How To Pull Yourself Out Of A Training Slump

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Sometimes, getting out of bed to train can be tough.

And on those occasions, simply listening to Eye of The Tiger and drinking a couple strong cups of coffee simply isn’t enough to pull you through. So when you’re in a slump, feeling blah and unmotivated towards your training, and getting bored with the same old day to day routine, how can you get yourself out of that training slump?

1. Use Social Accountability. Using Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog, you can tell others about both your triathlon goals and your workout achievements. TrainingPeaks allows you to post workouts to Twitter and Facebook, and share with friends. Social accountability, and the ability to brag to others, are both great ways to get externally motivated to exercise.

2. Get a Workout Partner. There’s nothing like knowing your friend is tapping their feet waiting for you to show up for a 6 am run or ride. If you have trouble roping a fellow triathlete into your workouts, plans, check at your local health club for events like Masters swim classes, triathlon training groups, or running clubs.

3. Consider a Coach. Yes, I realize this is biased advice when it’s coming from a coach, but while a friend can certainly motivate you to train, a coach will push you, provide you with a plan, and get you results even faster. Sometimes, even if you know what to do already, simply having everything planned out from you allows you to somewhat “mindlessly” just go do the session.

4. Make a Plan. Even if you can’t afford a coach, one of the best ways to motivate yourself is to know what kind of workout you’re going to do, so that when you roll out of bed each morning, you’ve planned for triathlon training in your daily schedule. Here’s a link to some TrainingPeaks plans I’ve personally created.

5. Keep a Log. By doing your planned workouts, then filling in a quick description of how you did, or even simply “checking off” the workout as completed, you harness the power of the pen to keep you motivated to train. Motivation experts around the world have known for a long time that a key component of achieving any goal is to write it down – so if you’re not yet keeping an online or hard copy training log, try it out!

6. Self-Talk. Never underestimate the importance of talking yourself up. From a simple self-motivating sentence such as “I can do this!” to an all-out furious and angry speech to yourself to keep you from skipping your trip to the pool on the drive home from work, the simple act of voicing your workout goals, your workout reasons, and the weakness of your training excuses can get you to actually do your training session!

I realize that this brief article merely scratches the surface of ways to get yourself out of a slump, so now it’s your turn. Have you ever found yourself in a training slump? If so, how did you “dig yourself out” or re-motivate yourself to train?

Ben Greenfield is recognized as one of the top fitness, triathlon, nutrition and metabolism experts in the nation. In 2008, he was voted as the Personal Trainer of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), an internationally recognized and respected certifying agency for fitness professionals. Ben hosts the highly popular fitness, nutrition and wellness website at, which features a free blog, wellness podcast, and fitness product reviews from Ben. Pacific Elite Fitness ( is an online portal where Ben coaches a wide range of triathletes and assists people from all over the world with personal training for nutrition, fat loss, muscle toning, and general fitness. Ben also oversees the physiology and biomechanics laboratory at Champions Sports Medicine ( which offers metabolic-based weight loss, bicycle fitting, running gait analysis, swim stroke analysis, VO2 max testing, blood lactate testing, resting metabolic rate analysis, and other cutting-edge procedures for weight loss and human performance. Ben holds bacheler's and master's degrees in exercise physiology and biomechanics, and is a certified personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, sports nutritionist, and bike fitter.


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