Just when you thought you were motivated…..

It’s storming…..again!  My training was starting to come along nicely, recovering from digging the over-training hole that I had created, and then today I just said ‘screw it’.  I still have time to get something in, but as time passes by I keep finding things to do that don’t entail getting on my bike.

I could consume mass quantities of caffeine to find that hidden motivation, but I know that deep down it won’t work today.  I’m that little kid who crosses their arms, sticks their lower lip out, and gives you the look like anything you say will not move them.

So what do you as an athlete do when you find yourself in that situation?  You have a big race coming up (or even a little race), and you know that you really do need to get out and move the limbs, but the little kid in you is UN-budgeable.

You listen to that little kid.  Because sometimes little kids know more than we adults do.  They don’t have years of programming, and can still listen to their instincts.  They quickly go through the checklist of reasons why you do or don’t want to do something.  But if you don’t trust your inner child, ask yourself the following questions, and if you say no to more than 3 of them, well….take the day off!

(Taken from http://www.brianmac.co.uk/overtrn.htm)

McNair, Lorr and Doppleman (1971) [3] developed the Profile of Mood States (POMS) for people undergoing counseling or psychotherapy. The POMS was popularised in the area of sport and exercise through the research Morgan & Pollock (1977) [4] and Morgan & Johnson (1978) [5]. POMS, which contains 65 questions, has subsequently demonstrated that it can be used successfully to assess performance status in athletes.

Six mood states are used in POMS: tension, depression, anger, vigour, fatigue and confusion. Subjects are given a score for each trait according to their responses to certain statements which include key words such as unhappy, tense, careless, and cheerful. For each statement, subjects indicate how they feel at that moment, or how they felt over the previous day, few days, or week, by choosing one of the following responses: not at all, a little, moderately, quite a lot or extremely.

Anderson (2002) [1] uses a shorter questionnaire to monitor the performance status of the athletes he coaches. Each morning the athletes assess themselves against the following six questions:

  • I slept well last night
  • I am looking forward to today’s workout
  • I am optimistic about my future performance
  • I feel vigorous and energetic
  • My appetite is great
  • I have little muscle soreness

They rate each statement on the following scale:

  • 1 – Strongly disagree
  • 2 – Disagree
  • 3 – Neutral
  • 4 – Agree
  • 5 – Strongly agree

If their score is 20 or above then they have probably recovered enough to continue with the training program. If their score is below 20 then they consider rest or an easy workout until their score rises again.