I have been a professional athlete for most of my adult life. I was always active and I was always in sports, but I never got into them to the point that they became my life until I was 24 and started swimming. Granted, back then my life revolved around swimming and I didn’t have a great balance (it was swimming and nothing else). That allowed me to achieve great things and live the real “elite athlete” lifestyle: train, eat, sleep. Nowadays sometimes I wonder how fast I could be if I would be living that lifestyle again, but, the truth is I don’t think I would be the runner I am if I didn’t have the balance I have in my life: my family, my training, my friends, my job…
Now, the tricky part with this is to fit it all in. But it’s possible. That’s why when people tell me “I don’t have time to workout” I want to tell them “”you don’t want to find time to train”.
Either way, we all come to moments when training is a little hard. It’s only April 21st and I have been gone almost two months from Arizona (several trips). I would lie if I say I am always very peppy and excited about training. But I have learned not to listen to my own excuses and I have found ways to jump them.
Here are the 6 most common excuses I encounter and what to do with them:
1. “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO TRAIN.”
Not having time is the most common excuse for skipping workouts.
Luckily, there are ways to get time out of your day. Waking up slightly earlier or reducing your lunch time so you can exercise are some of the many things we can do. If it’s important enough to you, you will find the time to do it.
I have a daughter who was not able to stay home alone before due to her age. My husband is a swim coach and has to be at the pool at 5am most mornings. I live in Arizona so training at 8am sometimes is not an option due to the weather. What do I do? Do I complain and not get my workout done? Nope. Since I don’t have a treadmill at home (that could be something I could do while Kevin is at the pool and Kori sleeps) I found myself waking up at 3am for months at a time so I could get my run done before Kevin had to leave. Ideal? no, but much better than not running.
And, if you can only workout 10 minutes a day, remember than 10 minutes is better than no minutes.
2. “I’M TOO TIRED TO TRAIN.”
Everyone gets tired. Luckily, performing a workout can release endorphins, which improve mood and energy levels. If you are feeling tired, eat a light snack. On those really tiring days, take it easy while you train or perform a longer dynamic warm-up. If you have continual tiredness, consider getting more sleep or looking at your nutrition with a professional, these simple solutions often help.
I travel a lot and I have found that when I feel super tired going for a run always helps me to shake it. Maybe I don’t do a long or strenuous workout, but running easy helps me more than staying in bed or sitting down.
3. “TRAINING IS BORING.”
Some like the quietness of the road (or a pool, or a…); others find it boring.
In today’s gadget filled world, training can be a peaceful place. However, if you need something to make things “not boring” consider listening to your favorite music while you workout, or exercising with a friend, or even going to a gym (or at home if you have a treadmill or ways to exercise) and catching up on your favorite tv shows while you exercise.
4. “I’M NOT MOTIVATED TO TRAIN.”
Everyone has periods of low motivation.
When you hit these times, consider mixing things up. Look for a team or a partner who could mix-up the workouts. Another option is simply, do some different workouts, these are great ways to keep you a determined athlete.
5. “IT’S TOO COLD/HOT OUTSIDE.”
For those who live in perfect weather all year long, you won’t understand, but for those who live in extreme weather, you know it gets cold in the winter time and like hell in the summer time (we have it here in AZ when at 4am it’s already 90F). So what to do? set-up a routine where you’re wearing warm enough clothes (or barely there clothes with lots of hydration the day before and during workout), and, worse case scenario, find a good indoor place where you can train. There are plenty of indoor pools, treadmills and even indoor tracks where you can run. Granted, is not the same, but it’s better than not doing it!
6. “I’M BUSY WITH MY KIDS.”
I hear this excuse all too often. I am a parent who is extremely involved with my kid. I am the class rep for her school and she has plenty of after school activities that keep us busy. On top of that I also work. However training is a priority for me I have learned to run around her schedule and, when this is not possible, she comes with me. When she was little I would push her in a stroller or she would sit in her stroller when I was swimming. Then I would swim or run at the same time that she was in her swim lesson class. Lately she comes and rides her bike next to me when I run easy. She also used to come to the track with her toys and would sit in the middle while I ran. This not only frees up time for your practice, but sets a great example for your kids, demonstrating life-long health and fitness.
And you, What are your excuses?
Thanks for reading. I hope this helps 🙂 Remember to follow me on twitter (@terezacher) and Instagram (@insightfulrunner) as well as in my Facebook page (Tere Zacher/Athlete) for motivation throughout the day.