From 5k To Full Marathon: Tom Daley On What To Do When You CBA To Train

'Cause even Olympic champion feel unmotivated, right?

Tom Daley: Tom's Daily Plan

by Alyss Bowen |
Published on

I’ve hit a bit of a wall recently - the big 16-week mark till the marathon came and went and while I was making strong progress, a running-related injury sent me back to square one again (yes, I am always injured). I haven’t run in a week, I’ve been eating badly (there is literally a pizza box sat next to my desk right now, #guilty) and I’m starting to feel like this whole marathon thing might not even happen.

It’s so easy to feel like it’s out of your control when it comes to training. You go on Instagram and see fitness bloggers that you’ve followed deliberately because you think they will spur you on to train - but in reality seeing their ‘I just ran 15k’ posts make you feel like you’ve not done enough, and all is lost. I’ve done that too, I am so that person that posts ‘hey hi look at me I just ran’ images, but now that my motivation is lacking, seeing other people do the same is just making me feel, well shit and unmotivated. That probably has something to do with the simple fact of me not physically being able to train - but I need to get my motivation back.

Enter, Olympian champion Tom Daley. Tom specialises in the 10-metre platform diving event, but if there’s one person that knows a thing or two about motivation - it’s an Olympic champion right? I caught up with Tom ahead of the release of his new book, Tom’s Daily Plan. An extension of his increasingly popular YouTube channel, Tom is a big foodie and wanted to share his love of cooking in a lifestyle book that offers exercises, mindfulness advice and an abundance of seriously tasty looking recipes. He also had some straight-up advice for me about motivation. I caught up with him at this years BeautyCon London, to see if he had any advice for when motivation is lacking.

**Hey Tom. So first things first, everyone can feel unmotivated from time to time - but what do you do when you really CBA to train? **

'Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I really, really can’t be bothered to train (see guys, even Olympians feel that way) but it’s all about seeing yourself goals. I obviously have a long term goal of wanting to be an Olympic champion, but you have to set yourself medium-sized goals, and short-term goals too.'

So it’s about taking it step by step, rather than seeing it as a whole race?

'Exactly, If you see the end as ‘I have to run a marathon,’ chances are you’re going to think no way can I do that - but by taking it step by step, doing little increments each day and setting yourself weekly, then monthly, then yearly goals you’ll find it more manageable.'

**I feel really guilty when I miss a session. and I know I’m not alone in that. How do you combat that guilt feeling if you miss a session? **

'I tend to not miss sessions (of course he doesn’t, stupid question). But at the end of the day, you have to live your life and your lifestyle has to be maintainable for you, as does your diet. If you can only run three days a week, that’s still better than not doing any at all. Try and it it all in as and when you can. Giving yourself a break is so important, so work your way up to bigger events and then you’ll get to a point where you feel comfortable.'

**I find it difficult running on my own because there’s less distraction and the mental mind game takes over. What do you do when you get the mental mind block? **

'I always try and workout with a training buddy, or have my coach there to spur me on. If you do need to run alone, Spotify have a playlist where the songs are all to the same beat, so you can run to the beat. It helps distract you, so when a song is over you’ve run a certain distance without evening thinking about it.'

**That sounds great. So let’s talk food. The problem I have is once i’ve been on track with fueling my body with foods that will help my running, all is great. And then I have one day of bad food and it feels like all is lost - what should I do? **

'Food is fuel, and if you’re well nourished that’s going to impact how you perform, for the better. Whatever you’re doing, training for a marathon, diving, working, food is the basis of that. Like your maintainable training, your diet has to fit around you. If you restrict yourself, you’re going to want more cakes and sweets come the end of the week - having a variety and switching it up with recipes means you can enjoy it.'

**In your new book you talk about mindfulness, how can that help with training? **

'I start everyday with 10 minutes of meditation. It’s something that really helps set up my day and makes me feel good. Whenever you’re feeling anxious about training, doing mindfulness and bringing it back to breathing can really encourage this feeling of routine and calm.'

Makes note to re-download Headspace, and stick to it this time

If you’d like to order Tom’s book, Tom’s Daily Plan, you can here.

Like this? You might also be interested in…

From 5k To Full Marathon: Nike Run Coach Becs Gentry On How To Sort Your Training Plan Out

From 5k To Full Marathon: Where To F To Start With Marathon Training

How To Run If You’re As Lazy As Me

**Follow Alyss on Instagram @alyssbowen **

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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