This Professional Athlete Shares 6 Tips To Actually Get A Workout In
Professional runner, Katie Matthews, knows a thing or two about training and being committed to a workout routine. But sometimes it can be difficult to stay dedicated, so she’s sharing her top 6 tips to actually get a workout in. No matter what your schedule looks like or what excuses come up, her simple + practical tips are all you need to break a sweat.
As a professional runner, I’ve found that what I put on my body and in my body are just as important as how I train and condition my body + mind leading into important races. Overall, these facets are the foundation of wholesomeness. Here are my top 6 pieces of advice for incorporating a workout into a healthy lifestyle:
Create a plan… and stick to it.
Sure, you can see if a convenient time pops up in your day to hit the gym, but in most cases, the time really gets away from us. Make a plan for WHEN and WHERE you are going to work out and set it for the week. As a professional, we know these details of our team meet-ups ahead of time so we can plan our meals and sleep schedule around our training. It makes all the difference when you wake up and the choice has already been made to get your sweat on. For an extra motivator, lay out your outfit the night before – it might just be that little spark of motivation you need to get out the door!
For most of us, starting a workout regimen after even taking a few weeks off can be daunting, even for elite athletes! Body parts are going to ache and your lungs might burn. Start off with a simple plan; if your goal is to run a 5k, start off with walking 2 minutes, jogging 30 seconds. Continue these intervals and slowly increase the running portion as you lessen the walking portion. In a few weeks, you’ll be running 10 minutes, walking 1 minute, and so on. Be kind to yourself and use positive self-talk when it gets tough. I use repetitive internal mantras in my own training and races when I need to find strength and focus. Don’t be intimidated by expert level class instructors or others whizzing by you on the bike path. You do you.
Find a buddy.
Like most things in life, working out is always better (and easier) with a friend. Even if you aren’t doing the same workout class or the same activity, committing to meeting at a set time will increase motivation and accountability. If you can run, cycle, or use stationary equipment beside each other, having this time to catch up in a non-distracting environment, away from work and screens, will do wonders for your own mental health and your friendship. Some of my very best conversations and bonds have been formed on the run.
Treat Yo Self.
Sign up for a race or charity event and treat yourself with rewards along the way as you train towards performance day. Having a clear goal in mind can work wonders for your motivation. Commit to an event in the future and set checkpoints such as doing a 3-mile run or 20-mile bike ride without stopping, or hitting a personal best in the weight room. When you cross one of those markers, treat yourself. My favorite self-motivators are a new piece of workout clothing, a weekend drive to a favorite running route somewhere special, or a sports massage.
Instead of feeling bored with the same workout every single day, switch it up. Cardio fitness can be achieved through so many different workout types. Depending on what you consider your main event, try swimming laps, cycling on a stationary bike, going for a jog in the trails, using the elliptical/Elliptigo, practicing yoga or cross country skiing. These alternative forms of working out won’t derail your fitness goal. If anything, it’ll stimulate engagement from lesser-used muscle groups and help prevent injury. That’s why they are an important part of my regular workout regime.
Make the swap.
As a professional runner, I was definitely hesitant to switch to natural deodorant. I run A LOT of miles and am often in the weight room doing stretches and strength training after I’ve finished my run. Would a non-toxic formula provide the odor protection I need after sweating and cooling off, and sweating some more? The short answer: yes. Primally Pure has completely changed the way I’ve thought about deodorant use.
What tips have you found helpful for actually getting a workout in? We’d love to hear in the comments below!