Ask “Why” About Every Session

By August 2, 2016Psychology, Training
Performance Coach

A quick post today on the theme of ‘why‘ I’ve been writing about recently.

This isn’t an original idea, (I’m borrowing from legendary running coach, Jack Daniel’s). But it’s such an important concept that I thought it was worth reiterating and also expanding on. The basic tenant is that for every session you do, you should be able to answer the question ‘why am I doing this?’. The answers are pretty wide ranging:

  • To increase my endurance
  • To improve my VO2 max
  • To work on my running form
  • To help me recover
  • To simply have fun with my friends!

Some real value here also comes from knowing yourself and what motivates you, and one methodology I really like is the ‘4 Tendencies Quiz’ by Gretchen Rubin. You can read more about it here; but if you come back as a ‘questioner’, (which I 100% am) then you’ll likely be much more motivated to complete a session if you know the point to it.

“Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations”

Being clear on the goal of the session also provides a good basis for evaluating success. For example, if your goal was to ‘improve cycling endurance’ but you pulled the pin on the ride after 30 minutes then you wouldn’t consider that a success.

Question Every Session

“Taking some sweet jumps” is an acceptable ‘why’


If you can’t answer the question, ‘why?’ either a) ask your coach for clarification b) think twice about doing it at all.

The whole idea is to train with a purpose, improve motivation to complete sessions and avoid filling your calendar with ‘junk miles’.

Happy training!

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