Consistency Is Key
Hey, do you ever have trouble staying consistent with your training or exercise? I know I do. it’s something I continually struggle with.
Over the years of training and competing in triathlon and cycling I have found a few things that can really get in the way and a few things that really help with my consistency.
3 things that can really make it difficult to be consistent
When you get injured its really tough to be consistent with training and exercise. If you have to take a couple of weeks off without training, it can really put damper on your progress and motivation. It is inevitably going to happen at some point if you are doing any sort of endurance training or even weightlifting. Avoiding and recovering from injury is a whole other topic but there are a few general things that you can do that will help regardless of the situation.
Don’t progress too fast only add a 10% increase each week to your current level
Get a good night’s sleep at least 7-8 hours a night this will really help with recovery and overall health
Eat healthy foods mast of the time – Vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats, and less sugar
Don’t be afraid to take a rest day or 2 during the week if you’re feeling fatigued.
#2 Too busy with work and family
This is something that I really have struggled over the last few years. I have 2 young kids and my wife was going through graduate school, so my “free time” has been limited. Needless to say, I have not been consistent with exercise and training even though it has always been a priority for me. Sometimes I forget how much staying consistent with my exercise or training really helps me feel less stressed and have more energy. So, the moral of the story is if exercise or training is a priority for you do your best to find time to do it. Tips to get it done
1. Don’t make it complicated – just go for a quick run, ride, or do some body weight exercises
2. Involve your kids or spouse
3. Block out at least 30 min in the morning, at lunch, or evening for exercise
#3 Not knowing your why!
This is another big one that is easy to forget. If you’re not sure why your doing something other than you just know you’re supposed to its really easy to not get it done. We can see it everyday people know they are supposed to eat healthy, but they don’t, people know they should get more sleep, but they don’t, people know they should be exercising and training, but they don’t. It’s not until people have a health scare or someone they are close to does that they find their why. I remember when I first started actually exercising on purpose, I was always very active with sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, mountain biking but as life got busier, I was doing those things less and less and getting less exercise. I was studying exercise science in my under grad and was learning the many amazing benefits of exercise and I knew I had to change something. I started doing triathlon and have been doing it in some form ever since. I have had to rediscover my why several times over the years but always find it again when I really start to think about it. So, if your struggling with consistency try to remember why you’re doing it. It could simply be to get healthier, for stress relief, to be an example for your kids, or to PR your next race.
3 things that will help you stay consistent
#1 Find your tribe
We are very social creatures and as much as we might try and deny it we thrive off of interaction and connection with other people. This can really boost your motivation and desire to get out there and do your training. If you can find a group of people that you really connect with this will be key to staying consistent. There are so many awesome benefits to being part of a community. Just feeling accepted and wanted in a community has benefits on your mental health. You almost always have someone to be accountable to which has been shown to improve your ability to achieve goals and be more productive. Overall, it’s just more fun to do stuff with other people so get out there and find your tribe and your consistency is sure to go up.
#2 Find a coach
This one helps me because I tend to over think things. I wonder if I am doing the right training. I am always thinking is there a better work out that I could be doing and sometimes it paralyzes me, and I end up not doing anything. If you can get someone to help you plan most of your workouts, then you can take a lot of the thinking out of it and just do the work.
This can come in many forms you could hire a triathlon coach, buy a pre made training plan, or go to group fitness places like CrossFit or Orange Theory. In each scenario you have someone else planning your workouts and someone to be accountable to which will both help improve your consistency. Lately I have been using Zwift for a lot of my indoor training on the bike and it has been helping me a lot.
# 3 Remember your why!
I am coming back to this again because this is truly one of the best motivators out there. If you know what this is and you remind yourself of it frequently you will be more consistent and have fun doing it. I challenge you to take a few minutes to sit down and actually write out why your exercising, competing in triathlon and cycling races, going to CrossFit, etc… Once you have this down put it somewhere that you can see it every day. You could put it on a card on your nightstand or set a reminder on your phone there are a lot of ways you can do it just figure out what works for you. My main why for exercising is so that I will not be limited in the type of activities that I can do. If a friend invites me to go mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, or compete in a triathlon I want to be fit enough to do it. Signing up for triathlon and cycling events has been a great motivator for me to stay fit and keep exercising. That gives me another idea for a bonus 4th way to stay consistent
#4 Sign up for a race, run, or cycling event.
Signing up for and actually committing to something really seems to keep me motivated. After I click the check-out button on the registration page and pay money for the event, I know there is no going back. I will need to be ready for that race. So, if you have been struggling with consistency sign up for a local event and get yourself ready for it.