Keeping motivated in Autumn

*Insert inspirational quote about roads and autumn here* Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

It’s been a while. I haven’t been slacking, I promise. Just busy.

Although I have taken a couple of weeks off my Coach programme to swim more regularly and to do the pull-up e-book that Freeletics published recently.

Now summer is over, it’s tempting to slack off training a bit though. You know, our bodies are covered up by more clothes, it’s colder, you want to eat more, it’s harder to train outside. But I’m trying to stay motivated and to remember that exercising helps my mental health during the winter.

I did do one of my Coach training sessions last week. This was:

10 Strict Pullups
10 Hanging Knee Raises
Interval: 3 rounds of 10 x squat jumps, 10x elevated split squats (both sides), 5x stands, 30secs rest
2/5 Achilles
50 High Knees (replaced a 100m sprint cos it was raining)

I quite enjoyed all of that. Varied. Seemed to work out most of my body. Was pleasantly exhausted at the end. Although the pullups and burpees in Achilles were punishing. I’m still not quite there with pullups, so did them as Assisted pullups.

Then I’ve been doing the programme of pullups that the Freeletics e-book suggests. It builds up intensity and frequency and there are lots of shoulder pullups and passive hangs, plus pullups. I can feel it getting easier and I’m on week 2. Week 3 next week, which I’m going to combine with my normal coach workouts and a swim at the weekend.

I’ve also been increasing the length of my swims by 50m each time. I’m now up to 46 lengths of a 25m pool. Considering when I started a few years ago 20 lengths was my absolute max, I’m pretty pleased with that. Have been trying to work on my technique too.

I’ve written about this before, but the weekly email from Freeletics today reminded me that my focus, determination and ability to work through something until it’s finished has massively improved since I started doing Freeletics. I really do believe that physical exercise has a big impact on your ability to concentrate. I find myself really pushing through difficult tasks at work, at home. I’m much more likely to just do something than to put it off. And I think the way that Freeletics is designed has helped me with that. The thought of not finishing a workout on the app and not being able to earn points or tick off the day means I always push through. Having a community of other people following me keeps me accountable somehow too.

I also use a habit-building app called Momentum where I can track my streaks with certain activities. That old Jerry Seinfeld thing about not breaking the chain inspires me to keep going and pull on that workout gear. I also track other stuff like eating well, reading, getting to bed on time, waking up early etc. Wanting to get a perfect streak compels me to train every week.

So people, what keeps you going? How do you motivate yourself?

Keeping motivated in Autumn

Autumn, where finding the motivation gets harder

Image: Semih Lydian (via

Really had to push myself to work out today. A rainy October Monday. I wanted to try and exercise before I went to work, but after a long few weeks travelling for work, I’m still trying to catch up on sleep so I stayed a little longer in bed. And then by the time I left work it was 6pm and I was tired and hungry.

But after cycling back from work, I made sure I changed straight away into my workout gear before I succumbed to the sofa. That way I’d already taken the first step.

So today was Uranos. I quite like this work out. It has the right mix of cardio and strength (running and burpees followed by press ups, pull ups and jumps), and it doesn’t take that long.

I must have been having a bad day when I last did Uranos, either that or I’m getting fitter, but I beat my PB by 8 minutes! And for the first time I managed to do 20 burpees without a break.

I still don’t get a star for it though, because I can’t do correct form pull-ups (those who follow this blog are familiar with my pull-up trials).

I’m noticing a big difference on my arms, shoulders, chest and thighs, but I still have a bit of a belly – which is purely down to nutrition. Must keep working on my diet.

Autumn, where finding the motivation gets harder