1/26/14

Build confidence, skip the excuses

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."
-George Washington Carver
 
 

Saturday morning brick:
2:45 trainer ride
1 hour warm-up (including 20 min of 1 min single leg drills each leg, then both together, etc.)
Main set: 
3 x 15 min Z3 upper w/ 5 min EZ (cadence 90+ rpm)
10 min EZ
2 x 5 min Z4 low w/ 3 min EZ (cadence 90+rpm)
Cool down
 
30 min (3.5 miles) treadmill 'brick' run
15 min warm-up (last 5 minutes picked up the pace a little)
Rest/straddle treadmill for 1 minute
Main set:
5 x 2 minutes (90 sec at half IM race pace, 30 sec at olympic distance race pace) w/ 1 min rest/straddle treadmill
Cool down walk

 
Sunday long run (treadmill):
10.5 miles/1:25
Dynamic stretching warm-up
30 min warm-up (stretched out every 8-10 minutes)
Main set 3x's:
5 min @ half marathon race pace (+20 sec slower)
5 x 1 min @ Olympic distance race pace w/ 20 sec rest in between
1 min straddle treadmill, repeat 2 more times.
Cool down
 
 
It's too cold
I don't have time
I'm too slow
I'm too tired
It won't work
I can't do it
I am not strong enough
I am not smart enough
 
If there is one thing that motivates me every morning to train smart it would be my triathlon goals. My season is laid out well in advance so that I can prep and peak at appropriate times and minimize chances of burnout.
But if there was one thing that keeps me enjoying exercising when I'm not training for triathlons, it would be how great I feel when I workout (and after).
 
One thing that I encourage athletes and fitness enthusiasts to remember is that training for a race is not required to be healthy. You can be healthy and not be training for a triathlon, an Ironman, a bike race or a 5K. Although training may improve health, if not done carefully, training can be very damaging on the body, can interfere with balance in life (work/family/etc.), can increase risk for disease/illness and can increase risk for injury.
 
But no matter if you are training for a race or just exercising for health, it's important to understand the difference between building confidence and having a no excuses mentality when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. 
 
I find that it requires a lot of energy to make excuses. First, there's the thought of what you should be doing. Then there's the thought of why you can't do it, why you don't want to do it, why you don't have time to do it or why it can't be done. Then there's the energy to convince yourself that the reason for not doing whatever you should be doing is good enough to keep you from doing it. But then in the back of your mind, you feel guilty, upset or frustrated that you have convinced yourself that you can't do what you should do.
 
I've said "I can't" many times in my life. In career, education and in sport, I am not afraid of admitting that "I can't" is part of my vocabulary.
But when it comes to my goals, whether career, education of sport, I refuse to give up and I don't like to waste my energy on excuses.
Typically, my use of "I can't" out of my mouth comes from a lack of confidence at the task ahead. I have no problem putting in the work when the work needs to be done but often times, I doubt myself, my skills and my ability to succeed and that's when I need support to keep me positive.

Everyday we are faced with choices and for many, diet and exercise and other life choices are viewed as chores. Something that "has" to be done. But when it comes to making things happen because you have a goal for yourself, you have to make the choice to get it done. Sure, motivation may be higher at certain times than others but just think of all the energy you are making on excuses and perhaps it's time that you spend a little more energy on how you can make things happen.
 
One of the best ways to stop (or reduce) excuses is to work on confidence. Confidence that what you are doing is moving you closer to your goals. (even if you think that you should be doing more or something differently - if you are aiming for perfection you will not be able to recognize progress).
 
Confidence is the feeling that you are unstoppable, even if you have to change the plan at times (but never change the goal).

Confidence is knowing that you can still move closer to your goals as long as you try. And even if you think you could be doing more or better, you don't let that black or white mentality keep you from succeeding.

When you focus your energy on why you can't do something, your mind will give you plenty of reasons why you can't do it. But if are confident that something is better than nothing, you will be amazed how making a little effort, every day, will move you toward your goals. On the contrary, giving yourself reasons why you can't make things happen will not give you the results you want (even at crunch-time when you feel the pressure and motivation to make things happen that should have happened weeks or months prior)
 
Sit down with yourself and create a plan. Life, nutrition, exercise - whatever it is that you are struggling with when it comes to motivation, dedication, discipline or enthusiasm.

Create a plan that is realistic and practical and allows for progress. Your plan is YOUR plan and is helpful only for you and your goals at this time in your life.

If you feel you are too busy, too cold or too tired, close your eyes and visualize yourself reaching your goal.

Now put that vision into your life and dedicate passion, hard work and commitment to your life in order to create the momentum that will help you move closer to your goals.
 
No more excuses.
You CAN succeed.