It’s nearing the end of February, you’ve been training most of the winter, you’ve got motorcycle riding or racing on the brain, but the February blahs have finally hit and you’re just done with this whole get fit for motorcycle season thing. The excuses have started piling in and you’d rather sit on your couch and watch re-runs of Fastest and dream about the 2012 race season.
Well, no more excuses! I’ve heard them all and I’m here to tell you to get your butt back into gear! Here are some of my favourite excuses for why people don’t train, and solutions to those excuses:
Excuse #1: I’m saving to buy racing tires; I can’t afford a gym membership
You don’t need an expensive gym membership to stay in shape! A pair of running shoes, and exercise ball, skipping rope and a few free weights are all it takes to get into shape. You can purchase these items relatively cheap and you can work-out from home! Get on it!
Excuse #2: I can’t commit to a training program
Baby steps! Set yourself small goals and make them achievable. If you try to take on too much, too fast you’re only setting yourself up for failure. Write down a weekly or monthly plan and stick to it. Convince a friend to meet you every morning for a run. Plan ahead. Be organized. This stuff will help you in your racing efforts too!
Excuse #3: It’s too cold to train outside and I don’t own a treadmill or bicycle trainer.
There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! Dress appropriately with a base layer, mid-layer and top layer and you’ll be perfectly warm even on the coldest days. Remember, it costs nothing to toss on a pair of running shoes and hit the neighbourhood for 30-45 minutes each morning. Take your dog with you! He wants exercise too!
Excuse #4: I want to train outside but it’s too dark when I get home.
Buy a cheap headlight! Petzl
makes some great headlights in the $30$-$40 range and you can use them in the summer time to find your gear in the paddock at night when you’re camping at the tractrack! Also, wear reflective clothing- safety first!
Excuse #5: I’m too out of shape, I don’t know where to begin.
Sometimes you need to walk before you can run, literally and figuratively. If running or cycling or weight training seem daunting, just start by going for brisk walks for 15-20 minutes per day. Eventually it will get easier. Off you go!
Excuse #6: I’m too tired. I’m exhausted when I get home at the end of the day.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion! Fight the urge to crash on the couch with those nachos! Grab a bottle of water and hit the gym!
Excuse #7: I’ve been training since New Year’s and I’m not seeing any results!
No goals worth accomplishing come quickly. Keep plugging away and the results will come. You should start to see tiny results after about 6 weeks but the real results will be evident this summer after 3-5 months of good training all winter long. It’s a process. If you try to make too much come too soon you will risk overtraining or falling back into your old pattern too quickly. Patience, grasshopper.
Excuse #8: It hurts to train.
Remember way back when I said it’s important to be medically fit to train? That still applies. Remember what I said above about overtraining? That also applies. It’s normal to be a little bit sore following a training session, particularly if you haven’t done any kind of training for the last few months or years. It’s lactic acid building up in your body that’s causing that pain; or the pain of muscle tissues tearing from strength training so they can grow bigger and stronger. Do your body a favour, flush some of that pain and lactic acid out of your body with a nice, easy walk, run or bicycle ride. But don’t start skipping workouts, you want to continue on a progressive plan 5-6 days a week. Introduce new exercises slowly and don’t overdue it; otherwise overtraining will become a factor.
Excuse #9: I don’t like training. I get bored with it.
You’re a motorcycle racer or trackday rider, so you’re competitive by nature. Make a game of it. Download an app and track your progress; brag to your friends about it, or better yet challenge them to join you….may the best person win!
…and my all-time favourite excuse for not training:
Excuse #10: I don’t have time to train.
Watch 30 minutes a day less television. Quit texting your friends every 5 minutes or “tweeting” about the latest crash you saw on YouTube. Wake up 30 minutes earlier. Speak to your family about helping out with household chores so you can find time to train; workout at lunch time at the office. If you have time to shower and brush your teeth every day, then you have time to train 30-45 minutes a day. It’s your body and your health. Make the time. All it takes is 30-45 minutes a day. That’s it, so get moving!
Still need motivation? Post a picture of your favourite athlete on your fridge—in board shorts or a bikini. Or maybe a photo of last year’s podium, the one with your archrival on top of the box, and you in the stands watching him collect his trophy. Give yourself something to wake up to each morning to remind yourself why you do this, and why in the end it will all be worth it.
Still got an excuse? Send it to me….I’ll get you moving. Racing season is soon upon us. Will you be ready?