I am keeping this post simple. Training doesn't have to be complicated.
Start where you are. This is good enough.
Just so you know what I am talking about, I use the word ‘Train’ to mean both the process of 'doing' and the actual event - a time when you are going to exercise. Training can be anything you do that gets you moving (it can be jogging, walking, running, riding, a class); it can be highly specific but it can also be simply going for a 30 minute easy run. Training is both a process and a habit. I like the word training because it alludes to learning, refining, and improvement.
OK, so here we go!
The 3 Step Simple Training Plan (with BONUS step)
Step 1: Schedule your training.
Choose three 20-30 minute time slots for the week coming up. These have to be realistic. Do not put down times that you wish you could train, but times you actually 100% can train. Don’t be pencilling in 5:30AM when you know how much you hate getting up way too early and training in the cold and dark. This is supposed to be fun, not torture.
(cool fact: once your training has momentum, and you have set personal and meaningful goals, it may become realistic to make compromises you wouldn’t have previously considered, as priorities in life can be fluid, and our choices can change)
Ideally choose the training days to be separated by a day. If you are currently getting out there about 3 times a week, that’s awesome! Stick with that for now, and follow the time management tips here. If you have been random with training and haven’t been able to find more than one time a week to train, then try for 1-2 this next week. If you haven’t gotten out yet, that’s ok too, let’s start now. If 20 minutes seems like forever, then shoot for 10-15 for the first week. I can’t reinforce enough how the only training that works is the training that works for you.
Step 2: Choose where you are going to train. Are you leaving from your own home, driving to a park, or going to the gym (fitness classes, strength, stationary bikes, treadmills and elliptical count as training). It’s very important that you know where you have to be at 7PM on Tuesday evening when it’s time to train.
Step 3: Train. Do it! Don’t even think about not doing it, don’t start asking yourself whether you want to do it. Don’t worry if you have the right clothes, shoes, body or nutrition. It’s happening. Go run, walk, or walk/run (2 minutes walk/2 min run) for 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes (if you have a plan already, then execute that; if it’s a class, then show up).
Bonus Step: the power of intent and self-talk and visualization. If you plan your training and where, you mentally start the wheels turning in your head, about the training happening. As those wheels start turning, make sure they are happy wheels! Your self-talk is ‘I get to train at 7PM!’ not ‘I am going to hate this’. Think and imagine how you will feel after you complete a session, or after you plan and complete a whole week!
Writing the Running Life
For 30 years I pursued a high performance career and traveled the world. This blog melds this experience with my coaching and passion to support excellence in others.