If you ask any professional athlete, they will tell you how important mental sharpness is to being competitive. Consistent workouts, year after year, are the key to reaching your competitive goals. Staying mentally fresh is the key to consistent workouts. Following some of these simple tips from professional triathlete and mountain biker Ryan Petry will help reach your goals with a smile on your face.
1. Remember why you are training.
It can be easy to forget why you are working out in the first place, we all have our reasons. Whether you are training for the sense of accomplishment, your health, or because you love to compete, getting out the door is a choice we have to make. Of course, there will be those days where training is the last thing you want to do, but think about how you would feel if you didn’t.
2. Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket.
Sacrifices need to be made to reach your goals, but making too many sacrifices is a quick way to get burnt out. The best pros indulge once in a while. Enjoy the occasional drink, dessert, and don’t be afraid to skip a workout when life throws other opportunities your way.
3. Don’t set too many alarms.
Often times the best time to fit in a workout is the morning before work. However, dreading the sound of that early alarm and the run, ride, swim, gym session that soon follows is an easy way to burn out on training. Consistent training is important, but enjoying what you are doing is more important, and so is sleep. Try going to bed earlier, or training after work a few times a week to give the alarm a break.
4. Make it social.
Between work, family, training, and getting enough sleep, it can be hard to find time to have a social life. Training with friends or finding a training group is a great way to maintain relationships with friends and meet new friends. Plus, training with others keeps you accountable in doing your workouts and pushes you to work harder.
5. Recognize when you’re pushing too hard.
Pushing through the days where you aren’t motivated to get out and train in order to reach your goal is one thing, but when you find yourself unmotivated every time and you’re beginning to question if the training is worth it, it might be time to take a step back. Stay in touch with how you are feeling, and don’t be afraid to take a break and reevaluate. If you push something you enjoy too far, it could become something you despise forever.
By following these tips, you will not only toe the line ready to push yourself, but also you will cross the finish and look back and view the whole experience in a positive light. Who knows, you may even sign up for another race.
About the Author
Ryan Petry is a professional mountain biker and triathlete from Boulder, Colo. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2014 where he initially pursued triathlon but discovered his new love for mountain biking and XTERRA racing. Ryan went pro for mountain biking in 2015 and moved to Boulder to train amongst the best triathletes and bikers. He is a BioAstin brand ambassador and his favorite recovery supplement products include BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin and Green Complete Hawaiian Spirulina Powder.