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We only have so much motivation at our disposal. Some people have more of it than others and our motivation reserves rise and fall based on many factors, both internal and external. When we first start training, our motivation is often very high. Yet after a couple of months of waking up at zero dark thirty and missing out on social events due to training, our motivation tends to drop.

So how do you stick to your training plan when you just don’t have the motivation?

I firmly believe that self-bribery is one of the most underrated tools in endurance training (and parenting, but that’s another blog post). Case in point: I wanted to work on my swim stroke during the offseason which required that I wake up early, go out in the cold and go to the pool by myself – all things that were challenging to overcome. The pool had a hot tub which I enjoyed sitting in after my workout. I thought about how nice it would be to drink coffee and sit in the hot tub, so I used that as my bribe to get myself to finish my swim set. It was so much easier getting the workout done knowing that I would be able to kick back in the hot tub sipping coffee afterward.

Another great way to keep motivated is with a little friendly competition, especially when a wager is involved. The wager doesn’t need to be monetary. Fun things like the loser having to wear a unicorn speedo do amazing things in the motivation department.

Finally, create some accountability by signing up for a class or making plans with a workout buddy. There has been more than one occasion that I would have stayed in bed if I didn’t know that people were waiting for me.

Don’t rely on motivation alone to get you through your training. Pick one or all of these strategies to keep you on track to meet your goals.

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