I used to be an expert at quitting anything involving physical activity. At school I would come up with any excuse to avoid exercise, if you could think up an ailment or appointment I used it: “inner ear problem” check, “dentist check up” done, “period” tried but failed as when I was a kid I didn’t quite realise that it was exclusively for females. In my last post I wrote about how I failed in reaching one of my main aims for the year and I put it down to my old ways creeping back in. I was beginning to find reasons to quit my weekly runs and my training schedule.
Despite what the inspirational Facebook posts say quitting is very much an option. In fact, it is the easiest option. Once you realise that you can go about excuse proofing yourself, to make sure that your subconscious can’t come up with reasons to quit. With a new year just on the horizon I’m sure a lot of you will be coming up with new goals and aims for the year ahead, so I thought I would come up with ten ways to ensure that you stay excuse free.
1. Post your weekly plan on social media
There’s nothing quite like the power of knowing people are watching.
Find someone with a similar aim or plan and attach yourself like a limpet. It doesn’t have to be in the real world, there are plenty of running groups on Facebook that are an overflowing source of inspiring runners. No doubt one of them will be in the same situation you are.
3. Join a Running Club
For the same reason as finding as buddy, a running club can provide you with weekly top ups in morale and break up your regular training, especially if you usually run solo. Knowing that other people are expecting you at a run will force you out when you’d rather stay in the warm embrace of your sofa, plus chatting while you run makes the miles fly by.
4. PT instead of Gym
When you’re using a personal trainer it is very hard to avoid, in a good way. Unlike a gym membership which can be easily avoided (by simply not turning up) a personal trainer session is a set pre-booked time-slot where someone is waiting for you.
5. Get Selfish
Don’t be ashamed to say no to things because your training gets in the way. Warn your friends and family that your going to be training hard and that you will have to say no to things once in a while. If they know that when you start they will be more understanding and not pressurise you out of training.
6. Dear Self
Write down before you start why you’re training. Really understand why you are doing all this so when your struggling for motivation you can pick up that note, reread and reenergise.
7. Start a Diary
In a similar vein as number six, create a video journal or simply write down what you are doing each week. Doing so will give you a reminder that what you do each week matters, each run is a stepping stone towards that goal. Also by being recorded, future you can pin-point where things went wrong and no one likes disappointing their future-selves.
8. Prepare the Night Before
I have friends that sleep in their running kit the night before a run as it cuts out the opportunity to give in. In a less extreme way, I tend to lay my clothes out and have a breakfast all ready to go so my exit to the road is that bit smoother.
9. Put on another layer
There is no such thing as bad weather only wrong clothes. Don’t use a bit of rain or chilly temperatures as an excuse just add an extra layer.
10. Lastly but most importantly
Don’t kick yourself if you fall short. If you miss a run or can’t muster the strength, fear not there is always tomorrow. If you ever begin to doubt yourself, just reach out, I’m always here for you all. Comment in this post or email me and I am more than willing to help you out with training plans, tips or simply someone to chat to when the excuses start to surface. Together we’ll go further.
Next Race: Gloucester Winter Half Marathon