MALIBU—Most athletes either have an “off season” every year or end up getting
to a place where they finally take a break. This is the time the body,
mind and spirit are granted a rest and reserves are built for the next push, or season, of
competition and training. Often the hardest part of the “off season” is that once
it ends, it can be very difficult to get motivated and back in the
groove. Here are a few ways to get motivated.
1. Start small. Whether or not you’ve been cross training in your time away from your sport, it’s always good to start slowly getting back into training. For instance, if you’re getting back into marathon-running shape and you can easily run a 12-mile training run in your regular season, don’t feel bad about starting back into it with only two to four miles in the first weeks. Your body will be able to work the kinks out and, like a warm up to any workout, will get you ready for what’s to come with less likelihood of injury. Starting small is also good for your head game as it will keep you from beating yourself up for not being where you once were, an equally important side of training.
2. Properly energizing. While your body has been in a rest state compared to the usual performance state of the “on season,” it is natural that you have been metabolizing food in a different way and, most likely, needed less fuel to function in this state. Though balanced nutrition should always be a goal, regardless of your sporting, it is extremely important to put forth the extra focus and attention to making sure you’re properly fueling the machine. To make it simple, just be sure to get enough carbohydrates for pre-workout meals, to insure enough usable energy when it’s needed, and enough proteins in post workout meals, to aid in recovery. As your intensity increases in training, there is a noticeable increase in appetite. Just be sure to feed that hunger with quality as well as the added quantity.
3. Mental psyching. As one of the most important tools in performance and competition, we must remember to activate the mind. This is the trickiest one because everyone has different points of inspiration. Only you know what gets you going but here are a few things that help get me in the zone. I always buy a new pair of running shoes for a race or training season. Try loading your coffee table with magazines too, just seeing others out there doing it will help carry you out the door.
So now that you’ve laced up your new shoes, had a good breakfast and picked out a good start up route, get to it and get on out the door! The new season is on and with these simple tools you’ll be ready for your next event. Good luck and we’ll see you at the finish line.
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