“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)
One of the reasons Olympic athletes are so successful is that they are constantly training for an event. They spend most of their lives training for future competition. In fact, most athletes spend more than 90 percent of their time training for competition and less than 10 percent actually competing.
They train with tremendous focus and purpose because every day is important. Missed workouts are not an option. They have a goal in sight, which serves as a motivator and constant reminder that they need to stay on track if they are going to have future success.
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Certain events have had the same effect on me. I can still remember the morning of my first triathlon. I was still groggy from a restless night’s sleep. I must have checked my gear a dozen times to make sure that I had everything I needed: race packet, wetsuit, swimming cap, numbers, socks, bike shoes, running shoes, layers of clothing, water bottles and Hammer gel.
The oatmeal and banana I ate for breakfast sat hard in my stomach as I drove to the event. The air was a cool 62 degrees and the water an even cooler 60. Thankfully, I was prepared with a wetsuit. There was electricity in the air as the athletes prepared to start the race. It was incredibly energizing, and it was the start of a new phase of athletic competition in my life.
Many athletes, once their playing days in high school, college or at the professional level are over, lose the structure and consistency that once made them great athletes in peak condition. It’s not that the competitive fire is gone; it’s just that they don’t have a goal to shoot for, a game to play, teammates to push them or a reason to train.
That is why this month I want to challenge you to register for an event or join a competitive league. There is power in having a goal or an event to look forward to.
As Paul says, when you are competing in the games, you go into strict training. It’s almost as if Paul knows that if there’s no game, it will be hard to keep the motivation to train.
Paul also says that he doesn’t run aimlessly or throw punches into the air. He runs with purpose—with a clear finish line and with his goal in sight! He has no time for wasted effort.
I’m not saying the event has to be a marathon. It can be a 5K, triathlon, basketball league, you name it! Just use the future event as a motivator to get in shape and stay there for life! A great Web site to check out is active.com. Go there for a listing of events in your area. Then start training with a purpose again!
||Top 3 reasons to put an athletic event on your calendar:|
#1. It creates a mission. It gets you back in the game with a purpose!
#2. It creates motivation. It helps push you to train, gives you a clear time frame and an ultimate goal!
#3. It creates momentum. It establishes the consistency of training and nutrition, helps you overcome obstacles, and prevents you from “falling off the wagon.”
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Medical Disclaimer: All information in this article is of a general nature and is furnished for your knowledge and understanding only. This information is not to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to your specific health and medical condition. Always consult a physician or health professional before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.