Motivational techniques

Any techniques average athletes use to keep motivated?

I’m getting killed by work, and with no concrete goal in mind I’m finding it very difficult to motivate myself to train.

Before when I was in college and I thought I would run a good time, motivation was just natural, wanting to beat others, improve ones times.

But now I’m so tired and have too little time, I’d have to do weights in a rush from 7-8AM and then train track after work at 6 or 7PM or something like that, after a long ride across the city. I’m too tired to even think about anything other then rest at 6PM. Plus I now live about an hour and a half from the track. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

Even though I love track the benefit/cost just isn’t favorable in my mind. I feel too tired after work and I also feel as if I trained I wouldn’t be able to do a quality session. And that discourages me further. What now?

I’ve tried watching videos, seeing results, etc. the type of stuff that fired me up before. But now I feel nothing. Time to retire?

Unfortunitly there is no easy fix. I suggest doing less training but of higher quality when you can do it and scheduling it around your other commitments. You always have to adjust training to suit your environment.

Being a good athlete in athletics terms is almost a full time job. I can understand how you have problems.



The most important thing is that what worked before to motivate you no longer works and it’s normal.The movies you watched years ago, the music you listened doesn’t affect you the same. They remain the same, the difference is that YOU changed. On the other hand, the external factors have changed, so the solutions must be changed to. It’s an adaptation.

Also, without goals in mind you can’t plan things. You’ve lost something on the road. Does an athlete has to set goals in accordance to its life, or does he has to set his life in accordance to its goals ? I believe that when this question is raised, it means that you have overcomplicated the situation. The truth is that you shouldn’t have to make the choice, all this should go naturally, like an harmony between life and goal. If you make the choice between one of them you will be deceived soon or late, because your life and your goals are actually the SAME thing.

Becareful with motivation techniques, you are putting a foot on the guru’s land :rolleyes:

I’m very motivated by what pierrejean has written :stuck_out_tongue:

But seriously aln, Inspiration comes before Motivation.

If nothing more inspires you, then where is the motivation going to come from? Motivation is the hand-maiden of Desire.

I would suggest you look at the athletics high performance threads. Consider if there is something in any of them which particularly interests you. And perhaps you can just simplify your athletics life at this time by focusing on just that one area.

For example: you may wish to improve your range-of-movement (motion) and/or total control through proprioceptive awareness, so maybe you can attack that thread by finding a gymnastics/yoga/pilates/dance type teacher/class.

Or maybe it will be specific strength you want to target, so hit the gym/pilates/gymnastics/plyometrics etc; The expertise and facilities needed to pursue either of those two performance threads are often available locally.

If you identify something you really would like to achieve, then in this way you can start fulfilling a goal which will ultimately significantly benefit your running if and when you find/make time to hit the whole training scheme again.

That’s it, right there. If it isn’t worth it then it’s not worth it. A number of people have come to this awareness on this and other boards – that there has to be a cost/benefit that makes sense. If you’re not getting more out of it then you put in then it’s not a good investment.
Put your time and energy into that which will serve you better. If you don’t have time and energy in the first place, then why dig yourself a hole?
I don’t mean to be discouraging, it’s just that so many people think they “have to” do this or that, when you might be better off doing something else.

Good responses above, it’s all true. It is very difficult to stay motivated if there isn’t something motivating you. Sometimes, at least for me, when I really refocus on my nutrition, my training gets a spark. If you’ve just been coasting along on your nutrition, maybe make that a main priority. Believe me, training with tag along.

If it is more of a life issue/thing, I really recommend reading The Power of Full Engagement. Not so much for the training advice "(limited and novice) but for the overall life re-arrangement. At a bare minimum, just reading the short turn-around stories can pump you up for a change.

I’ve been competing for about 40 years now. I go through periods where my motivation is good and others when it isn’t. I think when you’re older you look at it all differently and you are in those transitional years. I encourage you to stick with it as a lifestyle thing and less of a competitive thing where you want to beat others and improve times.

The motivation for me these days is more of the wellness, socialization, travel, etc. But there’s still plenty of competitiveness in it to keep it interesting. I think you just have to be realistic about it and accept that you’re in a different place in life. I would say I enjoy the sport as much as ever but in different ways.

I still think it beats golf, bowling and softball, which is what most people my age do.

Don’t beat yourself up about it and overanalyze it. Once you’re 30 and competing in masters meets, you’ll have enough fun and motivation to continue onward. In the meantime, it might make sense to scale back a bit, take out the travel time and work out in whatever way you can locally – maybe just going to the track once a week or when convenient. You can get quite a bit done on grass or in a nearby gym.

In the long run, you’ll probably be happier if you keep in it to some extent rather than quitting completely. Plus it gives you the option to get back in should motivation strengthen in the future.

Good luck

I completely agree!
Let us know!

Thanks so much for the excellent replies guys. PJ, Kitkat and juggler I think you all contributed a part of the puzzle of which I’ve been thinking and trying to clarify in my mind and now it’s finally clear now that someone told me. I agree completely with all three.

Sadly the conclusion is that I should hang them up. For the last year I tried to do what speedz says, do a track session when I can, sometimes several months passed before I was able to do anything, it just hasn’t been enjoyable. “Even though I love track the benefit/cost just isn’t favorable in my mind.” I will move on and just start to enjoy track from the spectators seat.

As to physical activity, yeah I should just focus on the gym and mobility, things I can do close to my home. I’ve been killing myself over trying to somehow do everything I used to do when I was dedicating 5/6 hours a day to track/weights etc and have ended up doing nothing because I didn’t have time for one or another. It’s time to end the craziness and do what I realistically can, as much as it hurts to leave track - but still hoping someday I’ll be back. :slight_smile: Thanks again.

You don’t have to feel like it’s a failure. Pro athletes work so hard for a reason. If you don’t have a real gain that you realize from working so hard, what is it costing you elsewhere in life? Some people on this board have gotten or are trying to get scholarships so that’s worth it. But if you’re not going to be making the $$ then it may not be worth the cost. Enjoyment, yes, but for many it stops being that. I’m taking a break from juggling since I haven’t been having any fun at all. I may go back if it’s fun again. Once it becomes a chore, either because of the work itself or what it takes from you, then it’s okay to let it go. Doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit, or play something for fun, just that life priorities can and do change. You see this all the time with powerlifters. Guys are constantly writing how busted up they are from pushing the big weights and it’s something they “have to do”. No reason to use yourself up on stuff that doesn’t add equal value to your life.

I’ve been competing for about 40 years now.

am i the only one impresed by this?! damn, thats nice…

man, dont say things like “hang them up” they will just raise the need for closure which is probably not needed. Your life changed, you work alot, you stay far from track, what have you. If it doesnt make you happy any more whats the point, its a hobby after all, adapt, do something else and perhaps along the way that damn smell of sun burned tartan will hit your nostrils like a train.

be happy man, its all that matters.