Are you ready to learn ways to instantly motivate yourself when you're
feeling too tired to workout, unsure about whether to sign-up for an event,
or tempted to give up during a race?
1) 2 Minute Rule. Don't get scared by the seven-syllable word in this
tip...but physiologically, several changes take place in your body during
the first 120 seconds of exercise. Namely, at about that 2 minute mark, your
cells begin to more easily utilize oxygen as a fuel, muscle temperature
begins to rise, and exercise suddenly becomes easier.
So what is the
take-away trick for using the 2 Minute Rule in triathlon motivation? If you
just got home from work and you're "too tired" to train, or you're trying to
tear yourself out of bed at 5am, just tell yourself: get through the first 2
minutes. You'll be consistently pleased with what happens after that point!
2) Use Irrational Psychology. This is a powerful trick for triathlon
motivation, and involves affecting the appeal of one workout choice by
comparing it to other choices. Here are some examples. Say it's time for a
90 minute hard cycling session, and you just don't have the triathlon
motivation to get on your bike and head out. So give yourself three choices,
and make two of those choices more unpleasant: Choice #1 - go on a 5 hour
easy bike ride; Choice #2 - Do a 90 minute interval run on a treadmill
instead; Choice #3 - do your 90 minute bike ride.
The 90 minute bike ride
suddenly seems relatively not all that bad. Or imagine the pool is "too
cold" to go for a swim. So go in the locker room and take a cold shower.
Suddenly the pool becomes relatively appealing. Or imagine you're running up
a hill and you have an overwhelming urge to walk. Start sprinting on the
hill much faster than you are running. Stop 5 seconds. Start running again
at your normal pace. The hill running will instantly feel easier (yes, the
brain is a strange thing).
3) Use Very Small Goals. In the middle of a race and feel like giving up?
This trick works very well. Tell yourself that you're going to take just 200
more steps, or 100 more pedal strokes, or get to one more buoy. Promise
yourself that at that point you can either A) stop or B) keep going.
giving your brain the reward of having completed a small, intermediate goal,
there is a slight infusion of dopamine that occurs which drives you to keep
going when you get to that point. Again, it is a strange phenomenon, but
works very well for triathlon motivation, especially in a race.
4) Use Extrinsic Motivation. Humans have an innate desire to be accepted,
and an innate detest for being rejected. We internally fear being judged by
our failures, and crave to be accepted for delivering on our promises.
Here's how to use this principle for triathlon motivation: the next time
you're waffling on a workout, go to Facebook, go to Twitter, go to your
blog, or call your best friend or spouse and tell them, "I'm just about to
go to workout ______ (you fill in the blanks) Should be fun!".
social expression will instantly give you a powerful urge to deliver on your
promises. It also works well if you're on the fence about signing up for a
race for which you're unsure you will have fitness. Tell the world you're
going to sign-up, and the extrinsic motivation of not wanting to let the
world down will make you far more likely to do it.
5) Re-Train Your Brain. There is a big difference between wanting something
and being prepared to receive it. In other words, it's not enough to have
triathlon motivation goals and want to achieve them. Instead, you must
actually train your subconscious to realistically see yourself achieving
your goals. Want to know exactly how to re-train your brain?
Do 2 things:
Read Ben Greenfield's comprehensive article in the February 2010 issue of
2) Visit the Rock Star Triathlete Academy at
http://www.rockstartriathlete.com, where you will find an online triathlon
school that features weekly handpicked articles on triathlon motivation and
Memorize these mind tricks and add them to your triathlon motivation
arsenal, and you'll be the person everyone is talking about when they say,
"They're like the Energizer bunny! They keep going, and going, and
Ben Greenfield is the Renaissance man of the sport of triathlon.
He's a fast triathlete, a coach, a personal trainer, and much more more.