Motivation is a key factor in the success of your progression! Understanding its different steps will help you stay motivated for each session ...
1. From projecting to starting the activity
We idealize, we project ourselves, then we start! We discover a workout, we love it, and then we do session after session (sometimes a little too much too quickly!) ... So be careful not to neglect the recovery time; depending on your profile, the risk of injury can be significant, and this could even lead to losing part of the efforts made.
Set yourself short-term goals in addition to your long-term goals, this will help keep your motivation high and avoid getting discouraged! Reaching your goals quickly will make you want to keep pushing yourself.
This is why before you start with no plan, you should write down your sessions on an agenda. Start with 1 to 2 sessions per week, then 2 to 3, then 3 to 4. When you have reached this milestone, you will already be able to see a good progression.
Consider alternating training days and recovery days (otherwise your body may not keep up). Recovery is just as important as training. Listen to your body!
Finally, stretching correctly allows you to optimize recovery time and avoid injuries and muscles stiffness...
2. Set a course, Stagnate, Stay motivated, Progress
These different phases are part of a cycle that repeats itself with each new stage of progression, so it is essential to identify them before setting new goals. Get to know your range of progression in order to optimize your workouts.
Each individual reaches a plateau at some point, these plateaus can be perceived as a feeling of stagnation, of no longer progressing, and this can cause a loss of motivation. It is during those times that you need to hold on and keep trying. Progress is not linear, it is built in stages as the body takes time to integrate new motor, intellectual and recovery skills.
It can be useful to vary exercises, do your first sessions at a light pace, then speed up the sessions increasingly depending on the level you reached. A good way to assess your progress and motivate yourself is to join group sessions, go for a run with a friend or other sportsmen!
Adapt your nutrition; nutritional needs change depending on your level of activity. Meeting these new needs will be essential in order to achieve your goals.
Finally, it helps to choose appropriate equipment; do not go running with your city shoes (example: Converse or Sneakers) at the risk of injuring yourself! Your equipment will help you progress and also enjoy going for a run.
Be careful though not to fall into the trap of compulsive purchases of equipment that will remain at the bottom of the closet and make you feel guilty!
3. Reminder: remember where you started...
Progressing also means facing a lot of frustration, so try to remember where you started (as far or close as that may be) and see the progress that you made and the results you obtained along the way:
- Your breathing improves with each run,
- Cramps and muscles aches decrease for short distance runs,
- Your stamina and endurance improve, allowing you to take fewer breaks,
Think of your progression curve more as stairs: one step at a time, one level at a time. Be diligent to maintain your progress, and don't get discouraged, everyone has a different journey and the one that matters is yours.
Finally, take pleasure in each outing. The best is yet to come, look ahead!
Now grab your sneakers and go running!