It's the start of the OCR season and you've planned out all the races you want to do - you are PUMPED UP!! You know you have to train to do these races and right now, your motivation is at it's peak so (hopefully) you put together a plan for your training. You crush the first several workouts, and can see yourself doing better than ever out on the course.
But, after a few weeks, your motivation starts fizzling out like a toddler after a sugar rush. You start making excuses as to why you need to skip workouts; "not enough time, too tired, too cold, too hot, it's raining, still plenty of time before my race, races might get cancelled or postponed, want to spend time with friends, body is too sore, don't have the right equipment/supplements, need to catch up on Netflix shows, your family thinks you are weird for doing these races, workouts are boring, not seeing progress, don't need to improve because you'll be fine, don't have the right body type, would train all day if it was your job like the pros, won't ever be able to do what you see other people doing on Instagram, it's too much work, need to relax from busy day, need to do stuff with kids, need to catch up on sleep," the list can go on and on.
We are ALL 1,000% guilting of making these and other excuses. If you really stop and think about the excuses you are making, they are usually just your brain desperately trying to get you to be lazy and not put in the work because that's the easy option. Sometimes the excuses are just so silly but it's very easy to fall into them. Note: There are legitimate reasons to miss workouts but the majority of the time they are excuses and not reasons.
At the end of the day, you just have to make it happen. If you you truly want to reach your goal (whether it's OCR or any other goal) then you will find a way to make it happen. If you are short on time, you will adjust your schedule or wake up earlier or watch less TV so you have more time in the evening. If you don't have the equipment you will prioritize your budget to be able to get a gym membership or buy some equipment. If you don't know what to do, then you'll research through the endless amount of information on the internet or hire someone to help.
This picture was right after the pandemic shut gyms down. I bought one 50lbs dumbbell for $70 and a chain belt for $25 and found a pullup bar outdoors and did all of my workouts using just that equipment. I understand not everyone had the same situation as I did but the point is that you can do a lot with very little, it just takes some creativity. If you say you can't make adjustments, 99% of the time that's an excuse. Think about times in your life when you did what you had to do to reach a goal, whether that's graduating college, buying a car/house, getting a pet, having kids, even going out to dinner. Anytime you want something, you make it a priority to make it happen. If you want to go out to eat, you prioritize that amount of time, energy, and money to make it happen. Do the same for your workouts.
For anyone who may take this article as a personal attack, please know it's not. We ALL are guilty of making excuses and not prioritizing correctly. From the beginner to the pro it's and endless battle against ourselves that we have to fight day after day to reach our goals.
How do we keep ourselves motivated to fight against these excuses? By surrounding ourselves with people of a like mind. Join OCR training groups on Facebook, meet up with people you can workout with, fill your mind with podcasts or videos about training/racing. Spend time daily focusing your mind on your goal. Write it down where you can see it often like on your phone, bathroom mirror, or in your car. We've all heard the quote "If you surround yourself with 5 millionaires, you'll be the 6th." It's 100% true. If you have serious goals of any type that you want to reach then don't spend the majority of your time with people who have no interest in that goal and couldn't care less if you failed to reach it. That's not easy especially when it's close friends and family but if you stick to your guns, you can often end up being a positive influence on their lives and motivate them to better themselves as well!
Remember, this is a daily battle so take it one day at a time. Once you've set your goal, then start taking small steps daily to work toward that goal. You can't always expect to reach your goal in a day, week, month, or even year. It takes time and consistency but will pay off and will be worth it. Image what you could achieve in one year of consistently working toward your goal. You'll be able to look back and you might not be able to believe how all the little changes you've made have added up to make such a huge difference. In the OCR world this could look like; going from failing obstacles to achieving 100% completion. When I first started in OCR, it was being able to run the entire course without having to take walking breaks.
Visit the Training Programs page in order to learn about the different custom programs we design for athletes in OCR.