Tim Don's training motivation tips

Tim Don's training motivation tips
(Image credit: Unknown)

'There's nothing worse than trying to get through a session that feels like it's been going on forever. Motivation and enthusiasm for training can be hard at this time of year because it's cold and wet outside, and your gym is packed with hundreds of new members.

'So distract your mind by avoiding monotonous sessions. The main cause of workouts that feel as if they're never going to end is starting without a clear objective of what you want to achieve and how to hit that goal. Knowing this will allow you to focus and should prevent you from quitting before you reach your goal.'
'Running can be the hardest session to start, because it can take a while to establish a comfortable rhythm. One of the best ways to keep my mind occupied during training runs is to do Fartlek (Swedish for speed play) sessions. This session is tough but it builds muscular strength and endurance, vital for speed. It's great to do on a treadmill but works as well on the pavement.'

Speed session
- 10min easy jog to warm up
- 90sec fast, 90sec easy
- 60sec fast, 60sec easy
- 45sec fast, 45sec easy
- 30sec fast, 30sec easy
- 15sec fast, 15sec easy
- 10sec fast, 10sec easy
- 3min easy jog
- Then repeat the whole session before a 10min easy jog to warm down.
Tim Don's quick fat-loss session
'After a warm-up, jog along the pavement using lampposts as markers. Sprint to the nearest one, then jog the distance of the next two posts before repeating the drill. The session doesn't need to be long, just do a few laps around your block and you'll burn a lot more calories than you would if you did a steady pace run.'

'A great way to stay upbeat during a winter ride is to do a power-building session. The knowledge that training hard now will make next year's sessions a bit easier is a great motivating force. Overgear drills are great for building power in your legs because the major muscle groups in your legs must work hard to keep the pedals turning.'
Power session
In the gym
- 5min warm-up
- 15sec high-cadence sprint ‚ stay in the saddle to readily push your legs
- 2min average cadence
- Repeat ten times before
- 5min warm-down

- 10min warm-up
- 6min overgear (two gears below a comfortable level)
- 6min normal gear
- Repeat this sequence three times
- 10min warm-down
Tim Don's quick fat-loss session
'A spinning class is great for burning fat because the intensity varies dramatically, which burns more calories, and it's almost impossible to duck out before it's over because you'll have to walk past the rest of the class with your head hanging in shame. There are not many things more motivating than that.'

'The hardest part of any swim session is getting into the water. I find that once my shoulders are under I'm focused on what I'm there to do. This is why having a structured session is so important. Try this speed session based on high-intensity effort with short recovery breaks to beat boredom, and it's one of the best ways to get faster in the pool.'
Speed session
'It's important you swim the same speed for the 50m rep as you do for the 200m. The 50m should feel relatively easy and the 200m should feel relatively hard.'
- 10min warm-up
- 50m, 5sec rest
- 100m, 10sec rest
- 200m, 15sec rest
- 50m, 5sec rest
- 100m, 10sec rest
- 200m, 15sec rest
- 60sec rest
- Repeat. Use a pull buoy to make the second time tougher.

Tim Don's quick fat-loss session
- Do a 5min warm-up
- Do a 25m length as fast as you can, before recovering on the return lap.
- Repeat six to eight times for a fast, effective calorie-burning session.
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Joe Warner
Former editor of Men’s Fitness UK

Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.