5 ways to stay motivated #3

cycling, Tip nr. 3: Periodization

Periodization is the act of deliberately varying the volume and intensity of your training activity during the year.

For most people volume and intensity is high in periods of high motivation. The plan is often to keep training for increased fitness week after week. The idea is fine, but it does´nt  work in the real world where we live our every day lives. The mind and body consider everything we do and ads it up to the total amount of stress on our system. Training and exercising is only a part of what takes a toll on our body. Work, familyobligations, and off course health, are all a part of the equation that determines the rate of improvement and skill level in our activity of choice. And even more important, the strain on our mind and body.

Periodization then, when done right, is a crucial way of balancing our active life. Avoiding burnout, sustained motivation, and good health are possible benefits from a planned schedule. Plan for periods where you only maintain a certain level, no increase in fitness is wanted, because it is not possible in the long run anyway. Schedule maintainance periods when you know you will have a high workload, extended family activities, or are busy with other time- and energy consuming pursuits.

That way you can be highly motivated all year, and the thing that goes in periods is your training volume and intensity, not your motivation. Make 2013 a periodized training year!

Photography series: Birch #2

"Blues grid" Click for full frame

To me the Birch tree resembles something of quality, solidity, and “down to earth”. It has been a long ongoing personal project to photograph birch in various shapes and places.

Photography series: Birch #1

The Birch tree is the most common one in my part of the country. It is easy to take it for granted, since its everywhere. It is widely appreciated for its quality as a woodworks material, and campfire fuel. Still, it is often overlooked as forests with its rather modest appearance.

To me the Birch tree resembles something of quality, solidity, and “down to earth”. It has been a long ongoing personal project to photograph birch in various shapes and places.

Old birch in the storm

The lost days of velvia

Sometimes I miss those innocent days when I wandered around with my trusty Nikon F3. A shaky tripod, which I don´t miss, and a few rolles of velvia film was all I carried most of the time. Pressing the shutter with causion, only when the chances of a good image were high.

With scarce amounts of money to spend on film, you had to make every frame count. Waiting every new month for my copy of “fotografi”, staring in awe at the amazing images of those established photographers. That kind of skil level seemed to be out of reach, and in many cases, it was. So much about photography was unknown to me. It still is, but those days were mysterious in a way. How did he take that photograph? How can she come so close on those faces, and still make them look natural? What camera is he using? That Leica M would be nice to have some day! Maybe I should go to the beach like Elliot Erwitt!

Oh, well! The Digital Revolution came and swept the whole photography community off  balance for a while. When the dust settled to the ground a new era was upon us. Dane Sanders calls it the “Digiflat era” . Now everybody can raise their level. Technically, you can learn everything on the internet, at least in theory. You can market yourself, and showcase your photos worldwide for free. Pressing the shutter in the same tempo a hummingbird flaps its wings is no longer a financial hazard. The opportunities are limited only by your own desire.

The new era in photography is no longer new, it is well established. And things will turmoil once again, and we will face a new era. I have decided to make the best out of what ever the circumstances are in this beautiful pursuit called photography.

It is still all about painting with light !

Series; 5 ways to stay Motivated #2

Tip nr. 2: Keep a training diary.

Training Diary. Photo: J.FossbakkWriting down your exercises in some way can have a huge positive impact on motivation, or rather the lack of motivation. A training diary commits you on multiple levels.

  • First. It holds you accountable for the blank spots when you skip your training. It nags your conscience to see those gaps in your diary. So you better get out there and do that exercise, in order to have something to write in your book.
  • Second: A training diary or log involves you on a higher level to your active lifestyle. Involvement builds mental endurance, you will feel more obliged to keep up with the training. Even on the days when you feel out of sync with yourself as an active person.
  • Third: Your training diary makes it so much easier to differentiate your intensity and volume, the often crucial act of periodization. It can help you stay on track, and at the same time give you the freedom to do spontaneous changes in your schedule.
  • Most important: It is fun and satisfying to be able to follow your own training history. Your training diary is your personal leagacy, the history book of you as an active individual. No one can write it for you.

