I love being fit and healthy, but I’m not going to lie – sometimes finding the motivation to workout and eat well is tough. For me one way to stay motivated is to always have a goal to aim for. But, whereas in the past my goal has usually been a race or a competition, at the moment I’ve decided to take a step back and focus my goal on re-building my fitness foundation.
The reason for this is because after not performing well in my last two marathons, getting no PBs for over a year and getting injured – I realised that I needed to make some changes.
As well as this, last year I fell out of love with fitness a bit. Normally my workouts are one of my favourite parts of the day and something I look forward to, but last year I started to become disinterested, which resulted in me not giving my all during workouts and, in all honesty, a lot of the time I was just going through the motions waiting to get to the end of the class. Even with running I began to do more and more easy runs as I felt unmotivated to push myself on a speed session or tempo run. Looking back it is easy to see why I wasn’t getting any fitter or achieving new PBs!
During the London marathon, although my enthusiasm for running had returned, I realised that I was completely mentally fatigued and I needed to take a step back, recharge and fall back in-love with my workouts again.
My plan was once I’d gotten over my knee injury to start rebuilding my fitness foundations. This meant going back to basics and trying new things. So I’ve been in the gym re-building my strength – using weights that push me but which I’m still comfortable using. I’ve reduced the number of runs I do a week, keeping my mileage low, but mixing it up by adding in tempo miles and intervals. I’ve also been trying new classes at the gym, which has led to a new found love of spin! I’ve been swimming, lifting, cycling, rowing, circuit training, doing yoga and pilates, hiking and running.
I’ve also become more relaxed about my workouts and instead of planning out exactly what to do during each session, now I go more with how I feel on that particular day.
It’s not just my workouts that I’ve been focusing on but my rest as well. I’ve been prioritising getting the rest that I need to help my body recover from my workouts, which has meant getting earlier nights, learning to relax on the weekends and dropping my workouts to one per day (at the moment).
And it seems to be working. Not only am I starting to feel fitter and stronger with my workouts but I’m loving training again. I feel motivated to get up early for a run or head to the gym after a long day at work. I’m also feeling able to really push my workouts, aiming to go that little bit harder on the spin bike or increase the weight on the barbell.
At the moment I’m still working on building my fitness foundation, but I’m already looking towards setting goals over the next 12 months, including running another marathon (going for that sub-4 hours) and even having a go at my first ultra.