Have you ever started a long run and thought, ‘I am never going to get through this!’ Or finished the first effort of a turbo session and wondered, ‘how can I do this over and over again?’
Ultimately, it can be really difficult to motivate oneself when the finish seems so distant and the effort to get there is so great. The good news, however, is that there is a way to ‘trick’ your mind into thinking that the end is near.
Micro-goal setting is something that I have been unknowingly implementing into my training for many years. The act of breaking up a workout into more manageable chunks really helps to alleviate the daunting prospect of having to work hard for a prolonged period of time.
Below, I have detailed some examples of micro-goal setting that you can try out for yourself. You will be amazed by just how long you can keep your body moving when your mind has mini targets to hit.
Micro goals for a long run
Next time you are heading out for a 90 minute run, why not think about it as six 15 minute chunks that feel infinitely more doable. Or perhaps you might find that three 30 minute chunks is more approachable. The way you break down a run will depend on your personal preferences and the way your mind works.
Micro goals for a turbo session
Sitting on the turbo and repeatedly hitting the correct wattage for a specified period of time can be both physically and mentally challenging which is exacerbated when fatigue sets in. If your session entails nine 3 minute efforts, break the nine efforts up into three. Three lots of three 3 minute efforts certainly sounds more doable than nine 3 minute sets!
Making sure you have the right kit can also play a huge part in getting you through a difficult session. Try Sundried's Cycle Kit today, suitable for all abilities.
Micro goals for open water swimming
Plunging into open water is possibly one of the most daunting scenarios a triathlete faces but micro-goal setting can make things seem much easier. When swimming, concentrate on getting to the subsequent buoy in the loop and once there, focus on arriving at the next.
Micro goals for a race
You can use this same strategy in a race too. After logging all those training hours and miles, you should have a good idea of your goal race time; use this information to break things up. For example, if you plan to run 40 minutes for 10k, then split it into four 10-minute chunks.
It is amazing just how long you can ‘trick’ your mind into carrying on by focusing on the next mini goal. Remember to try out different approaches during training so that when it comes to race day, you know exactly what method works for you.
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About the author: Laura Smith is a high level athlete and has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.