As with all planning tools, choose the one that suits your style. Moleskine books, Spiral bound planners, or advanced training software like Sport Tracks 

Personally I use Sport Tracks together wit my Garmin Edge device, for my multisport activities. And a small Moleskine book to log my climbing training. Start writing your history!

Series: Design Classics #2

Every design or creation have got one or several prime representations.  A specimen that is like an iconic example of any given category.

In a series of posts I will present an item that in my subjective opinion is a classic in its category. A classic not only by looks, but just as important as an association to the essence of the category. Timeless pieces of style and vision. You will probably have your own favorites, and you are very welcome to share it in the comment field.

This time the subject matter is Mountainbikes: Take a look at the Ritchey P-21 WCS

p21

There are a lot of great classics from the early days of mountainbiking, and picking a single ultimate classic is almost impossible. Bridgestone MB0, GT Zaskar, Specialized M2, Scwinn Homegrown, Gary Fischer Pro Caliber, and Klein Attitude are a few very strong contenders, each one being a classic in its own right.

Still, the P-21 is a worthy symbol of the ultimate racebike. Fillet braced prestige steel tubing, introduced in 1992. Light, strong, fast, expensive, and ridden by Thomas Frischnet, and Ruthie Matthes to multiple world cup victories. Behind this brand stands Tom Ritchey, a living Mountainbike legend.

4972954855_a041506d05

images

The model vent on for many years, and this is what the 1997 Ritchey catalog had to say about it:

“The “P” stands for Project.It began as a total concept of optimizing the frame, fork and components to produce a mountain bike that was light or lighter than any other available, as well being as durable or more durable than its heavier competition. It proved time and again both in racing and recreational riding that steel is riot, and will not , be overshadowed by any other material.”

“The Ritchey P-21 features the same frame that has torn up the World Cup circuit for the last three seasons in a row. It has awe inspiring handling traits and superior ride quality that have become synonymous with the P-series”

I would still love, one day, to own one.

Series: 5 ways to stay Motivated #1

Randone´ competitionMotivation is the mental fuel that drives us forward. Motivation is movement.

When we feel motivated everything flows easily. It takes no effort to tie our running shoes, and get out in the rain for yet another hour of exercise. The days when you, with a smile on your face, grab your towel and drinking bottle and head for the gym are easy. But what do you do when motivation drops? When you can´t find the reason to continue. When you can think of ten other things you´d rather spend time on doing.

Over the past 25 years I have had my ups and downs in my multisporter life. In this series of posts I will point to a few factors that have helped me, and others to stay motivated. Maybe a trick or two can help your motivation when everything goes uphill.

Tip nr.1: Be an enthusiast.

Enthusiasts endure! Investing time and knowledge increases the commitment that we feel towards an activity. Read about the history of your sport. Learn about the capacity requirements of  your activity. Find out how the best performers do their training, and what equipment they use. Not to copy their program or toys of choice, but just to get inspired. Engage in the community, participate in forums, read and comment on relevant blogs for your sport.

All the things that submerges you into an activity, giving you more knowledge and insight, is an investment. When the going gets tough, this investment pays off in the shape of enduring motivation.

Series: Design classics! #1

Every design or creation have got one or several prime representations.  A specimen that is like an iconic example of any given category.

What are the iconic representations of a flower, or a hat? Maybe a rose, or a bowler, all dependent on who you ask.What about a car or a wristwatch?

In a series of posts I will present an item that in my subjective opinion is a classic in its category. A classic not only by looks, but just as important as an association to the essence of the category. Timeless pieces of style and vision. You will probably have your own favorites, and you are very welcome to share it in the comment field.

First out is a motorcycle: The Bmw R90s.

R90S_1-600x450

First launched in1974. A design and performance beauty. Portraing an adventurous lifestyle with epic rides into the sunset. Or maybe on a curvy backcountry road on a crisp Sunday morning. Considered to be the first “supersport bike” back in the seventies. Today, a collectors item.

BMW_R90S_17(a)

Check out this link: http://bmwdean.com/r90s.htm

Don´t forget to stroll

_DSC3897-1“No pain no gain” or, “Push your Vo2 Max”. Energetic, goalseeking people tend to keep the pace up in their active life. Managing both a high workload, familyresponsibilities, and pushing your level in sports is often a common trait in high acheivers. Pushing yourself and reaching goals is naturally very satisfying.

