Another week in the books and I am feeling hella strong and learning a ton!
Motivation: This week I found that I used food a lot as motivation. I’ll admit this isn’t always the healthiest practice for some people. I find for me it makes me a little food obsessed. Because I am aware of how it effects me mentally, I can work on shifting to tap into a new type of motivation for next week. Now on the flip side it can be used as a great tool as well (when it doesn’t become obsessive). The way you use it as a tool is:
1-Thinking of food as fuel
When I’m deciding between eating a snack or working out I picture what that snack will do for me AFTER the workout. A snack consisting of protein and a complex carb after a workout will refuel my tank. It will help my muscles recover by getting the protein there to repair the work that I have done (this is the process of building muscle). A snack post workout is very positive, in fact it is important to eat within 30 minutes of any resistance training session.
2-Picturing how you can enjoy your meals the most
The second way I use food as motivation is picturing how much better a snack would taste after having earned it with a great workout. How much mentally better I would feel eating after my workout, rather than not exercising at all (which in itself is a mood booster). So you decide whether you can use food as a motivational tool without letting it consume your thoughts to an obsessive amount.
Intensity: So this week I moved into my 3rd microcycle which means it was time to increase the intensity of my workouts. Without having extra weights at home and with primarily training for muscular endurance, this means adding extra reps to my exercises. Now I didn’t go too overboard again progressing at a slow pace is important to give yourself room to progress and to prevent injuries. So for increased intensity I increased my reps for almost every exercise by 2 reps only. Now this doesn’t seem like a lot but I definitely felt it! You would be surprised how much adding little increases, weight, reps can do. My overall soreness level was actually at a 7 this week and it was the perfect kind of sore:)
Lessons: This week my biggest lesson was during a cardio session. I started out my run at a pretty good pace and half way through the run was feeling fatigued. These are the times where it’s important to use self talk. Do NOT judge yourself for self talk in fact I encourage you all to do it and do it right. The way that we talk to ourselves has a MASSIVE impact on achieving goals, becoming successful, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves and our confidence.
So when I started to feel fatigued I recognized that idea was going through my mind and I started to switch it. I started thinking to myself that I have pushed through fatigue before and have been successful. I started imagining myself actually in the triathlon and what I would do on race day, how I would push through. I focused on my running form to give me more power (balls of the feet, knees turned more out than in, squeeze the core, BREATH, utilize the arms and keep them straight).
It’s usually in these moments when you feel yourself pushing through that wall, that you get that “runners high” and this happened for me. I kept trekking at a good pace and kept calling myself “a well oiled machine” in my head lol Don’t judge me, try it for yourself! There is nothing better than a runners high, than a hit of dopamine, it is an amazing feeling. I finished this 5 km run in about 30 minutes which I am extremely happy with at this stage in the game.
I will break down how to push through these walls into workable steps:
- Recognize when the self talk becomes negative
- Change the thought into a positive one
- Imagine how it would feel to break through the wall
- Focus on form
- Repeat a self affirmation ex: “I am a tank” “I got this shit” “I am an athlete” “Hard as fuck”
Most importantly celebrate the success when you’ve pushed through. Soak in the pride, write down your new record or number, journal the experience, tell a friend or trainer who would be so proud. You are worth celebrating!
Another lesson I learned just in the last couple days here is the importance of creating alternatives rather than making excuses. Life happens, injuries happen, snow happens, gyms close, things sometimes don’t go according to your plan. Rather than making excuses as to why you can’t do your workout, do your daily yoga or movement, or whatever it is you set out to do, create an alternative.
My alternative this week was to do a power snow shoe cardio session as the roads were too snowy and unsafe for my cardio session. Although I didn’t get my heart rate up as much as I would running, I went hard and I got er done! That is what it’s all about!
Overall it’s been a very good week of training. By sticking with my plan, pushing through mental challenges, recognizing when my thoughts aren’t serving me, and taking action everyday, I am well on my way to achieving my fitness goal.
What do you do when your mental talk goes south? How do you talk to yourself on a daily basis? How do you push through your walls? What kinds of tools can you use as motivation?
I would love to hear your thoughts on these subjects, feel free to reach out by commenting on the blog or private message me on my instagram @frecklefithealth
Have a great week everybody!