Routine, routine and routine

We had our end of season party recently which was a great night to celebrate and acknowledge successes of the past season. This included four beginner courses, four IM campaigns with a 100% completion rate maintained, two Kona qualifiers, three WC 70.3 qualifiers, numerous podiums and lots of PBs and success stories.

We had a look back at the season with a video montage of the year and then really enjoyed having a nice relaxed evening among friends.  Typically at these events, attendees draw motivation to set goals for the next season.  These can be everything from finishing their first Olympic Distance race to doing an IM or even qualifying for Kona.  There’s nothing wrong with having dreams and goals as they are what drives us to do the work. Or are they?

We see the spoils of success for some members of the squad, the pictures and highlights of the year that was and it’s only natural others will be motivated to go for it, especially with some liquid courage on board. But liquid courage and the romance of saying you’re going to do an event doesn’t get you out of bed on a cold winter morning to go swimming.  It might get you through the first few weeks but we’re in the off-season and key races are still quite some time away.

Motivation is a limited behavior and liquid courage is even more limited. What is not limited though is a routine.  A routine that allows you to get up out of bed, go to training and then repeat the process the next day, the next week, the next month and the next year.

alarmThe cornerstone of any program is consistency. Athletes who get the awards, accolades from their peers and achieve goals train consistently week after week, month after month and year after year. They are human too though and don’t have endless supplies of motivation. What they have developed is a rock solid routine which allows them to train consistently after the romance of saying, “I’m going to do…” wears off.

The only person to get you out of bed in the morning is yourself and it is a lot easier when you have a routine of waking up early and training. So remember, the romance of saying, “I’m going to do…” wears off very quickly and you’re left with the alarm going off at 4.45am to go to a pool. There’s not much love in that.