Athlete Diary: Ian Crane: Staying in the Zone

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Athlete Diary: Ian Crane: Staying in the Zone

This time of the year is always tough to balance all the different sensations: needing to rest; excited for next year; angry at that one race that would’ve been so much better had you gotten a full night of sleep; hungry, tired, lazy; Netflix is really affordable and offers so much to your life; just got an Amazon Prime membership; the weather is bad … and I could go on. The days are short, and most of my training is done in the dark.

You don’t need to have a specific season, either. This can apply to you if, like me, you are more interested in finding new ways to make yourself sweat and sleepy every day than you are in defining yourself as an X, Y or Z.

Training/competing/existing in the perfect setting is nice and all, but I kind of like how our off seasons are able to define who we are in season. How do you stay motivated to train/exercise/practice good nutrition/not watch too much Netflix/etc. when it’s not the prime of the summer or your competition season? Here are my top five:

    1. Do something different! I’m out of Seattle, where it’s cold and wet the entire winter. Rather than be miserable riding my bike outside every day, I discovered that a 30-minute run made me just as tired, at about 12x the warmth. Then came trail races, and all of a sudden I have things in the winter that I am looking forward to, and give me an added reason to “train”- aka go splash around in puddles.
    2. Feeling unmotivated? Create SMART goals. That means you’re putting something out there in the world that is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound.
    3. Be uncomfortable: I haven’t really gone far from cycling in my life. So I decided to do a triathlon this year. The extent of my swimming? Playing fetch with my dog. Drowning in the abyss was a pretty good motivator to stay on top of my off-season training. Surprise, it was super fun! It’s amazing what you can gain while stepping outside of your comfort zones.
    4. Read! Instead of spending 20 minutes on Facebook at the end of the day, read a chapter of a book. You’ll be way more psyched at the end of the month when you finish a book than when you get that latest status update! I recommend Stoicism – dive right in to something by Ryan Holiday and you won’t regret it.
    5. What successes can you find? If you don’t have race results to motivate you, find those little things: PRs, nailing your nutrition, a delicious Vanilla Isolate smoothie, consistency, Strava, etc. Make every day count! If you only look at the future, it’s really challenging to motivate in the present. What can you do today that will motivate you for tomorrow?

Get after it!

You can follow Ian on Twitter.


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