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Wednesday 30 November 2022

8 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You Think Exercise Sucks

I do triathlon. Which means that rather than being good at one sport, I am mediocre at three sports.

I do generally like doing all three, particularly when I'm not doing any of them and I'm remembering warm trail runs in the sunshine (rather than miserable February miles reps when there's sideways rain), cafe stops and rolling lanes on the bike (rather than headwinds, broken ribs and frozen fingers) and sunny days spent splashing around in a river with the promise of a hot chocolate afterwards (rather than getting kicked by a breaststroker while doing 400m reps with chlorine up my nose).

In fact, my favourite of the three disciplines tends to be either one of the two I'm not doing at that particular moment in time.

However, I have found that there are ways to motivate myself and talk myself into doing whatever horrific session my coach has dreamed up for me that day.

1. Track - Pretend you're a pro. Flounce around at track, take your stretches VERY seriously and absolutely do not do ANYTHING without first swigging a beetroot shot. Warning: Your street cred may plummet when you're dropped on the very first rep. If you have NO street cred … nothing to worry about. Otherwise just title your Strava workout 'Easy Run.'

'Easy Run' *puff, pant*

2. Pool – drop a Mars bar into the water and scream “Oh my God! Those kids have been in here with dodgy tummies again!” and point at it. Then when everyone is looking and scrambling to get out of the pool, casually hook it out and eat it. Guaranteed to clear the pool AND you've eaten the evidence. Ta-da – a lane (and pool!) all to yourself.

Is That a Mars Bar ..?

3. Cycling – think of the cake. Always the cake. If anyone comes with you on a bike ride and doesn't stop for cake, drop them. You don't need friends like that.

4. Running – get some very beautiful trainers. Then when everyone is distracted by looking at your beautiful shoes, shout “See you later, suckers!” and drop them in a sprint finish. People may say that this is unethical, but I can't help it if my shoes are very lovely.

Wow, Truly a Shoe of Beauty

5. Open Water Swimming – Get your lake practise done by going swimming in places that have enormous pike. This does wonders for your speed, cadence AND for 'warming up your wetsuit'. Don't get eaten though as this does tend to be distracting. Top Tip: To avoid this, swim quicker. Note: Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about when I mentioned how we warm up our wetsuits.  

I Hear There Are REALLY Big Fish in Here

6. Transition – The gaps between swimming and cycling and cycling and running are called transitions. These are where we do NOT dry our feet, brush our hair or generally fanny around. Transitions are to be done quickly and elegantly. Practise transitions by leaping out of the shower wet and running around the house before work in the mornings while looking for your bike and the towel you will not use. Your husband will be highly supportive and will definitely not say “Stop running around like a lunatic, the neighbours will think you're on drugs. AND You've dripped shower water in my coffee.”

7. Strength Work – This can be achieved by getting bigger portions of cake at the cake shop and lifting the fork repeatedly to your mouth. It's fuelling. FUELLING.

Road Closures: Stretching & Strength Work!

8. Stretching – This can be achieved by dropping your phone on the floor when on the indoor bike trainer and picking it up off the floor while still pedalling. This is top level stretching. Alternatively, if you can reach most places on your back when you have an itch, then you are probably stretchy enough.

I hope you've enjoyed my top class exercise tips for the keen runners and triathletes among us. You can't go wrong with these.

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