But it is harder to see the pitfalls when you are at high speed. This is true in sportactivities, but also in life itself.

Keeping the intensity at the right level over time is a balancing act. A balancing stick has two equal lengths on each side of your center of gravity. As an analogy, one side is high intensity, but what is on the other side? we´l take a look at that in a little while.

The intensity side contains several aspects. The concept of continoues overload is paramount to increase capacity in anything physical. The system, neural and muscular, needs to be stressed to keep developing. If not, it will plateau and you will see no gains in capacity. To set goals, and doing the work required to achieve them is a big part of what motivates many active people. And a goal is allways up there, at the next level so to speak. Goals, stretching your perspective, and evolving, are concepts that is unique to being a human, and can be one of life´s richest pursuits. So why is the other side of the balancing stick so important. The answer is easy to understand as an analogy, the other side of the stick is there to keep you in balance.

Balance is an even more fundamental principle than the principle of increasing workload. In order to stay balanced physically, and mentally, we need to lower the tempo from time to time. This might scare some, but fear not.

The challenge is that for a performance seeking athlete, high intensity can become addictive. If you are not exhausted, then you really have´nt done anything usefull, is the paradigme. But a calm and easy stroll on your bike or by foot can be very rewarding. Avoiding burnout is a complex subject, but activities at low intensity is an important part of the equation. It is refreshing for your mind and body to just “be”. Walking or biking at slow pace, thinking thoughts of what you are gratefull for in your life, hearing the birds sing. There is a lot of freedom in not feeling the need to perform all the time.

So enjoy the moments when your at full speed, but don´t forget to stroll once in a while.

Plans are nothing, planning is everything

filofax

 I don´t remember where I first heard those headline words. And  worse, I don´t fully understand what they are supposed to tell you. But it is a catchy phrase, and I feel that the words make sens in some ungraspable way.

Tools for planning your day and life are in abundance, in fact, it is quite overwhelming. I have tried many different planning systems. From advanced software, to the simplest kind of notebooks. Not the laptop notebook, but actual cheap paper notebooks.

It is essential for a timeplanning system to suit your style. Style in this context is a combination of your way of life, personality, and your selfperception. Who are you? Do you hold traditional values? Are you a gadget freak? Do you have a dynamic or a sedated kind of personality? Maybe most important is the question of “what do you want to be”, “and, how do you see yourself?”

The answers to these questions are important when choosing a planning system. Because any system is a challenge to stay loyal to, over time. People start planning, with high hopes of a more organized life, only to after a while fall back into the same old disorganized routines. The chance of this happening increase tenfold if you use a time/life organizer that really does´nt suit you. An effctive planningsystem needs to be congruent with your personality.

Defining who we are, is however a challenging task in these multi faceted times. We might be urban, and at the same time love the close to nature way of life. We might enjoy the opportunities that “touchscreengadgets”  gives us, and still hold dear some traditional values. In a way we can hold multiple personalities, and still be well grounded about who we are.

If you like individual style and customability. Real life “written in stone” texture, writing with a pencil, and illustrating with custom drawings, and colours, then the true and tested filofax might be your thing.In fact, it might be a part of your identity. And it is the only timemanagement system i Know of with it´s own motion picture. Filofax the movie.

Feature-PIPro

Maybe you need to have your plan with you everywhere, and you live by your cellphone. Then the Pocket Informant is a true companion.

You are a free spirit, you feel that detailed planning restrains your personality. Well, a classic Moleskine notebook is minimalistic, jot enhancing, and have this bohemian, slingbag over your sholder  style to it.

Some people need to be able to share their schedule with coworkers, familymembers, secretaries, and the list goes on. Your mac or pc is your daily tool, or maybe you simply live a large part of your life on the web. Suitable planning software is everywhere on the internet and come in all sizes and prices. Google Calendar is free and highly customizable to your needs, and adapts well with other aplications.

Organizing our time is no longer an optional approach, in todays world it is a necessity for effective life mangement  both personally and professionally. Planning makes dreams and goals vastly more attainable.

%d bloggers like this: