Training Rule #1 – Bloody Turn Up

Training RulesA few days ago I stuck up 3 basic training rules.  Follow these and most people will improve.  But a lot of people (myself included) have the most trouble with rule #1.

Some common reasons/excuses I hear (and used them myself!) include:

  • I don’t have time.
  • I just need to do this other thing first…
  • I’m not in the mood.
  • I’ve got an ache.
  • I can’t get up in the morning in time.
  • Once I’ve gotten home from work, I find it so hard to go back out again.

So here are a couple of tactics we can all use to follow Rule #1…

Get structured.

Use a diary, a simple wall calendar, use an online calendar, anything you like to block out your week.  With this you can see when you are in work, at your in-laws, doing the garden etc.  And importantly, you can see where you have 30 minutes here or 60 minutes there that are free.  You will be surprised how many of these blocks you can find once you have them layed out on a bit of paper.  

Once you have found a couple of blocks over the week, mark them out for training.  Don’t let other things encroach on them.  Actually seeing how much/little spare time you have each day is a great way of keeping us honest.  This makes it harder for us to pretend we are faaar too busy watching repeats of Columbo to train.

Get prepared.

Similar to getting structured.  

  • If you know you want to go training straight from work tomorrow, pack your gear tonight so you can just pick up your bag and go.
  • If you know you need to get up early in the morning, double check your alarm clock is set and the batterys are ok tonight.
  • If you know the tv is showing a Columbo marathon tomorrow, set your video tonight.

Get a training partner.

We are far less likely to let someone else down, than ourselves.  It is easy to say to ourselves

“it’s ok, no one else will really know.  And besides, I understand how important this particular episode of Columbo is!”

However, it’s much harder to stand someone else up.  And much harder to explain how Columbo is more important to you than they are!

So use your new diary/make-a-booking and make an appointment with them.  If you start to get flakey, they can help you get off your arse and train.  And when the same thing happens to them, you can return the favour!

Get a coach.

This has all the benefits of a training partner, plus, the coach will (hopefully) be able to make sure you are training efficiently, and because you will have made a financial commitment to them, you are much more likely to follow through.  I mean, do you really want to waste all that money you have spent???

And oh, have i mentioned that I happen to be a coach available for hire??    Click here to contact me.

Lucky training pantsMake it as practical and easy as possible.

We humans are amazing at twisting the facts so they point at the answer we want (just ask any politician).  

  • The training ground is 2 minutes out of our way?  Well obviously with this traffic that will become at least half an hour!  So no point going!
  • Forgot to pack my lucky pair of training pants?  Bugger!  I can’t train!
  • Slightly grey cloud on the horizon?  Hmmm, looks like a storm could be brewing…best miss it today, just in case I get hit by lightning.
  • It will take so long to do my hair afterwards!
  • I’ve run out of my super protein-isotonic-refuel-and-recover-paleo-carb-gel…this means nothing I do will make any difference!  No point going now…
  • Someone is on my special piece of equipment!  Fudge it!  What’s the point in carrying on!
  • This gym doesn’t have that latest machine I saw on the infomercial last night.  My workout will be wasted!

We can all turn all these minor, pointless points into massive obsticles if we let them.  So unless you have a very good reason not to, try to train somewhere that you can get to really easily (on your way to/from work), has all the equipment you need and alternatives if necessary.  Keep a change of clothes in your car, just in case.  And a fridge full of good food to come home to!

Be realistic.

This ties in with the previous point.  

  • If you are simply not a morning person, why force yourself into training at stupid o’ clock in the morning?  Do it in the afternoon/evening instead!  
  • Even if your gym has all the snazziest equipment, if it’s 30 miles away, you will struggle to get there.  Find a gym that is “good enough” and you will actually get to once in a blue moon.
  • If you work the other side of town and you have an arse of a boss, don’t sign up for training 5 minutes after you finish work and hope you will be able to get there on time.

I am all for ambition, but there is a difference between ambition and flogging a dead horse.

Let me know if you have any tactics that help you get your arse to the training ground.  The more weapons we have in our arsenal, the more likely we are to succeed!