Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Commitment Tools

Announce your Goal – Whether you simply want to complete your first Bridge Run or finish near the top of your age group, sharing your goal with others and putting it down on paper will reinforce your commitment and make you more accountable.

Chart your Progress – You will be more likely to maintain your motivation and stick with your training program if you record the miles you’ve run (along with any other data you wish) in a training log.

Just Say “No” – Depending upon the time you have available to train, there may be occasions when you have to politely decline a social invitation to fit in a run. Don’t confuse this with being compulsive but rather, invoking self-discipline as a means to accomplish an important goal.

Plan Ahead – Writing in your planner the day and time you plan to run oftentimes isn’t enough, particularly for runners with family responsibilities. Make the necessary arrangements in advance (childcare, cooking dinner, etc.) to insure that your workout gets done.

Be Flexible – If you are unable to run as planned due to an unforeseen circumstance, resort to “Plan B”. For example, if the babysitter doesn’t show up, take the kids to a gym that offers daycare service and run on the treadmill. Or make arrangements to run when your spouse comes home from work.

“Just Do It” - Use Nike’s famous catch phrase as a tool in developing the self-discipline and mental toughness to make yourself run, even on those days when your motivation is low. More times than not, after returning from your run, you will be glad you did! Over time, you will discover that working out will be a pleasurable experience that you look forward to doing regularly.

Ignore Distractions – Just prior to the time you plan to run, don’t let the computer, TV, telephone, etc. grab your attention. Don’t let that time you set aside to train slip away.

Unforeseen Glitches – Even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry. If a family emergency or personal illness arises, just resume your training ASAP.

Mother Nature - Don’t let inclement weather stop you in your tracks. By dressing appropriately, running in the rain or cold can be an exhilarating experience. Also realize that the Bridge Run will go on as scheduled, rain or shine, yet another reason to learn to face the elements!

Self-Doubt and Anxiety – The best way to combat these stressors is to make sure that you get those training runs completed. Knowing that you have trained properly increases self-confidence. Use mental strategies like visualization (seeing yourself in your mind’s eye cross the finish line) and self-talk (telling yourself during times when your motivation to run is low, that you will enjoy the race by training properly).

Be Resourceful – There are numerous ways to create and maximize training opportunities:- Will your boss let you come into work later in the morning to run if you make up the time at the end of the day? Can you run during lunch?- Can your spouse or kids help with chores around the house?- Can your kids join you while training? Examples: You can use a baby jogger, kids can ride their bikes, run on a treadmill while kids watch TV, etc.

Training Partner - Finding a friend to train with is both fun and motivating. Be sure that their pace closely matches yours. And above all, if they become a no-show, run anyway.

Reward Yourself – Treat yourself to a special reward (a new running outfit, massage, dinner at a nice restaurant, etc.) for accomplishing short-term goals along the way. By Art Liberman

No comments: