10 Tips To Help You Complete Your Training

Whether it's first thing in the morning, or last thing at night it can sometimes be difficult to physically get out of the door, or into your kit to train.  Don't despair, we've come up with ten tips to help you start that training session.......

1. Plan your Week

Each Sunday night (or the night before your training week starts), sit down and work out what session you're going to do when, taking into consideration your other commitments.  It's all too easy to keep pushing sessions back towards the end of the week and before you know it you've got a swim, bike and run planned for Saturday and Sunday!  If things need to be missed, then miss them - planning out your week realistically gives you a better chance of completing the session as it is intended.

 Planning out your training gives you a greater chance at succeeding

Planning out your training gives you a greater chance at succeeding

2. Plan your Day

Plan your day with three training opportunities - before work, lunchtimes and after work.  If you miss one of the opportunities then you have another one to use.  However, don't fall into the trap of pushing everything back towards the end of the day.  If you get into a habit of always doing x session on x day then this will definitely work in your favour!

3. Plan your Session

Turning up to the pool with the wrong kit is a sure fire way to have you back in the car and on your way home.  If you have a program that you are following, look at it in advance of your session and know what  pieces of kit you need to take with you.  Being planned and prepared for your session means you are more likely to succeed rather than running around like a headless chicken looking for all the things you need (HR straps and GPS devices being large culprits here!)

4. Don't get Distracted

If you know you have a training session that evening after work, then don't go home....go and do it straight after work.  It's difficult to maintain focus as soon as you have stepped through the door of your house.  The lure of the sofa is there, or your family are vying for your attention and you would prefer to give it to them than the Wattbike in the gym.  Plan your day and take your kit with you to work and do your training session on the way home.  Or better still, make your training session the journey home - run or ride home!

5. Train with Friends

It's easy to wake up in the morning, hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.  It's less easy to ignore the doorbell when your training partner has arrived to train with you that morning.  By arranging to meet someone en route or at the start of your session you can guarantee that you have more of a chance of hitting the tarmac than the snooze button.  If you don't quite have the same training plan or goals then think laterally...got a turbo and brick run?  Tell your running partner to meet you at your house at the time you should be finishing your bike session and then head out on the run together.

 With friends, or with a club....it all helps.

With friends, or with a club....it all helps.

6. Train with a Club

Friends can be forgiving and I bet you also know which of your friends you can rely on to back out of a training session when called upon.  Club mates don't quite fall into this category and there will be a certain amount of 'gentle teasing' that goes on if you regularly say you will show and then you don't.  Peer pressure can be useful at times!  (For more reasons as to why you should join your club, have a read of this)

7. Be Accountable to Someone

It's much easier to actually do the planned session than it is to come up with an excuse as to why you didn't do the session.  Trust me on this one....after minutes of shall I/shan't I and thinking up various inventive reasons as to why the session hasn't been done, it's just easier to do it.  Having someone check over your training (be it a Coach or friend) and asking why sessions weren't done is a great way to keep you on track.  (and as a Coach, I've heard them all.....half a session is better than no session!)

8. Ten Minute Rule

Similar to the above, if you really can't face the session just go for 10 minutes.  If you still have zero motivation then allow yourself permission to turn round and come home.  It's the first 10 minutes that can be the most difficult, and more often than not, once you've started the session, you'll finish the session.

9. Be Organised

Sounds simple, but if your session is an hour long, don't turn up to the pool an hour before it shuts.  Basic maths will tell you that you won't get your session done in time.  Similarly, an hours lunch break isn't going to be suitable for a 90 minute bike session.  Look at your training plan and be realistic.

 Know what you need to do in advance - and make sure you have all the right kit  Photo credit: Paul Hayward

Know what you need to do in advance - and make sure you have all the right kit

Photo credit: Paul Hayward

10. Have a training plan

Having things laid out in front of you, with clear structure and goals is one of the best ways to focus your training to ensure it is completed.  You don't need to spend the first few minutes of each session thinking about what you are going to do as it's all pre-planned.  It doesn't need to be anything fancy, but it does need to be something.  When you have completed your session, record it - be that on a piece of paper, a chart or software such as Training Peaks.  This way you can remind yourself of what you HAVE done, and what is coming up next.