kick in the butt that we needed. Develop your own support system with Family, training partners, co-workers and friends.
· Take Good Care- Your mental stamina will go a long way, but we all have to maintain our physical health as well. Good sleep, quality nutrition, scheduling quiet time are all important factors. Eating junk and only getting a few hours sleep will not support you in your training! The better you eat, and the more you get a good night’s sleep, the more you’ll be up to the task both physically and mentally.
· Visualize!- You have a vision that gets you excited and stoked for the season (if it doesn’t, you have the wrong vision). Spend some time visualizing the accomplishment of your vision. Close your eyes and experience being “in the zone” as you ride smoothly and effortlessly through the course. Feel the excitement of crossing the finish line. Re-live a “perfect day” or racing or training where you were totally in the zone and loving life.
As the adage goes, “the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”. Take all of the above as part of the whole and use all of them to get you to the next level[i]
[i] Chuck Graziano is the owner of Inspired Performance Coaching and provides training and coaching to endurance athletes of all levels. He is a USA Triathlon level II certified coach, is certified by USA Cycling at level III and is a Training Bible Elite Level Coach. Chuck served as the Head Triathlon Coach for Team in Training- NJ for 11 years and now coaches their IronTeam. For further information, contact email@example.com